Sunday, March 3, 2013

Isle of Jura

Isle of Jura is a beautiful Island, one of the southern Hebridians, with the breathtaking Paps of Jura dominating the view almost everywhere on the island. One of my dreams is to climb the paps one day.

One of the Paps seen from the Jura Hotel

The name of the island is derivating from a norse word meaning animal, and if you ask a swede to say animal you get the heritage easily.

With fantastic scenery, and less than 200 inhabitants, this is the place to go if you want to get away from it all. Still, there is a small grocery store, a nice little hotel with a good pub and a distillery on the island.

Isle of Jura has always been hit or miss for me, but for today I will try a couple of independent bottlings and see how they do

First up is a bottling from SMWS

Isle of Jura 31.23 23yo 51.7%
Distilled 27.09.1988 
SMWS own description is "Sugared almonds in a matress factory" which actually scares me a little bit.

Image from Whiskybase

The nose is very delicate or even thin, a little fruityness but quite anonymous but what there is is very nice.
The palate is sweet candy-fruits, with a little woodspice and the general mouthfeel is an old whisky like they used to taste in the good old days. Really delicious. It is close to be as fragile as some watered down older whiskies I have tasted but it is saved by the relative intense finish. This is clearly a malt that would have been ruined if watered down, but isn't most at 40% ?

The finsih is dominated by the wood spices and long and relative intense and kicks this whisky off very nicely and the finish is actually so nice I have to delay the start of the next whisky just to enjoy this

This is an excellent cask from Isle of Jura and doesn't remind me of the distilleries own bottlings

Rating 88/100

Thanks to Johanne from The Perfect Whisky Match for the sample. 

Next up is a van Wees bottling, a dutch whisky shop

Isle of Jura, Gordon and MacPhail Reserve 1995-2010 57.8% 14yo

Image from Whiskybase

Nose: This is more traditional Isle of Jura to me. The nose is sweet, ripe fruits with a metallic touch, not far from what I get from Glen Scotia (see a post from last week). Drinking this is a very fullbodied whisky with a creamy tecture, sweet riped fruits with the metallic Isle of Jura fingerprint. I should name it the "West Coast Fingerprint" as it is something I find in Isle of Jura, Glen Scotia and Ben Nevis around 50% of the time I have whisky from one of these three distilleries.

I get a few more notes from this, burned sugared almonds transfering the bitterness into the metalic sense which is dominating in the finish. I am pretty sure the assesment on this whisky is very dependent how easy you can cope with the metallic bitter touch, as the fullbodied creamy texture of this malt is really nice

Rating 84/100

Thanks to Ras Mazunga for the sample

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