Isle of Jura (10 year) (43% Presentation)

After liking Jura 16 and the NAS Jura Superstition, I thought I should explore the rest of the range. The much more reasonably-priced 10 year bottling (also labelled “Jura Origin”) is aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks and is not peated. As an entry-level, unpeated, and non-sherried malt, it showcases the “blank slate” that Jura’s house character is grown from. While there is a small amount of peat in the water used by Jura, I can’t discern it in the glass.

Note that Jura appears to bottle the 10 year-old Origin at both 43% and 40% ABV. It’s hard to tell from the information online, but the 40% might be for the domestic 700ml European market, while the 43% might be for the US 750ml market. This review is from a Jura tasting pack (50ml glass miniatures) with the 43% ABV presentation.

Nose: Clean and crisp, with notes of green apple and fresh pears. Some sweet florals – honeysuckle – and a strong presence of green banana. Slightly grassy, like aloe vera. No peat in evidence.

Palate: Moderately creamy body, with an initial wave of vanilla, followed by freshly-mown grass, unripe fruit, aloe juice, and dry wood notes.

Finish: Short. Raw sugar cane, plus some slightly bitter wood tannins, which fade quickly into faint dry woodiness.

With Water: A few drops of water intensifies the green banana notes without contributing anything else. The palate, however, is markedly sweeter with notes of egg custard, vanilla pudding, and a thicker body. Water is probably a good idea with this.

Overall: A fairly standard ex-bourbon malt without much age on it. The vanilla and green fruits, grass, and disappointing finish are hallmarks of a not-quite-ready-yet malt from (possibly) refill bourbon casks. At around $40 a bottle, I would probably choose Glenlivet 12 or Glenfiddich 12 or Speyburn 10 over this. Because there are better options around the same price, I’m going to mark this as Not Recommended. Still, it’s a reasonable price for an entry-level malt without any off flavors.

ScotchNoob™ Mark:

About The Distillery

Owned, along with Dalmore distillery, by independent bottlers Whyte & Mackay, The Isle of Jura Distillery was built in 1962 and is the only distillery on the Isle of Jura, situated across a narrow strait from Islay. Process water comes from Loch a’Bhaile-Mhargaidh (the Market Loch). While the water flows through a great deal of peat, the whisky itself is not smoked and does not carry much peat character, in sharp contrast to most of its contemporaries across the strait. Jura malt, aged in bourbon and with some finished in sherry casks, is said to come into its own around the age of 16, the age of the distillery’s flagship official bottling. The distillery has only recently begun producing small amounts of peated malt for the single-cask market.
Isle of Jura (10 year) (43% Presentation)
43% ABV
ScotchNoob™ Mark:
Price Range: $40 - $45
Acquired: (50ml sample bottle) from Jura Tasting Pack

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  • Every now and then I like a “plain” whisky. By that I mean no sherry and no peat. I think this is pretty good although I prefer Aberfeldy 12 and Glenmorangie 10 in this “plain” style. I think this is worlds better than Glenlivet 12, which to me has no taste whatsoever. Glenfiddich 12 was the first single malt I ever had, about 10 years ago. I haven’t had it since and I remember nothing about it. Even though this is an island whisky, in my opinion it reminds me of a lowland whisky. I think that it tastes very similar to Auchentoshan 12. I think that you and I have similar tastes when it comes to peated and sherried malts, even if we don’t agree on this one. One of the things that makes whisky such an interesting (and delicious) hobby is that two people can see something completely different in something and both have a valid opinion. There really is no right or wrong when it comes to whisky. Everyone should just enjoy what they like.

  • Not peated? Are kidding? I just picked up a bottle, because I read it didn’t have peat flavor; I’m not a fan of peat. This 10 year is so peaty I feel like I should chew instead of drink. Every bit as much peat flavor as Ardberg 10-year.