Let’s go back to the familiarity of one of Scotland’s most isolated distilleries. Just across the Sound of Islay lies the beautiful, sparse Isle of Jura, infamous for its red deer to human ratio of about 30:1 or something silly like that. Man…what I wouldn’t give to leave the urban sprawl for a bit of that sort of existence.
Fortunately for us whiskyphiles, a few of those 200 or so people who constitute the entire populace of Jura (Duriachs, as they’re known) spend a good chunk of time engaged in the alchemy of turning solid to liquid, in the time-honored tradition of converting barley to whisky. There’s always been magic afoot on Jura that extends well beyond alchemy, though. For such a wee little place, there’s certainly enough interesting history to keep the intrigue high.
On to the malt now…
I really like these Jura Boutique Barrels releases. Some, of course, are stronger outings than others, but all are definitely worth a ‘go’. This more ‘whisky purist’-oriented presentation is a great direction for the distillery to be taking. It seems as though Jura is better positioning itself in recent years; as something more than the bit part player it has on occasion seemed. The malts are getting better and the presentation aspect is well covered. This ’95 is case in point. (Though I wonder about the lack of sleeve/tube/box.)
Nose: Nice spicy, fruity dram. Very surprising nose for a Jura, and truly shows how good the distillate is (if only they’d leave off those wine barrels and such!). Berry scones, cinnamon and nutmeg. Good dark bread. Great spice mix and all the smells of great home baking. Some pepper. A little bit of apple, and some definite bourbon influence (of course). Notes of dunnage warehouse. Wet leaves and a touch of eucalyptus.
Palate: Great oily and rich delivery. Dark fruit puree. Cranberry loaf and very tight oak. More on the berries and maybe a touch of burnt marshmallow. Slightly drying. Chewy sour candies. Caramel apple…wooden stick, tart apple skin and all. There’s still a slight wine note here somehow. Good, long finish.
Thoughts: A bloody great Jura. Very singular. One of my favorites to come from the Willies and Tricky Dick, to be honest.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt