Jura Rare Vintage 1988 & 1989

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Around this time last year, Jura released two whiskies as part of their prestige range, showcasing some of the older and rarer whiskies the distillery has in their warehouses; one was 28yo whisky and the other was a 1988 vintage. This month, they’ve followed up those expressions by releasing the second edition of their 1988 vintage as well as a 1989 vintage. The younger of the two is fully matured in ex-bourbon casks, whereas the 1988 has been finished for five years in port pipes. It all sounds rather exciting to me, but there’s just one fly in the ointment – this batch of the 1988 vintage appears only to be going to Asian retailers, so if you want to get your hands on one you’ll need to keep your eyes very much peeled.

Commenting on the releases, Jura Whisky Maker & Blender, Gregg Glass, said: “Jura has been in a unique position to create a history of single malts like no other. These releases are no exception, and are a reflection of the dedication of our community over generations to produce the finest whiskies. Our rare and limited releases pay homage to the people and breath-taking landscape of Jura over the years, and offer our growing, global community a truly unique flavour of our island home.”

Jura Rare Vintage 1988
2019 Edition
Port Cask Finish
1,500 bottles
52.8% ABV
£650 Asia Exclusive

Nose: Cacao nibs, coffee grounds, liquorice, salted caramel, figs, prune juice, and plum jam. Some mulled wine spices. Cranberry, Jamaica cake and a touch of molasses too.

Palate: Leather, dry twigs, and copper coins up front, then the fruit comes through with cranberry, pomegranate and cherry. Some Blackjacks too, with black tea, earthy tannins and chocolate covered Brazil nuts.

Finish: Struck matches, with a big drying oakiness and some cloves.

Jura Rare Vintage 1989
1,500 bottles
53.5% ABV
£650 here

Nose: Linseed, walnut, paraffin, macadamia nuts, dusty flowers, salted caramel, black bananas, and white chocolate. Underneath there’s polished oak, sandalwood and sweet sap.

Palate: Salted caramel, honey, waxed leather, vanilla candles, nutmeg and custard creams. Then the fruits come through with lemon sponge, Seville orange, mango, pineapples and dried coconut. Just the lightest sweet woodiness.

Finish: Rather creamy, with more of those fleshy fruits, vanilla pods and antique wood.

Overall: A tale of two halves, as they say. The first release of the 1988 came out earlier this year and the port influence was markedly more restrained than it is on the second batch. It’s a bit of a sledgehammer of a finish now, completely dominating proceedings rather than complementing the spirit. If I’m honest, I much prefer the first batch, as it’s more balanced and much more rounded. The 1989, on the other hand, is delightful. Layered, complex, and delicious, with well integrated flavours and a wonderful mouthfeel. Really excellent stuff. Given that they’re both the same price, I know where my £650 would be going.




  1. This is such a nice content! Well-detailed and very persuasive.Will surely enjoy a glass or more of this Jura Rare Vintage 1988 & 1989 whisky.

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