Review: Jura 10 Years Old

Is it peated? Unpeated? Sherried? This new 10 year old single malt from Jura (located on the eponymous island next door to Islay) is all three. Here’s some info on this brand new expression:

Jura Whisky today announced the launch of Jura 10, an exceptional Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the first release in Jura’s new core line for the U.S.  Hailing from one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, this whisky marries peated and unpeated malt with a Sherry cask finish to create a spirit that is a long way from ordinary.

Jura 10 is handcrafted on the Isle of Jura, a rugged, elemental island nestled a few miles off the West Coast of Scotland.  Home to around 200 Islanders, one road, one pub and one distillery, Jura was once described by author George Orwell as the ‘most un-get-at-able’ place due to its remote location. Established in 1810, Jura whisky has been crafted on its island home for over two centuries.

“The launch of the new Jura 10 celebrates our heritage of whisky-making,” said Graham Logan, Jura Distillery Manager.  “The craft of producing great whisky has been at the heart of Jura’s close-knit community for hundreds of years and we look forward to sharing the long-standing traditions and unmistakable flavors of Jura 10’s island home with the world.”

While many distilleries create either peated or unpeated whiskies, Jura 10 marries together the best of both for a truly unique Island Single Malt that is subtly smoky with a sweet Sherry cask finish. It is matured for ten years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels with an aged Oloroso Sherry cask finish.

The results are surprisingly excellent.

On the nose, the whisky is light and fragrant, with notes of fresh flowers, gentle cinnamon and nutmeg notes, an undercurrent of fresh grains, and the slightest hint of smoke. Largely standard stuff, aromatically speaking, but it all comes together cleanly and invitingly.

The palate sees the florals bursting — geraniums, orange blossoms, and honeysuckle — before settling into a comfortably sweet groove of caramel and butterscotch, with a backbone of roasted barley. While light and almost playful in its construction — this is far from a brooding, or even a very “serious” single malt — the whisky finally sees its peated element coming to the foreground as the finish develops, though here it’s not a hoary puff of peat smoke but rather gentle hint of the campfire, adding a lightly roasty-toasty element to everything that’s come before.

Dangerously drinkable and more complicated than you’d expect, for 40 bucks (or less in some places) this is a huge win from Jura.

80 proof.

A- / $40 / jurawhisky.com

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