There’s no better way to introduce yourself to a new whisky than by tasting it.
It’s a simple creed, to be sure, but one to which most every “whisky” (scotch, here in the U.S.) aficionado subscribes. Thus when Jura—a small Scottish distillery under the arm of Whyte & Mackay—and its fine selection of single malt came knocking at Elite Traveler’s New York City offices, we couldn’t help but jump at the chance to grab a fortuitous Friday afternoon tasting.
The range begins with Jura’s 10 Year Old, fittingly titled “Origin” ($42), and its full-bodied profile that transitions seamlessly from the sweetness of oak and honey to the soft acidity of a roasted coffee finish. Moving to the 16 Year Old “Diruachs’ Own” ($53), it becomes clear that the Origin has learned a lot from it’s older brother, with the 16 Year Old in possession of a similar, almost bourbon-esque body—which should appeal to American whiskey drinkers—that finishes sweet with notes of toffee and honey.
Its Jura’s Superstition ($69) and Prophecy ($75) single malts, however, that truly propel imbibers into the windswept world of Scottish whisky, with the former striking the palate with notes of pine and peat. The Prophecy takes the tasting profile further from shore, per Jura’s island locale, with a peat smoke and sea spray nose that gives way to hints of liquorice and nutmeg, but not before moving through a tarry bonfire burn that helped this whisky earn a 97 of the Beverage Testing Institutes 100-point scale.
Of course, if perfectly drinkable, all-occasions whisky isn’t your thing, then at the very least the Isle of Jura’s allure—so tiny even Google Maps missed it on their last update—and mystery—strangely dotted with palm trees due to its position on the gulfstream—are sure to entice you to Jura Pub for a free, honorary dram and a charming stay in the rustic Jura Lodge.
By Coleman Bentley