Isle of Jura


Isle of Jura distillery as it stands today was founded in 1963 by a consortium or partnership including Charles Mackinlay & Co. Ltd.

An earlier distillery was founded in 1810, but this was demolished in 1901.

Invergordon purchased Charles Mackinlay in 1985, but were themselves taken over by Whyte & Mackay in 1993 and are now the current owners as part of Vijay Mallya's empire.


My thanks to Teun van Wel for permission to use the distillery photo


More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness



  Isle of Jura (OB)   General whisky characteristics: Smooth, nuts, leafy (Autumnal)  

Jura, distilled 1988, 60.3% ABV

Sherry cask, festival bottling

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Nose: Burning, then strong raisins and currants.

Palate: Nuts, marzipan and rich fruit cake.

With 3 drops of water: Opens up to release more defined and complex fruit, nut and leafy flavours and much better when reduced from 60%.

Overall Impression and author's note: We were told that this was an exclusive. Only Richard himself and the distillery managers had tried this so far. It certainly was good and had a very long finish. But better with just a few drops of water.



Something Special:

Isle of Jura, 33y

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Once again, picture the scene; I'm sitting in a hotel meeting room overlooking George Square in Glasgow and some chap called Richard Paterson is telling me (and the other 30 or so Masterclass attendees) how he'll kill me if I hold my glass in this way, or dare to put ice in it. Well, I suppose I can understand the ice comment, but holding a glass? OK Richard, anything you say.

More to the point, lined up in front of me are four magnificent drams, one of which is the Isle of Jura 33y and which turns out not to be good, but bloomin' marvellous! In fact it was so good, it gets a mention in my all-time favourite whiskies!

Why? A complex and extremely smooth and harmonious collection of nutty innuendoes, unbelievable creaminess, just a touch of sea air and all overlayed with that typical Jura leafiness which I liken to a leafy English country lane in Autumn.






Jura,  51.7% ABV

Exclusive bottling for LMDW 60th Anniversary

Vintage 1975, bottled 2016, one of 784 bottles

Matured in bourbon & Oloroso casks, finished in tawny port pipes

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark teak

Nose: Suggestions of furniture polish, marzipan, dark chocolate, coffee, mild cigar smoke, or just cigar itself?

Palate: An initial warming suggestion of smoky milk chocolate & milky coffee. It also hints of a rich red dessert wine or maybe an LBV port.

Finish: Medium

Overall Impression: Rich, luxurious and delightful.





Jura, Superstition, 45% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Rich gold / amber

Nose: Slightly medicinal wellies (Wellington boots) in the middle of a peat bog on a damp Autumn day.

Palate: Solid peat, almost without (wood) smoke, but offering slight hints of seaweed and a lump of Scottish jetty.

With 3 drops of water: Some of that missing smoke is suddenly released.

Finish: Very long

Overall Impression and author's note: My first Superstition and it certainly won't be my last. I like this, it has good, solid peat.



Jura, Prophecy, 46% ABV

First Annual Release

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold

Nose: A delivery of peat cast away in a heavy-duty rubber dinghy in an Atlantic storm.

Palate: Smooth, very smooth, then bold peat on the front of the tongue whilst a hint of fruit tantalises the sides of the palate.

Finish: Medium to long, slightly sweet and very peaty, in a typically gentle Jura way.

Overall Impression: A very good peaty dram, not a monster from across the sound, but a gentle Jura with lots of peaty character. Very nice!





Jura, Elixir, 12y, 40% ABV

Special bottling exclusive to Sainsbury's UK supermarket chain, 35cl only

Typical cost of this bottle €€€€€


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bronze

Nose: Initially typical Jura style of leafiness and slightly farmy with lots of grasses and hay. It then expands to include a lightly malty sweetness, then further with a sense of musty old oak bookshelves and even a suggestion of quality leather furniture.

Palate: Very smooth mouth-feel with a sense of "outdoors", although not as leafy as the nose. There's a rich maltiness here which develops into what I can only describe as a roast pork sandwich!

Finish: Very long

Overall Impression: This begins with typical Jura leafiness but then ventures into some very interesting and quite a-typical Jura directions. I like it, very much.




Jura, 1976, 46% ABV

"Feith A'Chaorainn" one of only 500 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle €€€€€


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich oak

Nose: Sweet, malty, very lightly perfumed with something resembling faint lavendar. Then a fruitiness reminiscent of guava comes to the fore. There's certainly lots happening with this nose.

Palate: Lots of outdoor influence on the palate, think fresh countryside air with wafts of grasses, hay and a local farm in the background. It's really quite rugged and includes oats and a suggestion of maltiness.

Finish: Very long

Overall Impression: A very 'outdoors' whisky, quite rugged and solid too, with a gentle sweet maltiness. Excellent! I really do like this one.





Jura, 10y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark oak, almost amber

Nose: Slightly pungent, farmyard, leafy

Palate: Leafy farmyard, slightly vegetal but also slightly floral

Finish: Medium to long, slightly dry and vegetal.

Overall Impression: I define Jura as my definitive Autumn whisky, this is similarly so but slightly more vegetal.



Jura, 16y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Glowing amber

Nose: Floral, slightly perfumed olde worlde sweet shop. Delightful aromas reminding me of a perfumed rose garden with extra depth.

Palate: Rich, smooth, slightly floral, not quite violets but a very floral and perfumed Spring meadow.

Finish: Long and floral

Overall Impression: This is extremely aromatic and more Spring-time than Autumn. If you like floral then this is for you! Very nice!




  Independent Bottlers      

Murray McDavid, Isle of Jura, distilled 1989, 14y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€


Nose: My first thought was crushed wet leaves on a country road in autumn, but the more I nose this one the more I detect stronger floral tendencies with touches of seasoned leather and new wood.

Palate: Initially surprisingly gentle with the faintest suggestion of liquorice. There’s also a fresh tingle on the front of the tongue.

Overall Impression: This really is a good IB Jura which makes an excellent ‘anytime’ dram.










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