Isle of Jura Boutique Barrel, Review 1/3: Bourbon XU 1999

The Bourbon XU 1999, 55% in strength is boasted as the heavily peated member of the Boutique Barrel collection. Although, for me the term heavily peated means something different as this whisky didn’t give me the expected whack in the face – it was peaty, but nowhere near what I had expected. Despite this it’s a pretty good  dram.

A viscous appearance and burnt amber in colour. On the nose there was that tiny hint of peat which was nicely followed by orange and lime peel with a creamy edge and a subtle whiff of bergamot. After a short time the fruit and herby character discipated and strong minerality came through. It was almost like walking past an open air swimming pool on a warm, wet and dusty pavement with something like burning mint being carried on the wind.

The palate was dry and woody and started with a lot more peat than the nose but it disappeared very quickly. It had a silky mouth feel with  citrus, burnt popcorn and a touch of chocolate.

I enjoyed this whisky because there was plenty in there and has the advantage of being bottled at cask strength, giving it much more wiggle room for your palate. At first it seemed like the finish was a bit short, but I changed that thought when after a few minutes the sudden taste of sweet cigar smoke crept over my tongue. It was not however a whisky for spending a great deal of time over, changing too quickly in the glass and losing the silky texture for a more bitter dryness.

Its origins are obvious, so fans of the standard Jura bottlings will enjoy this more than somebody looking for something less characteristic of the distillery. It’s an easy drinker with wide appeal and at cask strength it has enough weight to challenge the palate.