If you’re a long time reader, you know we’ve churned through a not-small number of bottles here at iScotch. Cost and availability are really our only limiters; we’re more than happy to try anything that could have any tangential relationship to whisk(e)y – beers, gins, flavoureds, heck we’ve even been thinking about adding rums, wines and ports to what we review here.
But as the website’s name suggests, our first love is scotch. And in our time, we’ve made it very very clear we have favourites: Talisker, Bowmore, Lagavulin and of course, Jura. And due to the costs and availability issues mentioned above, it’s not often we get to add new entries from our favourite brands.
Jura is the name of the island that the distillery sits on, just to the north-east of the scotch-famous Islay. The narrow strait of the Sound of Islay separates the two, with car ferry service from Port Askaig on the more populous isle. Jura is pretty, barren and pretty barren, with one town, one pub and not a lot of roads; it is known as a walking destination.
The character of the land, mystical in that British Isles Druidic way, is played up in the marketing for the whisky. The Diurachs, Jura Whisky’s brand loyalty appellation, is based on the original Gaelic word for the island, Diùra (Jura is the Anglicisation). Jura has one of the most finely crafted brand stories I’ve seen; a lot of local integration without the bourbonization of claiming authenticity through permanence, no claims to masculinity that aren’t made subtly by the references to the countryside.
Jura Elixir 12y is a limited edition release – Elixir is not mentioned on the American Jura site, only the UK one, so this may be another case of the LCBO picking up some United Kingdom overflow. There are marketing references to the important water source and its effects on ageing, including references to a local Methuselah who “saw 180 Christmases in his home”. Here’s what we thought of the whisky:
Ryan – amber
Simon – light grade maple syrup
Dan – mild auburn, less red, light brown
Goran – ice tea
Ryan – honey, old wood, peach
Simon – smoked honey, speyside
Dan – soft wood, no spice, no smoke
Goran – cherry, spongebread, some iodine, coconut
Ryan – sugary, chai spices
Simon – sweet & light, savoury like other jura, closest to origin, less smoke
Dan – immediately warm, thin coating, floats, sweetness, apricot
Goran – soft texture, dark chocolate, ripe fruit
Ryan – burn, spice, wood
Simon – slow chest burn
Dan – spicyness
Goran – more fruit than butter, burn lingers
Ryan – lavender
Simon – calms burn, more structure, sweetner
Dan – purest scotch without smoke. wood, not smoke, ends with sweet & spicy
Goran – apricot, coconut
Try it? Sure. Buy it? No.
This is the first Jura we don’t recommend buying. This is a relative judgement, not absolute – the other Juras are just better.