Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Whisky Discovery #31

Isle of Jura Superstition NAS (43%, OB, bottled 2011, 70cl)
Island Single Malt Whisky
Circa £25

A Christmas Gift
Another of my Christmas gifts, this one was from my eldest daughter.

The packaging, although only a simple box, really is quite eye catching, with it's black and white rocky shoreline, low hills in the background and with the silver printing. The bottle is another work of art with minimal labelling, but the silver 'ankh'  taking central stage on the front of the bottle.

Subtly sweet yet smokey, on the small label under the ankh, and despite having the HM Revenue and Customs logo on the back, the fact that the colour of this whisky has been 'standardised' by the addition of caramel colouring, has been carefully hidden on the bottom of the box, in German. Why do distillers hide the fact that they have added caramel colouring? Sometimes it's in French, other times in German, never in English !

I asked the distillery how the expression came about, and what whiskies were used in it's bottling. Jura immediately came back to me with the following:

As you are probably aware when the Distillery re-opened in 1963 Jura started producing very soft highland style malt, and this in the main, is what they are known for. In 1999 Jura started spending four weeks out of every year producing a heavily peated version using barley that was up to 60ppm or parts per million peat based as opposed to their normal 2ppm.

The Superstition is actually a marriage of both of these styles of whisky together. There is an old superstition on Jura that it is unlucky to cut peat before the beginning of May, and so the name was born

Within it are:

7 Year Old heavily peated (7 year itch; 7 years bad luck if you break a mirror)
13 Year Old Highland style (unlucky 13)
21 Year Old Highland style (coming of age when you get the keys to the door)
The ankh is the Egyptian symbol of eternal life; the Gaelic for whisky translates as - the water of life, and on Jura there are graves that house the bodies of people that were reported to have lived more than 130 years.

In order to drink the Superstition properly you must hold the bottle so that the ankh touches the palm of your hand when you pour - that way you get the full benefit of our best wishes for a long healthy and prosperous life.

And so I carefully poured a healthy dram into my nosing glass, making sure the ankh was in the palm of my hand. The colour of autumn leaves, a rich almost orange gold.

Body: an oil like coating the inside of the glass with long legs trailing back into the liquid

Nose: lightly peated, fresh, orange blossom, floral, butterscotch, white pepper, definitely white pepper.

Palate: salty or briny, the white pepper again, butterscotch and vanilla, smooth and quite light in the mouth.

Finish: long spicy with a little smoke, but not a heavy Islay peaty smoke, and the saltiness is there.

My Jura Origin 10 Year Old took time to grow on me, but I really loved it by the end of the bottle. I think the Superstition has taken off where the Origin left me and have really enjoyed starting this bottle. Although I understand it is not to everyone's taste, I love it.

1 comment:

Jean-Francois Pilon said...

great post for a great dram. To me this is the best of Jura.