Starting off 2011 on a scotch roll, it seems. I received a package just before Christmas containing review samples of Jura and Dalmore scotches. I’ll be reviewing the Jura samples this week, and the Dalmore next.
Jura scotch comes of course from the island of Jura located to the northeast of the island of Islay. Jura’s most famous resident was probably George Orwell, who lived there near the end of his life while writing 1984. The scotch named Jura is the only whisky distilled on the island.
Tasting notes: Very mildly smoky, very mildly honeyed. Salty. Bit of resin, like pine. Hints of dark chocolate. Salty finish.
Final word: I’m a little biased here. When I want a scotch that’s well-balanced — neither smoky nor floral but a bit of both — Jura 10 is usually one of my choices. It’s one of my favorite sipping malts, and one I like to recommend to people new to scotch.
Color: Golden bronze
Nose: Pine, earth.
Tasting notes: A little peatier than the 10, but still not heavy peat. Less resin than the 10. Honey gives way to dark chocolate and vanilla. Same salty finish.
Final word: Definite step up from the 10, still very tasty and balanced, but smoother. I like the subtle upping of the peat flavor.
45% abv. Blend of two or more Jura whiskies–one peaty, one not.
Nose: Light peaty smoke, some sherry nuttiness.
Tasting notes: Again, light peaty smoke, heather, hazelnut, nutty cookie, like a Pecan Sandie. Long, mildly salty finish with a bit more smoke.
Final word: Lovely dram, and definitely something I’d seek out for my home bar. Since the smoke is there but mild, this might be a good whisky to introduce to someone who’s never had a peaty example. At roughly US$50, not a bad bargain for the price.
Color: Honey, light bronze.
Nose: Big peat. Subtle fruitiness, but I can’t pin it down exactly. Nutty spices.
Tasting notes: Most complex and nuanced of the lot. Peaty smoke dominates. Something medicinal in there, but pleasantly so. Iodine? Hints of cinnamon and clove, subtle fruit (again, can’t quite pin it down). Medium finish.
Final word: Oh my darling, where the hell have you been all my life? Let’s listen to Tom Waits and get dirty together.