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First of all, I am reviewing the 75cl bottling at 43% abv, as opposed to the 70cl European bottling which is only available at 40% abv … and as a welcome surprise, the States finally gets a whisky break :-) Can anyone make any sense out of this … not that I am complaining ?
It was difficult to find much information about this 16-year bottling, online or anywhere else, other than, according to the bottle, it is of the Vintage Collection, and that it was distilled in paradise :) Jura 16 did however, win the Gold Best in Class at the 2010 IWSC Awards. And whether it has anything to do with the whisky or not, the Isle of Jura appears to be a facinating island; among the many other morsels of interest about the island, it was home to George Orwell, where his book 1984 is said to have been created.
Jura 16 is in the non-peated, non-wine-matured single malt category, which are characteristically light, and to many connoisseurs, usually uninteresting. But this one is different, and stands at least a shelf above … read on please.
Bottle Nose: Very lovely and enticing deep, caramel, toffee, totsie roll candy, fudge and dried fruit … quite a sensuous solicitation.
Glass Nose: Grassy, a little citrus and generic chemicals, with a hint of peach or orange … nobody home. Now add a drop of water, and we get a bit of a miracle of sweet, creamy aroma, maybe like bananas-foster with brown sugar butter syrup.
Palate: During the first sip, you are flooded with a burst of lucious sweet, creamy, honey, mild spice, and some peppercorn. No water needed here. It is really good to savor this for a while, before going on to the finish.
Finish: Pleasantly warm and satisfying medium and moderately spicy finish … ummmm.
Conclusion: This is a sweet, smooth, creamy, buttery malt, with a good bit of depth, character and complexity. This medium-bodied whisky is assertive and confident, and not a light or wimpy entry-level malt. I feel that when I approach Jura 16, I’m going to be wined, dined and pampered.
I had difficulty finding anything in my cabinet with which to compare. I adore my Glenmorangie Original 10, but Jura 16 is sweeter and creamier … same goes for Glenfiddich 15. Balvenie 15 Single Barrel is a very close contender in other ways, but not as buttery and luscious. And of course, Jura 16 is a shelf above all of my other 12-year malts. I have not tasted anything in this category that surpasses Jura 16 … but OTOH, I have not tasted all that many 16-year Speyside-type whiskies. Any recommendations ?
The final problem is that Jura 16 has become on of my favorite malts and is already half gone. Also from Jura, their Superstitution expression, has for some time, also been a favorite … in the luscious intriguing mild-peat-balanced category. It seems that, so far, the Isle of Jura seems to distill my kind of malts !
Score 88/100 in its non-peated, non-wine-finished category.