Jura Single Malt


Isle of Jura

History - This distillery and the brand itself has been through many changes since Archibald Campbell first built a distillery on Jura around 1810. As with all the whisky produced back it would have been of a peaty character just like its close whisky neighbour Islay . After many different names and locations on the island in 1963, two of the island’s landowners, Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith with investment from Leith-based blenders Charles Mackinlay & Co and distillery designer William Delme-Evans they built modern distillery on the site of the old Jura location. Its most recent owners Whyte & Mackay, took control of the distillery in 1993 and still have it to this day.

The Whisky – Only last month the whole portfolio has went through a whole new rebrand, not only in design but in the actual whisky itself. Described by themselves as “ ‘biggest launch in its history’. This is is brave move for Jura but after tasting all of the new whiskies i can sure you that you will not be disappointed in what they have created. With legendary blender Richard Paterson and Greg Glass previously of Compass Box whiskies working on the new liquid it was always going to be good stuff. They have moved away from realising both peated (smoky) and unpeated versions of whisky and instead focussed in a house style that they describe as having “subtle smoke with sweetness from American white oak barrels and ‘enhanced’ with a Sherry cask finish, described as a mix of Highland and Island styles.”

Favourite Dram - The new range comprises of a 10 year old and 12 year old that have both been matured in American oak barrels before being transferred Oloroso Sherry casks to add more depth of flavour. There are 2 non-age statement variants called Journey which is their entry level single malt and The 7 wood which after spending time in first-fill Bourbon casks is then matured in seven types of French oak giving it notes of notes of peach, candied orange. Ive always had a soft spot for Jura Single Malt, they have always tried to do things differently and not just conform to the same of traditional ways of marketing Scotch whisky. I was lucky enough to be taken through all of the new whiskies at a launch dinner last week with their Global Ambassador Darroch Ramsay. If i had to choose a favourite, then i would have to go for the new 18 years old, this for me was the best on the night and again after spending time in Bourbon casks was finally matures in Red Wine casks giving it a rich flavour and aroma of bitter chocolate and toffee. You can pick up a bottle of this for a very reasonable £75.

Why Visit? – I’ve not been lucky enough to get across to Jura but after hearing about it from their ambassador i am going to make it a priority to try and get across in the summer. With only one road, one pub one distillery and less than 200 people on the Island it sounds like the best place to get away from the rat race for a while.

Interesting fact – George Orwell had a cottage on Jura where he wrote his famous novel 1984 more than 60 years ago.

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