Whisky enthusiasts are sometimes joking about Jura – the distillery doesn’t have a solid reputation, although there have definitely been some excellent versions in the past. From what I’ve heard, the recent Jura 1976 ‘Feith A’ Chaorainn’ is also worth a try (but probably not worth € 650).
This Isle of Jura 1988 was bottled from a bourbon cask, although the colour could easily trick you into thinking it was a sherry cask. The final bottling in the Romantique series.
Isle of Jura 23 yo 1988 (52,9%, The Whisky Agency ‘Romantique’ 2011, ex-bourbon hogshead, 201 btl.)
Nose: nicely aromatic. There are ripe fruity notes (oranges, berries) but overall it’s fairly dry, heathery and nutty and it shows a distinct coastal character. Very gentle peat, traces of iodine and light camphor. Hints of tobacco, leather and dried herbs. Cocoa. Great surprise.
Mouth: good weight, starting on a herbal sweetness. Lovely old peat and smoke in the background. Light pepper. Faint medicinal elements again. Balances nicely with rounded chocolate, dried oranges and soft spices.
Finish: long, drier and earthier, with oranges, cocoa and soft oak.
A great surprise indeed. I would have sworn there are traces of old-style sherried Islay whisky in here. A recent jewel coming from Jura, was anyone expecting this? Well priced as well: around € 110. Highly recommended.