Category Archives: Jura

Three various Single Casks in the Chieftain’s range: Jura, Glen Kieth and Craigellachie


Various regions of Scotland…  3 different single casks bottled for the Chieftain’s range.

After a few quick points, we will get straight on to the reviews today!

Special thanks to the folks from ImpEx for the cask samples!

To learn more about the Chieftain’s Range in general, click here.

Chieftain’s Glen Kieth 17yo bottled at 54.9% ABV

On the nose  A light peat influence here, or so it would seem.

Salty, hay and a touch of candy-like lemon drops (a thread of smoke?).

Sherry-like influence (getting hints of Amontillado) but also sort of bourbon in character (think wood spice, honey and even a shake of white pepper).

A fun little nose, if a little confused.

On the mouth Light white berries, unripened plums, sugared plums as well.

Biscuits, undercooked.  Pie crusts… Oh!  Gooseberry pie.  This is nice.

Somewhat simple but nice and focused.

Lightly oily slightly effervescent feel to it.

Finish –  Shortish with, again, a thread of smoke.

Chieftain’s Jura 12yo bottled at 58.4% ABV

On the nose Few whiskies yell at me from the glass saying, “Hey Hatton, I was distilled at such and such distillery… duh!!!” like Jura yells at me.

It always seems to start off with a note that I can only call Eeore’s thistles – like burning pricker bushes.

On top of this is a slight soapy quality.  People get a little freaked out about a soap quality in a whisky.  For me, done right, the soap “quality” can be just that, a “quality.”

The soap on this is within tolerance but surely on the higher side.

There’s also a touch of lavender in here as well as calking.

On the mouth Very industrial to taste, window putty, calking, wet cement.

Pushing these notes to the side and now we discover some great gristy notes.  You can taste the wash (beer to be distilled into spirit) but it’s very beer-like.  Lager-like.  But, a good lager (sans hops, obviously).

Rainbow candy buttons.

Finish Short and slightly drying.

Chieftain’s Craigellachie 21yo bottled at 58.3% ABV

On the nose You can see why they use so much of this malt in the Dewar’s blend.  It’s got a nice, balanced nose.

Let me start of with the fact that, even at 58.3%ABV, it’s not hot on the nose.  The scents are all right there.

This noses like a 21yo:  Wood spice and dill covered lemon slices.  Green wood and honey spice.  Apple sauce with brown spices.  Are you catching a theme here?  Tough to get beyond the spiced quality.

I’m a fan of the spice bombs so, let see how it translates in the flavor profile.

Adding a dash of water brings out some notes of pool water and gobs of malt!

On the mouth Yeah, yeah… this is it.  This is what I look for in, say, some of the older Dailuaines…  Fruity little spice bombs.

This is, however, just a little hot.  Without water, we’ve got baked pears with a slight hint of cloves.  Also, vanilla.  A good deal of vanilla.  Yeah, water is needed with this one.

Not just to temper the heat but the water *really* opens up this whisky!

Ooey flan comes to mind as I take another sip.  Browned sugar and candied fennel.

Finish A long and overly spiced finish.  Perhaps a bit too spiced (if there were such a thing).  Wow, very long.

In sum

Glen Kieth:  An interesting whisky.  My first Glen Kieth.  Over all, I liked it.  I wonder what a few more years in the cask might have done for this whisky…

Jura: Yeah, this is an odd one.  Over all, while it was a little all over the place, I enjoyed drinking it.  Nosing it was enjoyable mainly because it’s got that Jura oddness that has you coming back for more.  This really is a winter-warmer-upper!

Craigellachie: With a dash of water, I am incredibly impressed with this cask.  It tells a wonderfully balanced story from beginning to end (with the spice volume turned up just a touch too high at the finish).  Without the water….well, I suggest you add a dash.  Should you get a bottle, you’ll see what I mean.  This is one where the extra H20 makes an incredible difference.

For more solid reviews of Chieftain’s reviews, be sure to check out Peter’s (of “The Casks” fame) reviews.

Four whisky reviews today – tasting the Isle of Jura range!

Isle of Jura.  A lot can be said about Jura but, as you’ll see below, I’ve got a shit ton to cover just with my tasting notes.

This said, let’s hit the highlights shall we?:

  • The Isle of Jura is a small little Isle located east & north of Islay
  • Isle of Jura distillery is the only distillery located on Jura- “On an island just 7 miles wide and 30 miles
    long, there is but one road, one hotel and one distillery.
  • People from Jura call themselves Diurachs (Gaelic)
  • Diurachs are a superstitious lot but they make some pretty tasty whisky!

Isle of Jura 10yo – 43%ABV – $35 | £25 | €29

On the nose Soapy fresh nose, even surpassing a Bowmorian soapiness (slightly soapier than many Bowmore whiskies I’ve had).

Limon™ sweetness of 7UP™ soda with gobs of malt to boot.

Spider mums and an absolute hint of peat smoke.

On the mouth A decent and slightly oily entry filled with malty notes and a touch of the soap I got on the nose.

Very sweet potpourri, aniseed and toasty oaken notes.

Finish Peppery and spicy finish with more soap and malty sweet notes.

Isle of Jura 16yo – 43%ABV – $45 | £41 | €48

On the nose Soft nose; sweet yet salty and strong with a note of licorice.

Soapy yet not as much as the 10yr Jura.

Threads of smoke and spicy citrus.

Candle wax, malty and hay.

