Isle of Jura Boutique Barrel, Review 3/3: Sherry JI 1993

Agree with me or not, but sherried whiskies are the easy drinkers and the crowd pleasers of the malt world. It can smooth the edges and add that lovely warm sweet character that attracts so many. Sherry JI 1993 is my third review of the Jura Boutique Barrel Collection. Bottled at a powerful 54% – sherry by name, sherry-ish by nature – I’ll come back to this point later.

It is a beautiful rich, toffee orange colour and the nose fascinated me. It had all the nose you would expect from a sherry cask – it was fruity like fresh orange juice, juicy raisins and sweet drinking chocolate, a touch of lemon peel, a hint of dry grass at the end of a long hot summers day, and that familiar warmth of Christmas spices. What I didn’t expect was the sweet curry spiciness, and a fruity sharpness a bit like Worcestershire sauce. A little strange perhaps, but certainly not unpleasant.

The palate was a lot more powerful than I had expected. Like the others in the collection it was toasty and dry, but this had a really nice touch of mashed green undergrowth, thick milk chocolate, and wet gravel minerality. As I mentioned earlier it was sherry-ish, the influence of the Olorosso cask is very subtle, and the high spirity taste of the whisky kind of masked it. It certainly didn’t have me reaching for the spitoon, but neither was I incline to climb mountains and sing its praise. It was safe.

This is a good whisky that’s very well made, which I really enjoyed it. There was good length to it, and the finish lingered nicely – but maybe I expected a little more punch from the sherry influence. It challenged all of my expectations but this is definitely a dram for those dedicated fans of a sherry finish.

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