Did you know that as of 2020, Jura was the fastest growing single malt brand in the U.S.? Neither did I, and I’ll savor that morsel of trivia while sipping on the brand’s newest expression, a 12 year old offering that fits in the lower-middle spot alongside Jura’s 10 year old, Seven Wood, and 18 year old core lineup of single malts.
There are no big surprises in the making of the spirit: It’s aged in bourbon barrels and finished in oloroso sherry casks, a classic barrel regimen, hitting the bottle after a dozen years in total.
It’s solid stuff.
On the nose, the sherry influence is present but understated, its citrus notes undercut by nougat, almond, some Christmas cake notes, and a lingering baking spice element. Rather toasty with barrel char elements, its nutty characteristics dissipate a bit with time in glass as some more austere elements come into focus. The palate has much of the same composition: nutty and mildly sweet up top, with notes of honey and spiced/glazed nuts kicking things off, then spikes of orange peel and a spray of greenery coming into focus in short order. Just a hint of peaty smoke; nothing outsized in the slightest. In the end, sweet cereal — not insignificant — is heavy on the banana bread-laden finish, but it’s quite appealing and mouth-smackingly rounded. It’s far too easy to pour another glass, or two; the entire experience is actually quite refreshing.
I called the Jura 10 year old expression “dangerously drinkable,” and this 12 year old is much the same. It doesn’t stray too far from the 10 year old’s formula, however; though for just 10 dollars more per bottle, the upgrade will hardly break the bank. Grab it.