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Issue 120 - The Editor's Choice

Whisky Magazine Issue 120
June 2014

 

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The Editor's Choice

Four Isle of Jura bottlings

The Jura Distillery is situated in Craighouse, just eight miles from the Feolin ferry slipway that links it to Port Askaig on Islay. The distillery was closed from 1901 until 1963 when a consortium began to rebuild the distillery in 1960. There is a well known photograph of the re-opening of the distillery on April 26th 1963 which shows Lord Polwarth, Tony Riley-Smith, W. McEwan Younger and William Delmé-Evans. One of the purposes of building the distillery was to provide employment and to halt the steady decline in the island population. The Isle of Jura distillery sought to make a different spirit to its peaty neighbours across the Sound, though currently, they still dedicate one month a year to making heavily peated spirit. Jura offers good value at auction, so here are four longer-aged official bottlings from the 1960s and 1970s to nose out in the salerooms.

Isle of Jura 36 Year Old 44% ABV
Bottler: Whyte & MacKay
Region: Islands
WM tasting scores: N/A
Recent auction price: £300
Auction: McTear's, Glasgow
Date: January 2014
Comment: When this bottle was close to release,
I remember Willie Tait, then Master Distiller for Isle of Jura whisky, walking around Whisky Live Glasgow dispensing drams of this from a sample bottle hidden under his Argyll jacket. It was the best whisky that I tasted all day. This single cask edition was distilled after production resumed in 1963 and only 449 bottles were released.

Isle of Jura 30 Year Old 55% ABV
Bottler: Whyte & MacKay
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