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Isle of Jura 21 Year Old

Average score from 4 reviews and 10 ratings 83

Isle of Jura 21 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Isle of Jura
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 21 year old

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Isle of Jura 21 Year Old

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.


Mr Richard Paterson, who I've met at a tasting, seems hell bent on hiding behind intensely sweet flavors. Some time he does a decent job. Most times he doesn't. This time I think he just might have succeeded.

The peaty sweet nose has all the trademarks of a Paterson expression. Earthy molasses and jaggery with a hint of something floral followed by a not-so-nice sprinkling of dusty talcum powder. A bit confusing for my liking.

Strong spicy nutmeg on the palate gives way to a thick dollop of jaggery mixed with dry nuts and wild berries.

The finish is long, oily and spicy with a hint of dark chocolate. All yummy flavors on paper but never in harmony when you taste them.


The current version of the 21 Year Old is bottled at 46% ABV, but I got a sample from an older bottling, still at 40%. There is even a bottling at 43% out there. Looks like Jura has been playing around with the strength during these past few years. Or would that be the demand of the consumers? Anyway, no matter what the strength, this has a wonderful colour.

It has a lovely nose of roasted coffee beans, nuts, malt, apple crumble and pear cake. Almond paste. Creamy butter. A lot, in fact. Something of sandwich dough. The smoke is very discreet. This is frankly speaking a great nose. After a few minutes, I have some veritable Italian cappuccino in my glass.

The taste is more of the same, but the smokiness is more outspoken. Pure woodsmoke. It is also a bit zestly, from grapefruit. Midpalate it turns somewhat bitter, but not over the top.

The finish is warm and lingering.

This is a grand Jura. I can imagine this being the favourite of many Jura aficionados, since it is also very fairly priced.


Nose: Dried and somewhat waxy fruits at the fore with orange peel, raisins and figs backed by brown sugar and caramelised almond. Notes of polished wood and sugary pastry give a real sense of maturity.

Feel: Smooth and mouth coating at first but does seem to thin out a little quickly.

Taste: Sherried notes of dates and more candied orange followed by some clove and cinnamon spice. The fruitiness continues before becoming slightly lighter on golden sugar and jammy sweetness.

Finish: The oak begins to draw in around the edges of the fruit but doesn’t overstep the mark with the whole becoming chewier and satisfyingly mellow.

Jura often seems to take some time to settle and this one has been given all the time it needs. It might not be the most complex Jura I have tasted but it is a charming and deeply enjoyable dram....just wish it was bottled at 46%.

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