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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

October 10, 2014


WF 10000 medal

New young, new old and old old Jura
A mixed bag today, really. That is to say a strange NAS, an older wined one (not wined up!) and, if we can, a worthy digestif.

Isle of Jura 'Tastival' (44%, OB, Feis Ile 2014, 3000 bottles)

Isle of Jura 'Tastival' (44%, OB, Feis Ile 2014, 3000 bottles) Two stars and a half Aged in bourbon wood and finished in new French oak from several forests. Sounds a bit unlikely but let’s see what gives… Colour: full amber. Nose: the spicy oak feels a lot, this is almost one of these new young American craft whiskies, full of ginger, sloe and rye, then pumpernickel and other heavy breads. It’s a bit as if the very engaging people at Whyte and Mackay had just invented reverse ageing. Does it work with humans too? Mouth: thick, creamy, rye-y, bready, spicy, orangey and gingery. This is almost oak liqueur, not obligatorily in a bad way. Also cinnamon mints, marmalade, cassis jellybeans and liquorice allsorts. Fun but we’re rather far from Scotch malt whisky in my book. Finish: long, sweet and spicy. Christmas biscuits and strong gingerbread. Comments: well I guess you could do this with 3 years old malt whisky, as it’s really not about the distillate anyway. I don’t hate this, not at all, but I hope it’s not the future of Scotch. Reminds me a bit of ginger liqueur. SGP:641 - 78 points.

Isle of Jura 1984/2014 (44%, OB)

Isle of Jura 1984/2014 (44%, OB) Four stars and a half Another brand new one, bottled to commemorate George Orwell’s 1984, which was finished on Jura (not fully written there, apparently, contrarily to popular belief.) This baby will be out in November this year. Colour: deep amber. Nose: buries the Tastival, unsurprisingly. It’s got much more depth, roundness, flowers, honeys, softer spices, mellowness… And, above all, wonderful ripe tropical fruits. Old roses, mangos, orange blossom honey, rosewater, pipe tobacco, pineapple flambéed, very old Rivesaltes, a touch of chlorophyll and Vicks… I find this nose very complex, very civilised, and actually not very Orwellian (not very 1984 in any case.) Mouth: in keeping with the nose, with a welcome vinosity (vinosity isn’t often welcome in whisky IMHO), that is to say some cassis, zwetchke, rose jelly, pomegranates, cranberries… Then more oranges marmalade and ginger, as well as cloves and caraway seeds. That’s the style of many an old official Jura, I guess some wine casks have been involved at some point. Good body, just the right oomph. Finish: of medium length, floral and delicately fruit. Medlars? Only the aftertaste is a tad too winey for me. Walnuts. Comments: very well composed once again, probably one of my favourite recent ‘vinous’ whiskies. SGP:651 - 88 points.

Do we have room for a digestif?...

Jura 20 yo 1966/1986 (86 US Proof, Duthie for Corti Brothers Sacramento)

Jura 20 yo 1966/1986 (86 US Proof, Duthie for Corti Brothers Sacramento) Five stars That’s right, another glorious ‘Corti’. How fabulous will this baby be? Colour: full gold. Nose: whawawow! I know, that was childish at best, but the nose of a 20+40 (20 years in wood plus 40 years in glass, more or less) is just unbeatable. This is exceptionally complex, and yet it’s kind of compact, or at least extremely coherent. I utterly adore, for example, these sappy tones, or the many flowers and herbs, or the phenolic notes that will remind you of an old garage, full of vintage Ferraris and Astons (S., gee,  showing off again!) Old rubber, engine oils, leather, Bakelite, greasy steel, warm plastic, cardboard, concrete... It’s only after fifteen minutes that a wee touch of cardboard starts to make it a notch more… Human? Mortal? Normal? Mouth: this kills me. I do not like mantras such as ‘whisky was better in the old days’, but let’s face the facts, there are very few current bottlings that manage to reach this level of complexity. Okay, the latest/last official Broras, some Karuizawas… Other than that, zilch! But to get back to the subject, this is adorably medicinal and fantastically ‘quince-y’. Only wee flaw, the strength, it tends to lose steam a bit – and a few points. Finish: a wee bit shortish, but the flavours are superbly sappy. Comments: let’s go aboard WF’s time machine and go ask Mrs. Corti to choose higher strengths! 100 US proof will do. SGP:562 - 93 points.

(With thanks to caro Diego and caro Massimo)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Jura I've tasted so far







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