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Issue 96 - Durable Quality

Whisky Magazine Issue 96
June 2011

 

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Durable Quality

Jura distillery has the wind in its sails; is not only popular, it's respected too.

It might seem like an odd thing to say about a distillery that's just celebrated 200 years of whisky making, but we may look back at 2010 as the year Isle of Jura distillery finally came of age.
Sure, the distillery's been making grown up whisky for generations, the name's both well established and well known, and the malt sells in big quantities.
But Jura, particularly the standard 10 Years Old, was to whisky what Bob Monkhouse was to comedy: immensely popular with the general public but considered by many as a bit bland, oily, and without the respect and genuine affection of its peers.
But that was then, and there's been a dramatic turn around. Owners Whyte & Mackay changed the act, completed a distillery makeover, and made sure Jura got all its ducks lined up in a long and neat row.
Last year was the year that Jura not only stepped into the limelight as it celebrated the end of its second century making malt, but it did so in livery as sharp as a Plan B suit and with a portfolio which all but defined the term ‘good taste.' It's something that distillery manager Willie Cochrane is happy to acknowledge.
“A lot of people didn't like the old 10 Years Old and there may well be people who haven't been aware of the change,” he says, “But I was talking to the man who does the ferry from Islay and Jura and he's an Ileach. He was saying ‘I don't know what you've done to your 10 Years Old, Willie, but I drink nothing else now'. We use all bourbon wood now and it's made it...

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