Jura Rare Vintage 1988

Jura Distillery

In the middle of last year, well established Jura expressions such as Origin, Prophecy, and Superstition began disappearing from shelves and a brand new range was ushered in. This revamp was followed towards the end of the year with the release of two rather old, and limited edition whiskies, one of which is only a year younger than me (I’m an ’87 vintage, FYI).

Jura 1988 is a 30 year old whisky which has been matured initially in first fill bourbon barrels before being finished for several years in 20 year old Tawny Port pipes. Commenting on the release, Gregg Glass, Jura Whisky Maker & Blender said: “As an island, Jura has been dedicated to producing the finest whiskies by generations past and present and we are in an exceptionally privileged position to have a range of rare and aged stocks. Both our new expressions are a fitting way to celebrate and share our island’s incredible heritage of whisky making with our growing, global community.”

I’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with Jura. Some things I quite like, other things I really don’t. With a not-insignificant price tag of £650, here’s hoping this lands more on the love side than the hate side.

Jura Rare Vintage 1988
Tawny Port Finish
1,406 bottles
53.5% ABV
£650 here

Nose: Molasses, espresso, raisins and cooking chocolate hit first along with red currants, cherry loaf and blackcurrant jus. That’ll be the port talking. Then a farmyard note – damp straw, wet logs and earthen floors – is balanced with a funky, fermented fruit note. A big coastal influence keeps things clean, with oyster brine, lime and flint.

Palate: An industrial start, with petrol, varnish, soot and oilskins. Then those port notes make themselves known, with dark chocolate, black tea, dunnage warehouse, leather and sweet liquorice. That coastal thing is back too – charred lemon, BBQ’d prawns, oyster tempura and mixed salted nuts. Layered!

Finish: Long, drying oak, with cacao nibs and red currant jus.

Overall: A very impressive whisky indeed. Lots of layers, the port influence hasn’t overwhelmed everything else which is going on, and there’s a good balance between light coastal and fruit notes, and richer, tannic, earthy notes. I really enjoyed that, but £650 is a big ask for this 30 year old whisky when you consider the other fighters in the same weight class. Nonetheless, it shows what Jura can do when left alone for three decades.

 

 

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