Has Jura gone mad?!


Why, Jura, why?

We’re all familiar with whisky from Jura. Whether you prefer the malty cereal and sweet heather tones of the Origin 10, the herbal peat smoke punch of the Prophecy or something in between the two, this distillery produces something everyone can enjoy. I personally go for the 16yo for its smoked ham and brie aromas, chewy toffee and earthy richness. I haven’t ever tasted something from Jura where I wouldn’t say yes to another dram. Lucas describes the house style as ‘dirty’ and I’m inclined to agree. There’s something rich and full with every bottling which really coats the palate and doesn’t let you forget it in a hurry. The spirit is distinctly full of Juron (if you don’t know what I mean, let Lucas explain it to you here). It’s totally unique and difficult to describe without inventing a new word for it altogether. I half expect to find some peaty sediment and splinters of wood at the bottom of my glass after finishing a dram of Jura. Dirty in a cheeky sense. Dirty in a good way (a bit like Rihanna).

There are 4 solid standard bottlings; the three I’ve named above, along with Superstition which is a blending of different styles and ages of Jura spirit. All four are perfectly drinkable whiskies and, depending on the occasion, very suited to warming the cockles on a cold winter’s evening. So there we have it; a very well respected distillery producing fine malt. They have the balls to experiment with it yet still keep the intriguingly dirty house style intact. Sounds like a solid strategy doesn’t it? You’d think so. So did I until I found out they’d teamed up with a psychic from The Sun newspaper. What the fuck?! Joan Charles is resident psychic at The Sun and will be analysing five doodles from five Diurachs each week to assess their “character, work, emotions, family and maybe even their future.” Apparently she’s astonishingly reliable and incredibly accurate. I’m not surprised. As a journalist from one of Rupert Murdoch’s bullshit-laden, privacy-ignoring, phone-tapping piles of tripe I imagine it’s pretty easy for her to gain access to the family and work life of whomever she pleases. And what do Jura gain from this? I’ve thought long and hard about this. I really have. But I can’t find anything positive, just a laughable piece of publicity. Come on Jura, you’re better than this.

Maybe Joan should look at my handwriting from scribbling down this article and examine my emotions right now. If she’s as accurate as purported then rest assured her analysis wouldn’t be available until after the watershed. A simply ridiculous publicity stunt. Totally needless.



  1. Thanks for the write up on the doodle stunt. Interesting perspective. I just wanted to make it clear to you and your readers that this is a deal set up directly with Joan and has nothing to do with The Sun…….or Rupert Murdoch!!

    And it is nothing more than bit of harmless fun, designed to provide some engaging activity and content for members of our virtual Diurach community. Nothing more and nothing less.

    As blog owners you know how important it is to come up with new and inventful ways of creating engaging content. Some stick, some dont, but you wont know what works unless you try it – and the doodle stuff is a three month trial.

    Yes, we met Joan as part of a publcity stunt with The Sun – the coverage is on our website – and I found her to be an amazingly warm, funny, engaging and extremely insightful individual. And i wanted to work with her because of that.

    She used to do signature and doodle analysis for other magazines, and when she told me about it I thought what a great wee service to provice our Jura brand fans.

    So, sorry you dont like the idea. It was mine and mine alone. But I stand by the fact its great fun, surprisingly accurate and provides some great entertainment for those that are interested.

    Lets see what happens over the trial period for the next three months. but please be assured this has nothing – and I mean nothing – to do with The Sun.

    All the best and keep up the good work. Despite the slating I do love your blog and what you do.


  2. Oh, and by the way, forgot to mention she is not a journalist. She is a pyshic. She doesn’t need to hack phones!

    And she saw this coming……..ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (hammer house of horror laugh!)

  3. I have a bottle of Superstition sitting on a shelf. It’s unopened and may remain that way because of the alliance with a psychic. None of it sits well with me. I am a scientist and I work with evidence. The stuff that is reproducible and has a logical explanation.

    The supernatural contradicts the natural order of things and this does not give it licence to be beyond questioning or analysis. It should be the opposite. Why isn’t proof needed in this instance whereas in every other instance it is required?

    James Randi has offered $1 million to anyone “who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event”. No one to date has claimed the money.

    More information here: http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

  4. Hi Rob,

    I admit, I definitely use some ‘artistic license’ here to convey my point and I am rather dramatic and theatrical in places – it’s the irreverent style of the blog I suppose. No doubt this provides a bit of fun for your online community, and it’s a good way to get people signing up as Diurachs and interacting – never a bad thing! I just think on the whole that it’s a bit tacky which is probably due to my unerring disbelief in psychics. You can tell I’m a man of medicine and science! Maybe someone more in tune with their spiritual side would have written an article with a completely opposite point of view. Ah well, if we were all the same life would be boring!

    All the best,


  5. Oh come on! What’s with the dig at journalism? Anyone who gets into a position of writing – at The Sun, Guardian or elsewhere – has to go through years of training and study. And people seem all too quick to forget that The Sun has broken many stories that have actually had a positive impact on people’s lives (just as everyone seems to forget that the News of the World did actually helped expose corruption and dodgy dealings from time to time) (People also seem to forget that the likes of The Guardian have also been revealed to break the law, phone hack and carry out various other ne’er do well things).

    Putting the boot in to everyone who works at the likes of The Sun is like saying all whiskies taste the same – total nonsense. Yes, there may have been some bad apples but that doesn’t make everyone a crook, criminal or otherwise.

