So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Jura 8 yo 70 proof 26 2/3 fl. oz. vs Jura 26 yo Stillman’s Dram 1965 45%

The Isle of Jura distillery can be found on the South Eastern end of Jura overlooking Small Isles Bay and that nearly 10km of Atlantic that separates it from mainland Scotland, as such it faces away from its closest distillery neighbours Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila on Islay. Also unlike some of the distilleries on Islay, Jura is in truth a fairly young distillery, having been built in 1963 by locals Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith, and Charles Mackinlay & co. The last Jura distillery was dismantled in 1901, so any connection with the historical Jura was long broken – though the marketing and design team are a little forgetful of this fact.

 (www.scottishdelight.com) View of Craighouse, the village on Jura.

Charles Mackinlay & co were, though a series of acquisitions, themselves eventually acquired by Whyte & Mackay in 1994. United Spirits of India then acquired Whyte & Mackay in 2007, and shortly after sold it off to Emperador of the Philippines in 2014.

The stills of Jura are worth noting. When it was built, Charles Mackinlay’s parent company Newcastle Brewing wanted a light unpeated style from Jura. Hence Jura’s stills were made big, and tall – each approaching 8m in height, that’s not too far from record holder Glenmorangie – and also in a classic lantern shape. That narrowed throat in the neck encourages longer copper contact and reflux action which helps with they style of whisky they were after.


Whiskies come courtesy of a Mr Jura amongst us.

Jura 8 yo, 70 proof 26 2/3 fl. oz. ~circa mid 70s bottling

 Nose: Very attractive. Quite some lush fruitiness, with lots of old waxes and oils, like some sort of apothecary’s saloon. Also rusty metal box, forgotten herbal sachets, sweet cedar. Somewhat maritime too, though there’s already a fair bit of OBE. It’s 70 proof but downright impressively coherent.

 Palate: Sometimes these 70 proofers seem alright on the nose but the palate falls apart. Well this one is clearly not moribund, quite a spicy hot and dry kick, with white pepper, cloves, touches of camphor. Hot sand, dried out wood, and brine. Getting drier though this lush fruit-smoothie-fruitiness is always somewhere between the background and foreground. Sustained peppery heat.

 Finish: Medium, not too long, slightly medicinal, evident with menthol rub, more white pepper, wood tannins. All this out of 8 years and at 70 proof? Bravo!


Jura 26 yo Stillman’s Dram 1965 45%


These were issued by the previous owner of Jura, Jim Beam Brands, and the range included all the distilleries in their stable at the time.

 Nose: Definite similarities, especially the dry heat of the wood spice. Much bigger though is the the phenolic notes in these old whiskies, rather oily-waxy-earthy, old brown pages and bound leather, soot, old sewing machines. Though this one is  much less fruity in turn, but a tad more smokier/salty?

 Palate: Quite coastal with a lot of leather – thick moist leather, and a lot of dry hot wood spicy peppery heat. More of these phenolic notes, old metal tools and also old floral sachets this time. Old oils, and a dirty, gristly, sooty turn towards the finish.

 Finish: Long, dry, resin, hot dry spices again, leather, touch of salt. Not an easy one!

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2017 by in Isle of Jura and tagged , .
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