It’s time to check out the top of the line in the new Jura core range – The Jura 18 Year Old.
It was matured for 18 in American White Oak ex-bourbon casks and then finished in Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux casks before bottled at 44%. So another wine finish but at least it’s singular and not a mix of different wine casks.
Let’s see how that works out.
Isle of Jura 18 Year Old (44%, €89,90)
Nose: Sour vanilla, lactic, wine tannins, cream, toffee and caramel. After a few minutes in the glass it becomes more winey and with cream, butterscotch and cinnamon. Very gentle and polished nose. Continue reading
The next whisky in the new and revamped Isle of Jura line up is Jura Seven Wood. I know many eyebrows were raised (mine included) when it was announced – Seven different oaks seemed excessive. We don’t know if it was matured in parallel in those seven different casks and vatted together or maybe some went through double/triple/quadruple maturation before being vatted together.
The seven wood used in the expression are:
- First-fill ex-bourbon American White Oak
I must admit this list kind of left me breathless when I first read it (didn’t even try to read it aloud)! But we do need to remember that Jura distillery already dabbled in such experiments for their Tastival releases (Feis Ile bottlings), so maybe for Jura it’s not such a far fetched idea to release such a complex whisky as a permanent offer in their line up.
Nose: Malt, red wine sweetness, vanilla, gentle tannins and white pepper, red berries led by raspberries and gooseberries. After a while butterscotch, nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. Continue reading
Continuing with the new Isle of Jura line up and we’re going up the range to check out Jura 12 Year Old, not to be confused with the old Jura 12 Elixir. Please note that Jura 12 will only be available in some selected markets, so you may not be able to purchase it locally.
Just like the 10 Year Old, Jura 12 Year Old was matured in ex-bourbon casks for two more years and then was finished in aged Oloroso Sherry Casks (emphasis is mine). It will be interesting to see what difference those two extra years and the aged Vs regular sherry casks made here.
Isle of Jura 12 Year Old (40%, £42.32/€49,75)
Nose: Comparing to the 10yo, here we have more intense and deeper fruit sweetness along with stronger, almost sour, vanilla notes. Subtle smoke, peaches and apricots followed by citrus fruitiness. After a few minutes, more smoke and lactic vanilla in the background. Continue reading
The second Isle Of Jura whisky from the new line up is Jura 10 Year Old which is not to be confused with the older and familiar Jura 10 Year Old Origin. The new 10 Year Old was already rolled out in the US late 2017 but now it’s part of the new line up globally.
The new Jura 10 Year Old was matured in ex-bourbon casks for 10 years before being finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks, so I think we should refer to it as ‘Jura 10 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish’ until the older 10 Year Old Origin is phased out from current stocks in shops.
Jura 10 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish (40%, RRP:£38/€35,75/$39.99)
Nose: Sweet fruit, peaches and nectarines, wafts of gentle smoke, creamy nuttiness. After a few minutes, vanilla, dried strawberries, lactic and toffee. Continue reading
Earlier this year, Jura Distillery, owned by Whyte & Mackay, totally revamped the core line up after replacing their Travel Retail offers last October (bye bye Turas Mara 😦 ).
So no more Origin (10 Year Old), Superstition, Diurach’s 16 Year Old and Prophecy. Instead we have a new line up consisting 5 new offers:
- Jura Journey – A no-age-statement offering, matured exclusively in American oak barrels
- Jura 10 Year Old – Already launched in US during 2017 and now globally
- Jura 12 Year Old – Finished in Oloroso Sherry casks after 12 years in American white casks
- Jura Seven Wood – A no-age-statement matured in seven types of French oak and first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels
- Jura 18 Year Old – finished in red wine casks after 18 years in American oak casks.
It’s not only that the expressions changed, the whisky itself is now using a combination of peated an unpeated spirit across the entire lineup. No more exclusively unpeated or peated Jura in the core line up. It’s quite a bold move, ain’t it so?
Obviously I was curious to see how did all those changes impacted the whiskies and taste them so let’s start with the entry level offering – Jura Journey. Like stated above, it’s a NAS offering (so probably lots of young spirit), and bottled at 40% and probably chill-filtered.
Jura ‘Journey’ (40%, £33/€32.70)
Nose: At first the soft peat smoke is strong but then it recedes to the background and the familiar Jura note of lactic vanilla rises up. There’s damp wood staves, smoked pears, nectarines and buttery apple toffee. After a few minutes more lactic and vanilla and slightly damp wood. Continue reading
Today is the Feis Ile split day where two distilleries share the same date for their open day festivities: Jura and Kilchoman. By the way, from next year there will be two split days when Gartbreck distillery will open its door for visitors and I wonder which of the existing distilleries will get shared. Anyway, a split day and two celebrating distilleries so it’s a day for two reviews of last years Festival bottlings.
For last years festival, Jura distillery released Tastival 2014 (and this year it’s Tastival 2015. I feel a trend here…). Tastival 2014 is the result of 7 (Yes, you read it correctly, Seven) finishes. It started in American oak bourbon casks, following by finishes in Jupilles, Les Bertanges, Limousin, Tronçais, Allier and Vosges casks before finally being married in sherry butts. Phew!
You know the saying too many cooks spoil the broth, so I wonder if should we rephrase it as “too many finishes spoil the whisky” or maybe not?
Jura Tastival Feis Ile 2014 (44.0%, 3000 bottles, £90)
Nose: Very sweet, a cocktail of wine and sherry notes, candies bucket, lollipops, wine gum bears, sour snake candies, licorice, x-mas cake spices. Continue reading
Sorry for the coming long opinion, if you just want to see the review on the whisky, scroll down to the end of the post.
After few weeks of calmness, the single malt NAS debate is raging again in the last week following the Interview with Dr. Bill Lumsden (of Glenmorangie/Ardbeg). Few more opinions and blog posts were published, summarizing how we (whisky geeks/aficionados) feel (somewhat angry and poorer after purchasing whisky), how the industry feels (caring for sales & $$$) but I want to cover another angle in this debate which I haven’t seen mentioned by anyone yet.