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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday Tasting: A Visit to the Isle of Jura

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we head to the west coast of Scotland for a pair of exceptional malts.

The Isle of Jura Distillery website speaks of an island of 150 people, 5,000 red deer and one fine malt distillery. The history of distilling on the island is said to go back to the 1600s, when bootleggers ran a still in one of the caves. After about a Century of legal operation, distilling on Jura was halted in the early part of the last century. It was not until 1963 that whisky making returned and the drinks world is better for it.

Jura is famous as the location where George Orwell came to in 1946 to write the classic novel 1984. There is a writer in residency program on Jura that keeps the creative legacy alive. Visitors to the distillery today can stay at the Jura Lodge and enjoy lobster weekends. Then there is the Scotch.

Jura Superstition: This single malt takes its name from, among other things, the fact that the Jura distillers believe it is unlucky to cut peat during April. That means the rains have soaked the peat by the time it is harvested during May, lending a mellow tone to the whisky. Superstition is a mahogany colored Scotch that has sweet hints in the nose, finishing with peat, honey and a bit of spice. The oak casks linger in the aftertaste and invite another sip.

Jura 21 Year Old: Whiskies of this age are rare treats and this one certainly stands out. Amber in color, this whiskey has a touch of citrus in the nose, with bits of spice and baker's chocolate in an intriguing flavor profile. This whisky has the mellow influences that come with age, but also has fresh flavor notes. If you want to see how Scotch can stand out from Bourbon or Irish whiskey, while still being a mellow drink, call for a Jura 21.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Do they sell these in the states?

Rick Lyke said...

Yes. Isle of Jura is imported in the U.S. by Heaven Hill Distilleries. Any good liquor retailer should be able to get the product for you.