The isle of Jura is a hidden gem. It is just to the north of Islay and is populated with more deer than people.
There is only one road and the distillery itself is based in the main village of Craighouse.
It is a rural haven for those looking to escape, with lots of countryside to appreciate.
The distillery was first built in 1810 but was dismantled in 1901. The distillery as it stands today was built by local landowners Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith, in order to bring jobs to the island.
Their drams do not reflect their nearby neighbours on Islay, but rather have a more Highland flavour profile.
Jura’s core range consists of four Whiskies; Origin, Superstition, Diurach’s Own and Prophecy.
Origin is a light dram, with a sweet and creamy body that reflects a typical Jura malt, with lots of oil and brine in it.
On the nose it has an earthy aroma, with lots of malt and fresh cut grass. The cereals of the malt really come through and intertwine with a caramel note that sweetens as it goes.
The palette plays up the caramel, with a soft hint of oak wood coming through.
The wood gives this dram a nice depth and complexity, mixing well with the cereal notes to really entice the taste buds.
The mouth feel is oily and fresh, with a slight ruggedness to it. The seaside influences really begin coming out in the middle of the dram, with a hint of sea breeze and brine.
A little bit of peat is present throughout, wafting across the warmer flavours and given a nice backdrop for the caramel to bounce off.
The finish is mellow and long, with a peppery warmth to it.
This warmth is evermore present in Jura’s next bottling, Superstition, which is decidedly more peated than Origin.
The nose begins with similar aromas to Origin, with lots of malt and cereal notes, but the smoke makes it very different.
The peat has a lovely tang to it and it jumps out in front of all the other flavours, but does not overwhelm.
On the palette the smoke becomes sweeter and has that touch of sea air to it. The more noticeable flavours in Superstition, especially on the palette, are malted cereals and honey.
These are rich and thick, with a creamy mouth feel and a delicate flavour. They add a lovely sweetness to the smoke and mix well with the earthy tang of the peat.
This continues into the finish, where the peat gives one last kick. The honey is also present, and has a slightly warming note to it.
The next in the Jura range is a step away from peat, with Diurach’s Own.
This bottling is light and floral, with a nose that opens onto fresh cut grass, apple blossom and orchard fruit.
There is a lovely bitter undertone of coffee and dark chocolate, which gives it a refined depth.
On the palette these flavours intertwine with a lovely oak wood flavour. This is rich and sweet, with lots of vanilla and honey. This becomes more nutty in character, with pecans, hazelnuts and brazil nuts coming out.
There is also a note of citrus fruits, with candied orange peel and lemon zest appearing, to give a nice tang.
The bitter dark chocolate and coffee flavours add to this and make for a creamy and dry mouth feel.
The finish is filled with sweet oak and dark chocolate. The sweetness of the oaky vanilla here adds a lovely flavour to end on.
Last in the Jura range, we have Prophecy. This is the malt that is perhaps closest to Jura’s neighbours in Islay. It is heavily peated, with big smoke flavours and lots of seaside influence.
The nose opens with peat and brine, with a lovely undertone of oil. The peat is thick and strong, with lots of smoke and earthy notes to it.
It makes its true entrance on the palette however, where it booms into view. It gives the dram a lovely dry mouth feel.
As well as smoke and peat there is a lot of sea air, filled with brine, oil and tar. These are thick and pungent, with a little bit of iodine and medicinal qualities to them.
There is also a lovely warmth to this dram, with some aniseed and cinnamon spice on the palette.
These are also present in the finis, where they are complemented by yet more peat and a nice, long linger.