Jura 10 Year Old
Review: Jura 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (81.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 25, 2011
The Isle of Jura lies just seven miles wide and is 30 miles long. It apparently has only one road and one hotel, and its population is about 200 people strong. The Distillery (the island has only one), was built at an old smugglers’ cave near the hamlet of Craighouse in 1810. Unfortunately the distillery in those early days led a troubled life, and it soon fell into disrepair and was abandoned. It was not until 153 years later, in 1963, that the distillery was rebuilt by two local businessmen, Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith who then began to distill their Jura Single Malt Whisky.
I mentioned to the folks at Authentic Wine and Spirits, that I was going to be reviewing a few Single Malts this fall, and to my delight they added a couple of the Jura expressions to the review line-up.
In the Bottle 5/5
The marketing people in Scotland always seem to be just ahead of us guys in North America with respect to product presentation. The single malt whiskies they produce always seem to have just that bit of pizzazz that sets them apart from the other whisky bottles on my shelf. The Jura 10 Year Old is no exception, the bottle arrives in a classy box, it has a unique shape and is corked as good whisky should be. The labeling is professional and exudes class.
In the Glass 8.5/10
The colour of the whisky in the glass is a nice golden amber with orange flashes. When I tilted my glass and gave it a slow swirl, I noticed the whisky imparted long slow slender legs onto the sides of the glass.
The initial aroma from the glass is of oak spice, almond and marmalade, with a certain fruitiness in evidence as well. Some drier woody notes begin to rise in the breezes and the effect is not unlike the smell of the willow trees in my backyard in the springtime. As the glass breathes hints of peat begin to well up, and that almond scent turns to marzipan. Like most whiskies the scents and the aromas grow in the glass over time, and when the glass has decanted for ten minutes we can smell saw grass, ferns, and mossy spruce within the peat and oak.
In the Mouth 48/60
The entry into the mouth is a little sharp with orange peel and dry woody flavours leading out. I can taste that light peat which was noticed on the nose as well as the almond. The overall effect is dryish and lightly bitter. Some very light honey sweetness is sitting underneath, but it is never assertive enough to counterbalance the sharper drier flavours. The peat does develop in the glass and becomes more organic over time. It does not ever become boggy as peat sometimes can, rather it continues to bring dry grassy flavours forward of birch, willow and saw grass.
When I added an ice-cube I was able to enjoy the glass much more. The ice smoothed out the lightly bitter flavours and lessened the sharpness of the initial delivery.
In the Throat 12/15
The finish is dry and leaves the palate coated with sharp oak tannins that taste of orange peel and peppery spice. A few ghostly whispers of peat linger at the back of the throat. Again I much preferred the whisky with an added ice-cube.
The Afterburn 8/10
The Jura 10 Year Old Single Malt walks on the dry side of the palate with whispers of peat bringing a nice complexity to the dram. My sense however, is that the whisky yearns for a dab of sweetness that never materializes. Lightly bitter accents are never counterbalanced, and the result is a whisky which is begging to be more than what it is.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
The Isle of Pleasure
This cocktail is a bit of a modified Commodore. The ratio of whisky to lemon and/or lime should be 4 to 1 which makes this a boozey but delightful bar drink.
The Isle of Pleasure
2 oz Jura Single Malt Whisky
1/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 to 2 tsp sugar syrup
Build in a rocks glass with Ice
Garnish with a threads of orange peel
And please remember…the aim is not to drink more…it is to drink better!
As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)