Mmmm. Jura takes on Islay. Not in terms of heft, but profile. This is a malt that bears all the hallmarks of the peated beasts from Islay, but also doesn’t quite wedge itself into any one particular distillery’s mold. It has a hint of that tangy Ardbeg citric note…a fair lot of the farminess so redolent in many of the Bruichladdich peat monsters…an elegance typified by the slightly more advanced aging Lagavulin uses to great effect…and the iodine medicinal edge of a Laphroaig. Neato. We like.
Having said all of that…this most closely reminds me of some sherried Caol Ila indies I’ve tried. All of which would have likley been peated to Diageo’s usual Lag/CI specs of 30-35 ppm, I believe. According to the bottle, this sits squarely in that phenolic range.
This is a young whisky, for all intents and purposes (11 years, I believe?), but that’s a good thing. When you want to taste the true might of peat smoke, you want it young. Peat is exceedingly sexy as it ages, but loses its pungency. For those with a nose for the billows of hellfire and ash…this will be a malt you want to get your paws on sooner than later. It fires on all cylinders in these regards.
Though it says ‘Bourbon XU Cask Finish’ I would not be at all surprised to find out there are some sherried casks in here before it gets that ‘finish’ they refer to. There is a sweetness here that is not completely defined by the vanilla-heavy and spicy bourbon influence. It’s more of a deep rich dried fruit sweetness.
An extra point or two for uniqueness. One or two off for a slight topheavyness. Should be a wash, but ultimately leaves us with a fairly high scoring Jura release. I like this one. Quite a lot. Strong competing notes…but it works. Harmony through dissonance.
Nose: Peat and smoke. A little cola. Lemon and orange juices. Some dark figgy fruits and a lot of hefty spice, pepper especially. Kinda cheese-y (sharp cheddar and Parmesan Regiano). Mild burnt notes…maybe rubber. Tarry and iodine-rich. Very barnyard and farmy.
Palate: Of course the peat and smoke are first. Sharp cheeses again. Smoke. Weedy and floral. Nice finish. Long and very vibrant. Shines all the way through.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt