I would not mind living on the Isle of Jura. Does their distillery have the best reputation? Maybe not. But I could always pop over to neighbouring Islay for some Bunnahabhain, Bowmore or Bruichladdich. As far as beauty, tranquility and just plain relaxedness, Jura is pretty much unmatched. Maybe the new(-ish) Isle of Jura Winter Edition can transport some of the feeling into my home.
In reality, I’ve never actually stayed on the Isle of Jura for much longer than a few hours at a time. I’ve gotten a taste of what the island is like, but have never had a full meal. When it’s possible again I should probably rectify this. Chilling out for a week or so, while visiting a few distilleries on Islay as well. That sounds like a fantastic idea actually. Are there any decent Airbnb on Jura?
I find the best kind of holiday is pretty much the same as self-quarantining anyway, except in a remote spot somewhere in Scotland or Ireland. No WiFi, no cell reception. That’s the dream. But there’s no real safe way of traveling during a pandemic. Although you’d be forgiven for thinking there was, given all the people willing to risk getting on a plane for a few days on the slopes in Switzerland.
But I digress. You probably expected a whisky review, not ramblings about a post-COVID visit to a remote Scottish island. So, let’s take a look the the Isle of Jura Winter Edition. It is the first expression in the distillery’s new Cask Editions range. Each whisky will highlight the role of different cask finishes. The Winter Edition is initially matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and finished in sherry casks.
Isle of Jura Winter Edition (40%, OB, 2020)
Nose: Hints of oatmeal cookies with red apples, as well as toffee, raisin and tablet. Finally a tinge of filter coffee. It has a bit of a dirty edge to it, but not as much as I’ve encountered in other expressions. Taste: A rather sticky, sugary mouthfeel followed by a spicy arrival. Plenty of nutmeg, some cinnamon and a whiff of cumin as well. Finally some gingerbread as well, with a finale of red apple skin and toffee. Finish: Sultanas and milk chocolate. Short to medium.
A whisky that does what it says. The nose and palate are highlighted by sweet, spicy, and yes, wintery flavours. Complex enough to stay interesting for a while, but I’m not sure if it will remain that way for an entire bottle. That might be a little too much to ask.