Whisky Reviews

Isle of Jura 200th Anniversary


Companies like to justify promotions and products with dubious links to current happenings, so I’ve noticed. An example includes the hoards of businesses from whom I received an e-mail on February 29th this year (this being 2012, a leap year) offering an ever so clever 1-day-only discount of – you guessed it – 29%! Similarly, they like to highlight milestones of their own with special offerings, and the world of whisky is no different. There are plenty of anniversary expressions out there to celebrate various decades since the foundation of distilleries. In their cases, it’s a good thing. A very good thing – more choice (of whisky, enough with low-cal butter already) to the people!

By coincidence (or did I write the above to as a nice little introduction to this? Who knows), just such a product happens to sit in front of me today: Isle of Jura 200th anniversary. As interesting as it would have been if the whisky inside the bottle was as old as the distillery, unfortunately such is not the case. it contains a special edition 21 year old expression, which is probably more drinkable than a 200 year old whisky would have been, so perhaps it’s not all that unfortunate after all. What surprised me most about this whisky, it must be said, is that it wasn’t $310 a bottle – instead it goes for just under the $155 mark. Bit incongruous, don’t you think?

Anyway, let’s have a sniff. The nose brings to mind creamy sherry, in other words there’s plenty of dried fruit and perhaps even the odd dried berry. There’s also a certain freshness to it, like fresh honeydew melon. This initial sweetness is followed by what, to me, is reminiscent of a classic Christmas blend of flavors: you’ve got your nutmeg, your cinnamon, and the lovely scent that fills your nose as you bite into chocolate dipped marzipan (which happens to be one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, if you were looking to buy me a gift on the cheap).  The initial flavor was almost as much as a surprise to me as the missing $155 on the price tag – seaweed! Very mild, mind, but there nonetheless, and even after tasting it I couldn’t find it on the nose. Maybe my palate is a bit off today – if you end up trying it, I’d love to know if you detect it, too. It soon falls into line with what I’d expect though, with plenty of ripe pear, sweet orange zest and juicy sultanas, along accompanied by a subdued gingery undertone. Oh and there’s chocolate there, too, but the marzipan is unfortunately too preoccupied stroking your nostrils to work your tongue.

Overall a very pleasant experience, and I would warmly recommend it to anyone who is after a sweet (but not too sweet) whisky and who has got a thick enough wallet to handle the price tag (available from Master of Malt). If you’d have to stretch your budget to get it, though, I’d recommend two of my personal favorites  in the genre instead – Dalmore 12 or, if it’s Christmas you’re after, Glenfarclas 15.

Color: Caramel.

Nose: Creamy sherry, dried fruits & berries, honeydew melon freshness, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate, marzipan.

Palate: Seaweed (?), ripe pear, sweet orange zest,  juicy sultanas, ginger, chocolate.

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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