Jura Whisky Festival Release – Boutique Barrel 1996 Vintage

A few weeks ago some friends and I went for a wee wander up a hill north of Glasgow called Queen’s View, and along the Wangie – a stone corridor apparently cut into the side of the hill by the Devil’s whipping tail.

The weather was very much against us, howling wind and ice-cold sideways rain (in June!) – it was great! We  didn’t have this dram with us at the time, but when I nosed it in my glass in the comfort of my warm living room it reminded me exactly of that walk.

jura-1996-smallI could smell the soaking wet rocks of the Wangie, the saturated earth, and the tall grass and moss revitalised by the torrential down-pour. It’s not long before nose “dries-off” and I get a hint of lemon meringue pie.
Unfortunately during our damp excursion the weather didn’t change, but have you ever been in the Scottish wilderness just after the rain and the sun comes out?

This whisky did exactly what we had hoped for a few weeks ago up that hill. The sun came out and the floral notes came alive like pollen on a cool breeze, heather honey, and summery green bitterness like trimming the garden hedge in the early evening, leaving behind the smallest hint of bashed lemongrass.

On the palate it was a different animal entirely. When I was a wee boy my bed-time drink was hot milk with a spoonful of honey and grated nutmeg mixed through it. This was a pleasant reminder of that creamy childhood tipple, with a touch of stewed apple and orange marmalade.

The appearance is silky and inviting with a mouth feel which is almost as smooth, but for the jaggy edge from the 54% strength.
Only the tiniest drop (and I mean a drop) of water is needed to open this up because despite the strength it is extremely delicate so you have to be gentle.

The length was pretty good – you can taste the creamy spice on every outward breath – but just a wee bit more and it would make all the difference.

This dram almost makes you wish for a bitterly cold winter to enjoy by a warm fire – or maybe just share it with your mountaineering companions to keep the chill out.