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  • Alan C

Jura 18 Year Old

Introduction

An iconic drink from Scotland. No, not Jura 18 Year Old… but Irn Bru. That’s what whisky reminded me of as I poured it into my tasting glass. Jura is known for adding caramel E150 to their products, but that added colour isn’t an issue in some whiskies. For what could be a popular and iconic whisky, consistency is key, and colouring might make sense. But that’s quite an old view in the whisky world… most people (most, not all) appreciate honesty, and that includes the colour of the whisky they drink. Between Jura and other brands like Dalmore who use colouring, there are some tasty drams to be had…


That being said, it’s hard to ignore the bright orange liquid that was staring me in the face as I looked at this whisky. It may affect my perception of smell and flavour, who knows!


Finished in Red Wine casks, I'm expecting a fruity dram in my head before I even begin...


On the Nose

Nutmeg spice, orange and cloves, a note of sweet tea and tobacco. Murky damp wood and some unappealing solvent/glue background notes kept coming to mind as I nosed this dram.


On the Palate

Swee… Bitter. Yeah, it started with a sweet hit, but just as my brain was adjusting to that, bitterness hit my tongue and wouldn’t let go. The sweetness took a back seat and stayed there for the whole journey. Old leather and orange peel pith are what I’d liken the bitterness to (not that I go about licking old leather, you understand…).


I struggled to get past it, to be honest. The only fruitiness I could find was that orange pith, and it wasn’t the most pleasant taste for my palate. The more I acclimated to the bitterness, the more subtle dark fruit notes (blackcurrant specifically) I started to catch on the tip of my tongue… but I had to really search for them.



Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this dram. I didn’t love it either, it was just, well… “okay”. And for an 18 year old whisky, that is surprising and disappointing in equal measure.


In my head, I imagine lots of 18 years olds being given this whisky as an interesting birthday gift and venturing into the world of whisky with this as their first-ever impression (not counting the Jack and Coke from their teenage years, of course), and that annoys me. It’s really not the best example of an 18 year old scotch I could think of. I’ve read elsewhere that Jura suffers from a legacy of poor cask choices and poor spirit cutting practices, but I can’t comment on that as I don’t know enough about it. I do know although I wouldn’t turn another dram down, I also wouldn’t go seeking it out explicitly.


Want to try it for yourself?

Why not try Jura 18 Year Old for yourself? You can pick up a bottle online at any of the following retailers:


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