Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jura 16 Year Old

Isle of Jura Single Malt Scotch Whsiky

Diurach’s Own 16 Year Old

40% ABV

I’m on a little streak here with whiskies of the Scottish Isles other than Islay.  We’ve looked at Arran, Highland Park, and Scapa.  With 790 islands off the coastline on Scotland, it's not surprising that more and more are waiting out there:  Talisker (Skye), Tobermory, which used to be known as Ledaig (Mull), the soon to be bottled Abhainn Dearg (Lewis) and Jura.

I’m reviewing the 16 year old Jura today, known as Duirach’s Own, from the Gaelic name for the inhabitants of the island.  Jura is an island of the west coast of Scotland.  It’s separated from Islay by less than a mile.  Before you even crack the bottle, you notice something different – the bottle.  I love the shape of the bottle.  You’ll see the silhouette on the box in the store and it is distinctive.  Along with Glenrothes, I think the bottle of Jura is the easiest to recognize at any far away restaurant bar.  And that’s important, right?


When you open it, you may expect the peat ladled into your glass.  But, while the smokiness is there, it’s much more subtle than Jura’s Islay neighbors.  The color is lightly golden, and the aroma has a pretty complex combination of slight smokiness, sea air, and flowers.  The taste was something very different for me.  I tried to figure out how to describe it for the longest time.  I finally settled on the taste of those old candied wax lips we had when we were kids.  Kind of sweet, but with a slight waxy dryness.  Maybe a reach there? 

Putting words to the taste of these whiskies is definitely the hardest part of writing this blog.  I’m always amazed at how the great ones like Jim Murray and the late Michael Jackson (no, the other one) can do it so well.   Mr. Jackson has an excellent summary of Jura with which I completely agree, “For an islander Jura is often thought to be something of a lightweight, but it has hidden depths.”

Overall, I can’t say this is a great whisky, but it’s safely on the very good list.  It is something different.  It defies categories.  I have noticed something slightly different every time I’ve tried it.  I’ve learned something.  And most of all, I’ve enjoyed it.

Try some Jura.  It’s a good addition to the cabinet.  And the bottle looks sweet.

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