Hmmm…Cabernet Sauvignon wine finished single malts. Not sure how to weigh in here in a politically correct manner, so let’s not even try. These two libations, while often delicious in their own rights, are not good bedfellows. There may be a correct balance to be struck between them, but in the few instances I’ve tried whiskies finished (matured?) in this manner the distillers have missed the mark. Hate to generalize, but at this point I’m gonna go on record and say it really doesn’t work.
Having said that…I went into this whisky rather blindly. Hadn’t read a label…seen a proper picture…or heard anything about the age/finish/strength/what have you. I knew it was Jura, and one of three releases in the ‘Paps’ collection. That’s really about it.
The paps, if you’re not fully aware, are the three peeks on Jura right near the Sound of Islay. You can stare down their rather imposing physiques from the Northeast side of Islay, preferably with a dram of Caol Ila or Bunnahabhain in hand. Trust me…I’ve done so a couple of times now. ‘Paps’ is quite literally a reference to what you’d think it is. Boobies. Yep. You’re smiling now, ain’tcha?
So…to recap: limited release Jura…15 years old…finished in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. I have to admit that what we ultimately end up with is not a bad whisky, it is simply outside my favored profiles (of which I have many). Pick this one up (and the other two) for the story…for a neat range tasting…for a quirky offshoot from the Jura range, but do come in with eyes open that this is not typical of the distillery.
By the way…full disclosure: I have not tried the other two in the series. I’ve tasted this against other Juras, but not the Mountain Of Gold or The Sacred Mountain.
Found this on the Jura Info site: “There has been many a dram fuelled discussion about the witch of Jura causing the deep glacial scar that runs down one fell. And many debate whether it’s true that the Paps are the burial chambers of giant Norse warriors.”
Cool shit, huh?
Nose: Oddly enough…buttery. Fruity (yes…quite some grapes…and pepper!). Salty tang. Very vaguely, distantly, minutely, just hintingly lightly sweaty (but NOT in a bad way!). More pepper and a bit of very fresh black tea. Vanilla. Gingerbread.
Palate: Wine-ish. Maybe some peat. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but reminds me of another whisky I’ve tasted in the last couple of years. Most probably a Bruichladdich of some sort. Quite drying. Puckers me a fair bit. Also somewhat bitter, but mellows after some time. In all honesty, that mellowing takes a fair bit of time. Denouement into sugar cookies and fruit. Very nice back end. Again…salty, then into plum skins.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt