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article imageOp-Ed: Whisky review #1: Isle of Jura Special

By Tim Sandle     Feb 13, 2014 in Food
In this first of a series of whisky reviews, the classic oily, briny characteristics of the 10-year-old Isle of Jura are sampled.
Sales of whisky around the world, especially Scotch, are growing rapidly. This is partly driven by the range of different flavors that are available, which make whisky the world's most complex spirit.
Scotch whisky is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland. Scotch whisky must be made in a manner specified by law, this includes the stipulation that all Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years (this is actually laid down by the U.K. Parliament).
In the first of a series of whisky reviews, we'll begin with looking at a popular selling ten year-old from the Isle of Jura. Jura is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, adjacent and to the north-east of Islay. It is a fairly inhospitable place, Jura is mountainous, bare and infertile, covered largely by vast areas of blanket bog. Not many people choose to live on the island (the red deer population rests at around 5,000, the number of people who make their living on this island sits at less than 200). Fortunately, for those who like a dram of Jura whisky, a distillery is located on the island, close to the main settlement in the village of Craighouse on the east coast.
The ten year-old Jura whisky, which is the best selling brand, is sold under the name 'Origin'.
'Origin' is a lightly peated malt is made from a selection of aged Jura single malt whiskies. How good is this whisky? Well, with anything, it is all down to personal preference. Over this series of articles I'll do my best to balanced but, at the end of the day, it comes down to what each individual's pallet.
To compare a whisky there are some standard criteria. These are:
The Nose (smell is often as important as taste). To 'sniff' the whisky, give the whisky a swirl to release the aromas then carefully bring it to your nose.
The palate. This includes the initial taste as the whisky is swirled around the mouth (complex whiskies have a beginning, middle and end ). The taste when swallowed will also be different.
Adding water. Not all whiskies need water added. However, when water is added this often alters both the smell and the taste.
Moving onto Jura 'Origin'. In terms of appearance, the whisky is light and amber in color. The smell is slightly sweet, with a hint of peat and perhaps damp hay. With the taste, there is a strong taste of oak with hints of honey, caramel and soft licorice. The final sip is warm and slightly creamy, with a slight hint of spice.
Jura Single Malt Whisky 10 years old
Jura Single Malt Whisky 10 years old
Look Sharp!
My rating is 7/10, a good sipping whisky for the evening at home. Not too heavy or complex, but a classy cut above the mass produced fare.
If you are interested in trying a whisky from a Scottish Island and find a whisky like Talisker too harsh, then Jura is well-worth trying. In terms of cost, the whisky retails for around $50 (U.S.) or £30 (U.K.).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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