Like many places where whisky is made, the Isle of Jura is a beautiful spot in this world – its dark purple, slightly foreboding Paps, rocky shoreline and thin winding road (yes, that’s singular ‘road’ as there really is only one main one on the island) make it a spooky and intriguing place to visit.
I journeyed to its shores at the end of last May to get to know the distillery better (read my review on it here) and was mesmerised by the stories and legends that originate from the island, many of which are now used by the whisky distillery in its branding.
The latest release from the company is a very limited edition whisky from 1977.
As background, the whisky has been matured for most of its life in three first-fill bourbon casks, before being finished in a ruby port pipe for 12 months.
It is named after the Gaelic word for yew tree – Juar, which is slightly confusing as at first I thought someone had spelled the distillery name wrong! Legend has it the yew tree is linked with immortality and regeneration, and can be a link to the ‘otherworld’.
Only 498 bottles are being released so it’s not cheap at £600. If it helps, it comes in a rather snazzy solid oak box, which has been hand-crafted by cabinet maker John Galvin.
So, what’s the whisky like?
Here are my thoughts on a sample I was kindly sent:
(N): To start, this shouts of candied fruit mix, vanilla, melon and a licorice sweetness that hits the back of the nose. After, something peachy comes in (like a peach chewing gum), before a hint of pepper, leather and curry leaves.
(P): At first, the whisky has a burst of big tropical fruit (guava and dried mango) but a second later, it shifts a gear into a woody, sour note with a touch of lavender. On the next taste, a bit of bubblegum and pink peppercorns emerge, with an additional layer of wet paper and pine needles.
(F): The finish is long, with a teeny hint of smoke, a note of black licorice and a dash of chewed paper.