Sunday, 9 December 2012

Whisky Discovery #281

Isle of Jura 30 Year Old 'Standing Stone' (44% abv)
Island Single Malt Whisky
Circa £350.00 70cl
Standing Stone
The new Jura 30 Year Old
The Jura distillery has recently added a 30 year old single malt whisky to its collection which will be available from selected whisky stores across the world this month. I don't think this is the first time Jura has released a 30 Year Old as I'm sure I've noted some limited releases previously, but this will be an addition to the core range from them.

Called the Standing Stone, or ‘Camas an Staca’ in Gaelic, the new expression takes its name from the largest of Jura's eight standing stones. Known as ‘The Bay of the Protecting Rocks’ this imposing 12 foot obelisk is reputedly all that remains of a stone circle laid some 3,000 years ago by the earliest Diurachs to appease the spirits.

The iconic Jura bottle is presented in a beautiful display case that opens its doors to showcase the bottle and reveal the story of the whisky. Meticulously detailed, the bottle is in-filled with copper wax, with a matching metal plaque.

Official Tasting notes
Nose: The seductive nuances of sandalwood, tuberose, lime and spicy patchouli soon usher in hints of vanilla, Java coffee, tangerine and crushed Ogen melon. Whispers of sea spray, spicy apple and honeyed figs linger in the background.
Taste: Fleshy oranges, tangy liquorice, coconut and sweet pineapple are followed by orange rind, black cherries, dark toffee and sun dried raisins.

So What Did I Think?

I'm really grateful for Whyte and Mackay for supplying this tasting sample before general release. In addition at around £350 a bottle it's slightly out of my budget, and certainly out of my drinking budget. I guess the target market is going to be serious collectors and investors which is a shame as I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of it. I've checked on-line and haven't seen it for sale yet so it's release must be imminent.

On the nose it's rich, sweet and full; sweet caramel toffee and vanilla, there's an underlying  subdued orange note, not bright and zesty, but dark and almost chocolate orange like. There is a little coffee on the nose, but from Java? I couldn't tell you. Fruit comes in by way of dates and figs and there it a little saltiness to the nose too.

The subdued orange notes are on the palate too as is the dark chocolate, Rich toffee and light liquorice along with some mild chilli spice. The majority of the maturation period has been in American white oak before three years spent finishing in Oloroso Sherry butts from Gonzalez Byass gives this whisky the classic sherried fruits of black cherries and raisins. The mouth-feel is smooth yet decadent, luxurious and sweet, with fine dark chocolate orange and black cherries.

The rich dark chocolate orange stays right to the very end, a long and satisfying finish. I wish I could have gone back for more, and it will be something to look out for at one of the whisky shows in the New Year, as I would certainly like to sample this again.

As I mentioned earlier, it is beyond my budget, and probably beyond most peoples budget, which is a shame as I would love to have some on my shelf to turn to every now and then. This is a very enjoyable whisky, and one I think would go really well after a big dinner. For now, I'll just have to stick to my bottle of 16 Year Old Jura which shares some of the characteristics at a budget I can afford!

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