Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't Judge Jura By It's Cover: Jura Origin 10yo

Recently with the gathering for the Distant Thunder Whisky Club event #6 I, The Baron, was host for the evening. As part of being the host brings the honour of choosing the whisky for the events tastings. The previous meeting held at The Converted's brought us an extremely robust and full bodied beauty, the Sullivans Cove Port Maturated Cask Strength, and what a body it had. In light of the previous tasting I deliberately thought to take a more modest approach and yet also bring a bit of surprise. My choice was the Jura Origin 10yo.

Don't confuse Jura with Islay even though they are next door to each other. Jura whisky shares virtually no traits (that I have tasted with this or the Superstition) to typical Islay peated whiskies.

Visit the Jura website and you will find a modest yet proud distillery. Recently I posted a small article, Jura Cast, about an online tasting at the Jura website and in my words, which I still stand firm on, "No hype, no big claims, and no bull, yet really well presented". I think that is also exactly how you should take this whisky.

Jura Origin 10yo:

Colour is dark and amber.

To nose I get a tickle and mild portish scent. Has it been finished in a port cask I cannot say though when I open a bottle of port to check it is certainly close. Also very light apples and pears, mildly medicinal and spicy but all quite clean.

To taste a lot of bite and tingle on the lips and throat. Again apples and pears but then some sweet woody oak. I would like to say more but I just cannot pin it down well enough. I also get an unfortunate bicarb soda/alkaline effect if I breath in at the same time. Clearly breathing in just draws the alcohol vapours through the pallet and not exactly the smartest thing to do but after years of drinking wine it is sometimes a habit hard to break.

The finish is warming but not overly tiresome unlike some other whiskies where you just get sick to death of the heat. The tingle remains for a long time and I do wish it could be mellowed a bit.

Like the Jura Superstition I actually can relate this much more towards the Highland Park family style than anything else even though they are leagues apart in environmental conditions. Match them up together and I am sure they are probably nothing alike.

If I was to give a dram I would give the Jura Origin 10yo a 5 1/2 out of 7. This is certainly a daily dram one could come to love. Maybe not completely to my tastes but I would not knock back a dram if I was offered. In fact it is the type of whisky I wish I would see on the shelf of the local bar instead of the typical Glenffidich.

Other notes:

The bottle is unique, rounded and soft and certainly gives it a place on the shelf amongst so many others. Look at the packaging though and your start to think of Caribbean Island life with the impressions of what looks like forms of Tropical Palms or South American Flax (rather confusing visually). Don't be put off by this though because if you get glimpses of the Jura distillery these plants are clearly growing there. Are they native whom knows maybe Willie Tait can explain it for us?

Enjoy the Jura for what it is. Just don't expect a Islay and you will be happy with the results.

The Baron