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Isle of Jura introduced a Boutique Barrels series that consists of three single casks at cask strength with a special finish: the Bourbon JO from 1995, the Sherry JI from 1993 and this XU Heavy Peat from 1999. It is (doh!) heavily peated and matured on bourbon barrels from Kentucky from 1999 until 2006, before getting a finish of what they call ‘1st fill distillery run bourbon barrels’, whatever that means. And that final maturation took place in the facing-the-sea Warehouse No 2, close to the Small Islay Bay.
Well, they did not exaggerate when they said heavily peated. But this is clearly another kind of peat that what you would find in an Islay whisky. It reminds me somewhat of butane gas. Lemon grass, vanilla and freshly sawn planks soon take over. Kidibul! You know, the sparkling apple lemonade for the kids. Well, the least you can say is that this is special. Adding water makes it a tad meaty and accentuates the lemon grass.
Full mouthfeel. Very peppery and smoky. After the peat, the bourbon cask speaks volumes. Vanilla and liquorice, orange zest, lime and oak. Water makes it sweeter. Very interesting.
The finish is nutty (almonds) and smoky and lasts long.
This is probably the most interesting Jura I have tasted so far. About 45 EUR.