There are highs and lows during an ongoing appreciation of whisky and then there is Jura. This is my nemesis. Over the years I’ve managed to locate and experience some fine whiskies from Glenkinchie, Bowmore, Auchentoshan and yes, even Tullibardine. So I remain optimistic and retain an open mind that one day there will be a drinkable Jura to appreciate; a colleague did suggest that whisky from Jura only comes alive after 30 years. There is an urban myth that Berry Brothers & Rudd did release a good one if you can find a bottle…
Although some of my Jura jokes are in jest, it is a train of thought shared by many I know. The official range is surprisingly popular at retail and is often lauded by Richard Paterson, yet my own experiences with the official output are very disappointing to say the least. Generally this isn’t a surprise as the distillery range is tightly controlled for consistency and any of the delightful variations are left to the independents with their single cask editions. This rule applies to all distilleries and the majority of my purchases nowadays are from independent bottlers such as Cadenheads who release at cask strength, no colouring and no chill-filtration. Simple rule is if you’re bored by official releases from a distillery then go down the independent route for new experiences and appreciation.
Bottled at 23 years of age by Royal Mile Whiskies this was a surprise gift from Linh and Alex for spending a day taking them around a couple of distilleries. I made a few Jura comments on our travels so this welcome bottle was a chance to revaluate the enigma that is Jura whisky. Even the Jolly Toper who is the manager of the Royal Mail Whisky branch commented it was a thumbs up and to hide a dram of it amongst a usual tasting session. That way he suggested any Jura preconceptions would be minimised. Given its age I have to say this is a fair price from Royal Mile Whiskies for this single cask release, before you delve into the contents.
Oh how I have tried let me tell you.
This bottle has been tasted on its own, amongst an assortment of whiskies and I even took it along to a recent meeting of Harris Cask owners and watched the reactions of those who took a dram from the bottle; then gauged their opinion of it.
In the end this whisky has been given more chances than most to shine.
Jura 23 year old Royal Mile Whiskies Review
The easy route would have been to write a benign review thereby not offending those who provided me with this bottle, but that isn’t being true to myself or to anyone that reads this review. Seeing magazines, official literature, blogs and comments its hard to believe sometimes that there is such a thing as a bad or bland whisky; everything is scored very highly and gushing praise is dished out like sweeties. That’s not my style and I cannot recommend this whisky, however my quest for the Jura will continue.