Murray McDavid – Isle Of Jura 1991
Review: Murray McDavid – Isle Of Jura 1991
16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 92/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted April 28, 2010
The 1991, Isle of Jura, 16 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky was distilled at the Isle of Jura distillery in 1991 and set down to age in bourbon casks. At some point in the history of this malt, several casks (perhaps seven or eight) were purchased by the private bottler Murray McDavid, (this may have been part of a larger cask purchase). These casks were chosen for their special character, and in 2007 they were blended and bottled in a Limited Release Bottling numbering only 1500 bottles. Three of these bottles have found a way into my possession, and I am pleased to review the contents of one of them and share the results of this hard labour with you.
In The Bottle 5/5
The Murray McDavid presentation of whisky is very nice. Sleek metal canisters house their whisky with an impressive selection of information available for the purchaser. Each canister clearly identifies the distiller of the whisky, the type of cask used to age the spirit, the length of time the spirit was aged, the finishing cask if different from the aging cask, the year of distillation, the year of bottling, and the number of bottles produced in the release.
As you can see the bottles are protected from the light by the attractive stainless steel canister. The labeling on the canister is repeated on the bottle. The bottles are clear so you can observe the spirit inside. And the bottle is topped off with a proper high density cork topper. A perfect presentation.
In The Glass 9/10
Honey and caramel drift out of the glass with a gentle sweetness that is inviting. As the glass sits, deeper scents of ripe fruit and spicy oak follow with a very small whisper of salty smoke trailing in the breeze. A touch of water opens the ripe fruit to reveal apricots and peaches is a spicy sweet syrup.
A swirl of my glass reveals only a light shimmer on the sides of the glass. There will be with only a little oil to soften the whisky.
In The Mouth 55/60
The whisky is bottled at 46 % alcohol by volume and it imparts a little more zing than my palate is used to. In spite of this, honey and toffee taste as though they are infused with shards of brine and a touch of delicate soft chewy peat. Apricots and peaches have more expression on the palate than on the nose, and have been joined by a gentle sweep of vanilla bourbon which sits under the other flavours but adds support to the fruit and honey sweetness. A thin trail of spicy citrus flavours seems to weave and wind through hotter oak spices which completes the taste profile.
In the Throat 14/15
The whisky has a crisp honey and caramel finish with just a tickle of peat and salt at the very back of the exit. My throat is filled with a malty sweetness which has an ever so light hint of iodine. I find the finish spicy and hot, but I also find it absolutely delightful
The Afterburn 9/10
This is such a nice expression of Isle of Jura whisky; soft and sweet, with just a touch of Islay brine. It has quickly become one of my favourite whiskies. It is a pity that the release was only 1500 bottles as I am sure to run out very soon.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
For my suggested cocktail I am going to make a version of the Commodore. Normally the Commodore has only Lemon Juice or only Lime Juice, but I like to use both in combination. The ratio of whisky to lemon and/or lime should be 4 to 1 which makes this a boozey but delightful bar drink. When I make my Commodore with the Murray McDavid Isle of Jura 16 Year old Scotch Whisky, the result is an hedonistic delight which I have decided to call:
The Isle of Pleasure
2 Oz Murray McDavid Isle of Jura 1991
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 ox 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.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
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:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
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)