Here it is. Finally. A Jura I can really sink my teeth into. Prophecy is a small batch release (10,000 bottles, I am led to believe) of ‘profoundly peated’ no-age-statement Jura single malt. Why do I like this? Is it because I am a peatophile and this is like chewing a brick of the stuff? No. (Well…maybe a little). Actually…it is simply because it is bloody good stuff.
This is a surprisingly Islay-ish non-Islay malt. Yass…yass…I know. Jura is just a wee swim across the sound from Islay. Hardly world’s away in terms of terroir. Or is it? You’d be surprised. Homework, boys and girls. Go now. I’ll wait.
To be completely honest this is really only a note or two off from being something Jim McEwan is rolling off the stills at Bruichladdich. The Prophecy is the closest you’ll come to Port Charlotte without buying Port Charlotte.
The nose is a bold assortment of aggressive scents. Creamy peat reek…dirty logs…heavy smoke and tar…hard spice and licorice…a touch of chili chocolate…very dry fruit…salt and citrus…malt and butter. A wee bit of caramel to buffer the harder edges. Caramel the flavor, not caramel the color, y’anti-E150a crusaders (another time…another place).
First sips provide the enormous delivery you’d expect from a whisky with an olfactory profile such as I just spoke of. Heavy smoke and peat on arrival. The smoke is decidedly meaty and carries a dried fruit compote as counterpart. Smoked caramel next and on into salt and ash. This is sassy…young and dirty. The finish is all smoke and licorice. Well…perhaps a little sherry-logged oak lingering.
Helluva drink. Hats off to Mr. Paterson and the lads and lasses at Jura. Thank you.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt
Nice review, and it has made me curious. I am pretty impressed with the 10, but found the Superstition a bit of a disappointment for a blend of 13 and 21. Scored at 84, it is heavily sherried and not bad for $60, but water wrecks it pretty quickly, so it offers few options if you don’t like its 43% ABV “as is”. I know your pricing is different, but the LCBO has Prophecy at $90 and I’m wondering if you think it’s worth the money or if the 46% makes it more tweakable with water. All else being equal, it sounds very good.
It’s actually better than I had expected! Very nice nose, reminding me of a Highland with some peat/smoke. Taste is very balanced and tasty! Fruity, but not too much. Some smokiness, but not too much (I drink a lot of Islay). Finish is good, but not quite as long as I would like, at least compared to Ardbeg. Overall, a very good whisky that I might well stock up on. I like to try 3-4 different drams every evening (just a small bit of each!) and this could occasionally slide into the sequence in place of Highland Park 12 or Lagavulin 16. Has some similar characteristics to those whiskys, but is different, just as they are diffierent to each other. Give it an 85. Will be checking it regularly to see if it improves now it is open.
Thanks for the reply, Robert! Pinch hitting for Highland Park 12 or Lagavulin 16 is, for me, high praise indeed. Let me know how it develops and/or how it stacks up against the Superstition if you get chance to try the latter.
i’ve kicked it up to 86 after more tasting and letting it sit a couple of weeks. Seems more peaty/more briney (but I have been hitting the lighter and fruiter ones lately in this heat). Fairly smooth with a face warming finish. Really hit the spot tonight and seemed almost as good as Ardbeg 10, but with some creamy, fruity edge. Went from Balvenie Signature 12 (very good!; had three drams!) to Auchentoshen 12 (good, toffee, more brine) to Jura Prophecy to Ardbeg 10 to Ardbeg Corryvrecken, then back to Jura Prophecy. Nice night of tasting!
Thanks for the update! Glad to hear it had some development, even in the warm weather. I’m still a little leery of the LCBO’s $90 price tag after the Superstition, but the Prophecy sounds like a step up, so I might get one.
Speaking of bottles around $90, I recently opened a Glen Breton Rare 10. It certainly is a different product and, for me, the jury’s still out. If you’ve tried it, please give me your thoughts.
This is worthwhile. The Superstition…meh.
As for the Glen Breton…
Though this may border on blasphemy…I have yet to try any of ’em. Getting my hands on a drop or two seems to be quite the task. Yes, they are available retail, but at those prices? In Canada…and made in Canada? Until I have tried at a festival or something and can confirm that a Canadian single malt is worth the price of admission…I’ll sit on the sidelines. Too bad really.
Scuttlebutt says, however…none too great. I would love to be convinced otherwise.
I didn’t pay close to that! I think it was about $50, if I remember right. Definitely worth it at that price. Tonight did Dalwhinnie 15, Balvenie Signature and finished with the Prophecy. Too hot for Ardbeg and the other Islays! The Jura, though peaty, works better with this heat.
Thanks for the replies, guys. I took another run at the Glen Breton Rare and can’t say that I’m a booster. Assessing differences and quality are two different things, but Rare is not as easily recognizable as a barley product as, say, Nikka “Yoichi”. In the scotch realm, it reminds me most of JW Gold; sort of a muted Highland profile, balanced, but without a really strong palate or finish. I’d give it an 86.
I would like to see a review of this stuff, and a wider discussion in case of a bad bottle. As you’ve pointed out, pricing is a key consideration here: to justify an import-level price, a domestic product needs to be stellar, not just solid. I simply can’t find a 90-class whisky here.