Heide brand candy cardboard box (one which previously held Jujyfruits).

Plastic shopping bags too.

On the mouth Spicy attack from the get-go.

Lipstick and eyeshadow (smell a make-up bag and this is what I’m tasting).

Light (ever so light) peat smoke and some of that hay I got on the nose.

Chewy wine gums, even Jujubees (another Heide brand candy) and fresh tobacco.

Finish Short finish, slight spice and a touch of that wax from the nose.

Isle of Jura ‘Superstition’ – 43%ABV – $40 | £29 | €34

On the nose Waft of burnt pricker bushes, peat smoke and rosewater.

Toffee, caramels and fizz candies.

Toasted, nearing burnt, apple skins.

Figgy pudding – there’s even a little mustard seed in here.

On the mouth Very sweet and a viscous mouth feel.

Back to the fizzy candies and lemon sugar drops.

The peat does not seem to translate to the palate as much as I expected.

Finish Peppery and sweet yet shorter than that dude from Ron Howard’s “Willow” (do you think Mr. Howard is happy about having his name on that crap movie?).  Granted, that guy was great as Wicket, the fun loving Ewok from Return of the Jedi.  But, Willow!?  Come on folks.  Oop, sorry.  I digress….

Isle of Jura ‘Prophecy’ – 46%ABV – $65 | £50 | €59

On the nose I like what I’m smelling here.

Smoke and seashells by the seashore.

Oak and soy sauce.

Very nutty with hints of wood shavings.  A tad suphuric but it seems to add to rather than take from (as opposed to many other “match-stick malts” that will go unnamed here).

On the mouth Sweet peat, peaty and sweet (I see you rockin’ that peat from across the street).

Sugar lemon drops, just like with the Superstition but there’s a general ashiness here that I didn’t find in the Superstition – very appetizing.

There’s more fruit as well.

Perhaps some golden delicious apple and hints of fuzzy peach (unrippened as it were).

Finish Rhubarb pie, key lime pie, π.  Good length.

And finally, in sum While I found the 10yo to be a bit one dimensional with all of the soap and sweetness it was enjoyable and very easy going.  One to keep on the shelves as a nice mid-summer dram. Nah, I take that back, there’s a slightly wintery feel to this as well.  Enjoy in front of a fire perhaps with a good book.

The 16yo had a nice balance to it; more enjoyable than the 10yr.  Obviously, it’s older than the 10yr but there’s a maturity there that seems beyond the 16yrs.  Very enjoyable stuff.  A nice mid-day, autumn dram.

I found the ‘Superstition’ to be an interesting one.  Maybe not the whisky itself but my approach to it.  I had a bottle of this a couple of years ago and found it quite one-dimensional; all peat smoke (and odd smoke at that).  Being that this is a lightly peated dram, I’m not sure why I was unable to get past it at the time.  Today’s tasting found it to be more one-dimensional toward the sweet side.  So, where does that leave me (us).  Not sure…  I will say, this may be one that’s better to just enjoy rather than dissect…

The ‘Prophecy’ was really enjoyable, the star of the current range if you ask me.  Can be enjoyed at anytime and in any situation.  Dare I say, an everyday malt??

Special thanks goes out to Lyz Nardo for the generous samples!

Jura Music Fest 2010 this weekend (wish I could be there…)

6000 deer. 200 people. 1 Jura Music Festival.

Celebrating it’s 17th year, The Isle of Jura Musical Festival is now a well established favourite for lovers of the traditional music scene. This years festival is dedicated to Nicky Watson and Rev. George Campbell who were both such valued committee members and are now sadly missed.

At the Friday night concert locals and visitors from the nearby island of Islay set the scene for a weekend filled with toe-tapping, foot-stomping, elbow-fiddling musical pleasure when they step up to the stage and show off their talents.

On Saturday night it’s the professionals turn: With past performances by Blazin’ Fiddles,Karen MathesonMichael McGoldrickAnna Massie BandStuart Cassells,DannsaSamba ya BambaDeaf Shephard and Dochas, the festival has a history of promoting both up and coming and established artists. And this year’s line-up is no exception. Check out the line-up section of the site for more details.

A surprise addition to the Jura music festival was announced today as organisers revealed that Elvis will be making an appearance.

Elvis to Appear at the Jura Music Festival!!

Although he will not be performing at the traditional music event, the local distillery’s four year old moggy will be taking pictures of the island shenanigans over the whole weekend using his “petcam”.

Whisky aficionados, feline fans and music lovers will be able to get a cat’s eye view of the bands and the punters enjoying three days of entertainment on one of Scotland’s remotest islands.

The festival starts this Friday (24 – 26 September) with a line up that includes Session A9, Mary Ann Kennedy, piper Fred Morrison, Brigada Mercy and a host of talent from the island itself.

Artists that have made the trip previously to Jura – described as “ungettable” by author George Orwell – include Blazin’ Fiddles, Karen Matheson, Michael McGoldrick, Anna Massie Band, Stuart Cassells, Dannsa, Samba ya Bamba and Deaf Shephard.

Jura distillery manager Willie Cochrane said that Elvis was a much loved regular at the music festival.

“Elvis is very sociable and loves the music and the people, and can often be seen weaving his way between dancing feet into the wee small hours.

“For the first time visitors to the Jura website will be able to see what Elvis sees, and get a very unique insight into this great event. If it’s successful and loads of people log on, we may well make it a permanent feature and people can get a cat’s eye view of life on the island.”