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Isle of Jura 21 Year Old

Dry Coffee, in a Nutshell

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@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

21st Feb 2014


Isle of Jura 21 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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First vapor: Malt and milk coffee.

Nose: Pleasantly light with wood notes, like fresh, fine-ground coffee. Malty but with an intriguing "edge": like molasses or dried figs. Breathing time brings a touch of orange peel.

Palate: Oak-woody hazelnut entrance. The woodiness crescendos into a syrupy impression of sour caramel. The mouthfeel then thins as some brown sugar harmonizes the prominent drier wood notes-- like the shells of nuts (walnut shell, almond shell). These combined impressions then just fade evenly.

Finish: Drier oak re-emerges into the finish, tannic like 100% cocoa or nutmeg. Lingering, if understated.

The sensations of this Jura are unlike those of the other 4 from their standard range. The Diurach's Own 16 is closest, but this 21 is drier-- with less honey and more wood. The flavors are perhaps like a very dry version of the Glenmorangie Signet, which also has few fruit notes and more coffee-like character. I would recommend this Jura to lovers of dry and woody malts, because I think it hits the right notes for that theme. I don't mean it presents the lumberyard/sawdust I found in the Glengoyne 17yo, but more bark/nut/generally wood-derived notes. Coffee and nutshells.

The other most similar malts I could point to include the Balvenie 17 DoubleWood, the Glenlivet Nadurra, and the Glenfiddich 19. These all portray a woody character and high quality; in contrast, all have more fruit & nutmeg-- and none is as dry.

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