    (On the actual topic here: it’s a bit of fun and reaching out to a potentially new audience. Also Jura has previous with regards to Superstition from the ideas around the ankh, knocking three times and so on. Far more relevant than suddenly releasing a bunch of nude pics with a bottle of whisky)

    (And the obvious disclaimer: used to work on Jura – not any more – and used to be a journalist – but not any more.)

  6. All good fun. Everybody is entitled to their opinion.

    The Isle of Jura is full of myths, legends and mystic wonder and that has inspired the naming of some of our whiskies and has inspired this piece of activity. It will appeal to some and not to others. As with things you don’t like on the telly, switch it off and go do something more interesting instead. If you are in to this kind of stuff, then draw a pic send it in and see what happens.

    And Mags Lum, you will be cutting of your nose to spite your face if you don’t open that bottle. There is a sublime beautiful whisky in there waiting to tickle your scientific taste buds.

    All the best folks.

  7. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not putting the boot into everyone who works at The Sun, or journalism in general. Hell, Graeme (a co-editor) studied journalism at university and his 9-5 is now in that industry. He’s a lot bigger than me (in a muscular sense) so there’s no way I’d want to irk him! It’s more of my complete disbelief in psychics and their trade. This is where I agree with Mags. Although I must also stress that I agree with Rob regarding the bottle Superstition on your shelf, Mags. It’s a cracker of a dram and you’d be missing one helluva whisky by leaving it unopened on your shelf…


  8. Oh my, you stepped on some toes here, Tiger;) But I agree with you through and through. I accept Rob’s assurance that the brand is not actually working with The Sun on this but at the same time the press release mentions the newspaper and so the association is made right there. And to me the association, with Joan Charles and the newspaper, feels very awkward on many levels.

    Psychics are frauds making living of people who struggle to deal with the reality around them. The Sun itself is something I would in other situation be sure Rob and the team would want to keep their excellent brand as far away from as possible. The hacking scandal aside, The Sun people are frequent and proven liars and notorious xenophobes who play to prejudices and for whom the only indicator of whether something is worth publishing is whether the white van man would approve and whether the tits are big enough. And my guess would be that Jo the Apprentice Scaffolder is not your average Jura imbiber. I would expect to find a bottle of Superstition of the amazing Prophecy in the drinks cabinet at my accountant’s, doctor’s or solicitor’s. And they are just the group who may, like Mags above, be disappointed/annoyed/irked/bemused at the whole thing.

    As to Craig’s opinion, I disagree with you wholeheartedly, mate. I don’t believe that any amount of ‘breaking stories with positive impact’ can make up for the fact that The Sun just makes shit up on a regular basis. An exaggerated analogy would be that the Nazis did after all give us autobahn, Porche and the jet engine.

    Oh, and no, guessing the future events from people’s doodles is not far more relevant than nude pics on bottles of whisky. It’s just as relevant.


  9. Hi Tiger,

    Great post. Hadn’t heard about it and it does make Jura go down a few notches in my book. Apart from the newspapers and semi-journalism, the simple fact that it’s a psychic just doesn’t sit well with me. Making a living on others’ desperation is something I am not comfortable with and those ‘mediums’ get proven to be just players with a keen eye time and again.

    And a great comment by Lucas too.

  10. OK… Seriously? Jura were obviously just trying to link some marketing stunt with the idea of telling the future for “Prophecy”, personally I think it’s interesting and certainly beats most other brands technique of saying “what is your favorite expression of GlenX” on Facebook.

    The fact that the “medium” they picked has worked for a tabloid owned by a multi national crime syndicate is neither here nor there – they are not affiliating themselves with the Sun.
    We all know the fortune tellers aren’t true – and I doubt Jura was attempting to “making living of people who struggle to deal with the reality around them”…

    This was a simple marketing gimmick, there is no need to have a shit fit about it. Good work Jura; nice stunt, I thought it was fun. EWB; poor show for picking on Jura and letting the Thor packaging slip…

  11. @jason b

    Thanks for commenting.

    In the end of the day, it’s a matter of opinion – you like the idea or you don’t. Either way, someone has to pick on whisky companies. Some other leading whisky blogs choose not to pick on anything at all and THAT’S poor show. If we assume everything is peachy or choose to ignore bad expressions and dodgy PR ideas then what’s the point of blogging at all? We know people at Jura and they know us, they know what to expect. We gave them hell because we think the idea is bad, it makes us cringe. But tomorrow we will be giving them raving reviews again because the whisky they release is actually consistently great. We have a good working relationship with Jura.

    In this strange little blogosphere where bad things are hardly ever said, this is the right thing to do; I am absolutely sure of it and I stand by my new co-bloggers whenever they take a justified swing. We don’t do this for ourselves, Jason. In fact, despite having been named by CISION as the most influential whisky blog in the UK, we are being marginalised by some companies because of precisely that – they know they will get no mercy if they cock up, they think we’re a loose cannon, we don’t conform to the establishment. It’s not a pleasant place to be, Jason, to see other bloggers attend fantastic product launches and get preview samples while we have to patiently wait in line because we dared to pick on something. It would be very easy for us to slip into this comfortably numb state where we pretend to love everybody and everything. But we would rather tell the truth. You are entitled to your opinion and we respect it but please, in the light of the above, think twice before you accuse us of putting on poor show again.


  12. And as to the Thor packaging, what is there to let slip? Have you seen it live? It’s great.

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