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

June 6, 2021


The vicarious Feis Ile sessions
Today Jura

Celebrating Islay and Feis Ile from Whisky Fun Towers, with carefully selected whiskies from most distilleries, while we're all dreaming of 2022...

As I remembered it, Jura used to share their Open Day with Bunnahabhain. Or was it Caol Ila? But it seems that they've now got their own day, on the Sunday after Ardbeg. We've had some great fun touring Jura Distillery in the past, I remember for instance a long discussion with Richard Paterson, Willie Tait and manager Mickey Heads about 'where does the methanol really go' in distillation. Oh and about the concept of equilibrium.


But that was a long time ago, only the palm trees will accurately recall those funny times. But those palm trees never talk, which is better, we all agree. Now we'll only have one or two of them; oh and aren't we happy that no bottler's ever done a 'Secret Jura'? Yet?

Isle of Jura 21 yo (44%, OB, +/-2016)

Isle of Jura 21 yo (44%, OB, +/-2016) Five stars
There had been a bicentenary 21 back in 2010, which we had found pretty excellent back in the days (WF 88) but I've never tried this more regular version at 44%. I believe it's been discontinued, not too sure about that… Colour: amber. Nose: typical Jura, with some metal polish, mustard, autumn leaves, mutton suet and even cheese. I'm thinking gorgonzola, no? Then cakes and dried fruits, especially dried figs. Also notes of mead and, precisely, fig wine. Jura, when not buried under a lot of oak and/or wine, really is a malt unlike any other. Mouth: we've never been this close to walnut wine, and God knows we're mentioning walnut wine all the time in our humble tasting notes. I have to say I love this. We're also very close to some great amontillado, or perhaps palo cortado, whatever. Great drop, great sherry. Strength, mouthfeel and body are just totally perfect. Finish: rather long and rather sublimely mustardy. Of course, walnuts keep running the show in the aftertaste. Comments: maybe I'm amazed (S.!) but really, it is a great surprise. Cheers Richard Paterson, cheers Mickey Heads, and cheers Willie Tait (he who used to tell, 'I may be a Willie, but Richard Paterson is a Dick' - ah, the good old rustically unbridled days before the advent of brand escorts…)
SGP:462 - 90 points.

It is an indie that we should have as #2. I've always found these a little difficult to pin down, but I know that's me…

Jura 30 yo 1990/2020 (46.3%, Thompson Bros., refill hogshead, cask #5310, 186 bottles)

Jura 30 yo 1990/2020 (46.3%, Thompson Bros., refill hogshead, cask #5310, 186 bottles) Five stars
With the Paps of Jura on the label. Do you remember that there are three of them, but that you just cannot see more than two from any point of view? Colour: gold. Nose: a little un-Jura, perhaps, that is to say much fruitier, fresher, more aromatic than the officials. Maybe is that because the officials usually make abundant use of sherry and other wine casks? Perfect notes of overripe garden fruits, especially several kinds of pears, plums and apples, plus fruity hops and softer citrus. Tangerines are close. Seriously, this is a beautiful, extremely well-balanced nose. Mouth: good, this time, I understand. I like it that the mustardy, almost mezcaly core would remain obvious, while the fruits would then come out one after the other, some 'western' and some 'tropical'. Greengages, guavas, pears, papayas, grapefruits… And many others. Finish: long and perhaps more on vegetables. Brussels sprouts stewed in IPA? No wonder no one ever wants me to cook anything at home. Comments: it's a tie. They were completely different but the structures were similar. Proper distillery character, how very cool!
SGP:552 - 90 points.


Over to Angus in Edinburgh...




Jura 30 yo 1991/2021 (46.5%, Thompson Brothers, refill hogshead, 216 bottles)

Jura 30 yo 1991/2021 (46.5%, Thompson Brothers, refill hogshead, 216 bottles)
Congrats to the Thompson Brothers on reaching the not at all shabby milestone of 100 bottlings. Colour: straw. Nose: dusty cereals and soft waxes at first. A lovely and rather scented nose with pollens, chalk, oatcakes and these wee milk bottle sweets. Indeed, this kind of lactic / waxy profile seems to be a hallmark of many of these early 1990s vintage Juras which are currently appearing. In time some sandalwood and beach pebbles emerge. Mouth: lovely arrival all on stone fruits, putty, wood spices, waxes and this impression of sticky, glazed fruits. Things like pears baked in calvados and a hint of sultana. Yet globally it still remains pretty fresh, green and with this lovely older style balance between west coast highland and coastal styles. Finish: medium, lightly herbal in a green and rather fresh way, green banana, kumquat and a little menthol tobacco. Comments: Is it just me, or are these batches of early 1990s Jura all pretty superb?
SGP: 561 - 88 points.




More tasting notesCheck the index of all Jura we've tasted so far







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