Origin: Isle of Jura (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry, ex-Porto and ex-Burgundy
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Emperador Inc.
Average price: € 53.00
Official website: jurawhisky.com
Scotland is surrounded by many islands, some large, some much less so, almost all with at least one distillery (to say how much whisky is now part of the nation’s DNA).
Each island tends to be associated with at least one particular characteristic, so Skye is synonymous with Talisker, Islay with peat, Orkney with Scapa and Arran… well, Arran.
And then there’s Jura, an island right in the middle between Scotland and Islay, with just under 200 inhabitants, a road, a pub and a distillery (because the essentials have to be there!), which of course takes its name from this little piece of land in the ocean.
It’s not easy to find opinions and reviews on the whiskies produced by Jura, in general their products doesn’t enjoy a great reputation in the community of enthusiasts, although there has been no lack of recognition from some of the countless specialised juries (on the principle that you can’t refuse anyone an award).
As I happened to have a sample of one of their NAS in my hands, it seemed a good opportunity to discuss a little-known whisky.
The thing that immediately jumps out at you when reading the characteristics of this Turas Mara (long journey in Gaelic) is the quantity of barrels used to make it, four of them! It isn’t known in what proportion and for how long, but it’s certain that Port and Sherry can be smelled, with a preponderance of the latter. Caramel, cherry tart and molasses galore: a very sweet, almost cloying, rather monochord scent.
On the palate, there’s immediately a definite note of bitter orange, together with a certain astringency (the Burgundy?). Malt, which betrays its young age, dried fruit, nuts, a touch of caramel. The hyper-sweetness of the nose is clearly diluted in the taste, in a curious contrast which leaves one a little puzzled. The bitter hint is dominant, whether this is a positive aspect or not it’s up to every single drinker. A slight salty note is also present.
The finish remains bitter, accompanied by astringency and dried fruit.
Unconvincing and little incisive, that strong bitter note makes the dram less than pleasant at times, and the finish on the palate is not very likeable. I don’t understand the sense of all those different casks in a NAS, perhaps a longer aging would benefit the structure of the whisky.
Whisky for Everyone