Jura 10yo Origin Tasting Notes


Apparently there is a Swiss company named Jura and they make coffee machines.

Today, we’re not talking about that Jura, we’re talking about Jura Whisky on the isle of Jura. Specifically, the 10 Year Old Origin. (we’ve looked at Jura Superstitution and Jura Prophecy before if you’re looking for tasting notes for those)

The 10YO Jura is called Origin because it is the whisky that “signifies the rebuilding… and rebirth of the Jura distillery.” It wasn’t the first Jura I experienced but it’s certainly one that gives you a good sense of what Jura is all about. Bottled at 40% abv, Jura Origin is aged for 10 years in former Bourbon oak casks and has one several awards in recent memory. (the 10 did not capture any awards the SF World Spirits Competition but two others did)

  • Color: Amber
  • Nose: Malts, cereals, nice oakiness, it has a little caramel sweetness to it with vanilla
  • Palate: Nice body, fruity, vanilla and honeysuckle, some fudge
  • Finish: Medium and it dries out a bit with some spice (though not spicy)

In reading some other tasting notes, like at Master of Malt, they note peat but I couldn’t find any. It could be that my palate isn’t refined enough to notice or it’s so subtle that I can’t get it, either way don’t get into it expecting an Islay – it’s not (even though they’re close neighbors).

For the price, around $43 locally, it’s a relatively good value for an entry level Scotch that has personality, albeit not a very strong one.

Jura Superstition Tasting Notes

When I first started drinking scotch a few years back, I didn’t know much outside of the most popular distilleries. Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Laphroaig (even though I couldn’t pronounce it worth a damn), Ardbeg, and, of course, Macallan were all names I’d become familiar with. When I went through Heathrow’s duty free, I stumbled onto many unfamiliar names.

One of them was Jura, which I later learned was the Isle of Jura. The bottle I picked up was one of their standard year expressions (I have to admit, the Ankh did catch my eye) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Recently, I had the opportunity to sample the Jura Superstition and came away smiling.

As you may have recognized with my earlier listing of familiar names, much of my young Scotch sampling days were spent either on opposite sides of the peatiness and smoke spectrum. Jura Superstition is a blend of their Jura whiskies that seeks to straddle the two sides. It’s billed as “Lightly peated with hints of smoke and spice” and I’d say that was accurate.

The color is a nice caramel that prepares your nose for the honey notes to follow. There’s that sharp but soft sweetness of pine sap (I had one that oozed outside my childhood home and I immediately thought of it) that is also present on the palate. It’s a clean and refreshing flavor, no spiciness, with a short finish that barely lingers. There’s a smokiness that’s barely evident, like it just spent some time with the wrong crowd, that gives it depth but doesn’t make you think you may have accidentally poured yourself an Islay.

Overall, a clever dram that fills the void if you’re looking for just a hint of smoke to remind you that you’re drinking a spirit that spent some time inside a charred barrel.

Jura Prophecy Tasting Notes

I went from having never heard of Jura a few years ago to having tried several and enjoying them all. My first ever was a Jura 18 that I purchased in Heathrow Duty Free, my second was the Jura 18 followed by the Jura Superstition. I’m now able to add Jura Prophecy to the lineup.

Jura is very much a spiritual and superstitious distillery with much of their work referring to their storied past. Whether or not you buy into the little bit of fun marketing is irrelevant, they make a decent Scotch.

The Prophecy is a blend of their own whiskies and has a distinct medicinal, smokiness that pushes that side of the spectrum. It’s not as strong as a Islay but certainly makes you lean in that direction (it could not be confused for a Speyside, that’s for sure). The nose hints at what your palate will soon experience. The color is light copper, with more orange than yellow, and the finish is long and strong. It leaves your mouth feeling like you just walked into a smoky bar, a bit of that peat smoke but not so much it leaves you dry.

Jura Superstition Tasting Notes

I was first introduced to the Isle of Jura after a trip back from the UK several years ago. I saw a bottle of the Jura 10yo in the Heathrow Duty Free store and bought it on a whim. All that I knew was that it came from the Isle of Jura and, as a whole, as supposed to be heavily peated like Islays. I knew to expect smokiness, as is the island style, and I wanted it to be a halfway point between a bottle of Bowmore and a Speyside I had purchased (I don’t remember if it was a Glenlivet, Macallan, or Glenfiddich… it has been several years). I was not disappointed in the least.

It wasn’t until later that I learned the more storied history of Jura and their 201 year history (2010 was their 200th anniversary). If you’re wondering why they have such clever names like Jura Superstition and Jura Prophecy, it’s because it ties back to the early 1700’s. You can read about it in their library.

So how is the Jura Superstition? (a disclaimer, I’m now starting to battle seasonal allergies so my nose and palate may be a bit off) It’s got a light smokiness that is reminiscent of their 10yo and it has some underlying floral and fruit notes that I can’t place. It’s got a bit of spice on the palate, not as aggressive as the ginger spiciness in Glenlivet 12yo, and strong rich nuttiness that lingers in the finish and something that I really enjoy.

Oh, and if you do get yourself a bottle, remember to pour it with the Ankh cross in the center of your palm or you’ll regret it. 🙂

Scotch Night: Jura, Laphroaig, Glenmorangie, Chivas Regal, Macallan, Highland Park

I mentioned last week that having a Scotch Night was a great way to sample a wide variety of scotches without spending a wide variety of dollars. I must admit, the idea to write the article come from the fact that my friends and I would be having one of these Scotch Nights the very next day! (1/16/09)

So, the roster was:

  • Jura 18
  • Laphroiag 10 & a quarter casks version
  • Glenmorangie 10
  • Chivas Regal 18 (our only blend)
  • Macallan 15
  • Highland Park 12

Jura-18yo-bottle-and-cartonThe Jura 18 was a bottle I picked up coming back from England last Thanksgiving and I was eager to try it because it wasn’t available here in the United States. The Isle of Jura 18 Year Old is a 40% abv scotch and the only scotch from that island. My memory of the Jura is that it’s sweet and very soft, no doubt a product of its age, and it definitely captures the mood Jura tries to invoke, which is a celebration of the island life.

The Isle of Jura itself is 16 miles off the coast of Scotland, near Islay, and measures only 30 miles long by 7 miles wide, a population of only 185. The main settlement on Jura is a village known as Craighouse where they distill Isle of Jura. What’s most interesting is that there is no ferry connection to mainland Scotland, travel must be done through Islay, though that connection, or its heavy peat, doesn’t come through in the whiskey!

chivas_regal_18The Chivas Regal 18 was the only blend of the bunch and headquartered in Speyside. My novice palate had trouble with the Chivas Regal 18 because the spiciness tripped up the fruity flavors, having both really threw me for a loop. I could definitely taste both but I couldn’t get past the spiciness to really enjoy the fruit (I love spicy food) and spiciness isn’t something I typically taste in scotch, further confusing me a little.

A little bit of history, Chivas Regal is produced in the oldest working distillery in the Highlands of Scotland, the Strathisla Distillery.

Those were some notes I had from our Scotch Night. With each night, I’m slowly developing a better palate and a better sense of the scotches that I enjoy. In prior scotch nights, I discovered I enjoyed peatiness and smokiness in moderation (Laphroaig and Lagavulin!) but liked the fruitier and more vanilla-y scotches for longer stretches.

Oh, one other thing we did during scotch night, besides eat and drink, was watch The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly… which was a lot longer than we thought it was. 🙂