TripAdvisor’s website is sparse on recommendations for Scotland’s Island of Jura. There are eight tourist attractions; the first ranked one is the car ferry off the island. In fourth, it’s the passenger ferry off the island. At a respectable second place, is Jura Distillery with mostly great reviews, but also some sour apples. Sadly, there are times the distillery is closed or where tours are limited, so their star rating takes a hit. Book in advance, is the recommendation.
The Island of Jura has a few hundred people living on it, a handful of accommodations, and a few bars. Wikipedia describes the island best: “Compared with its fertile and more populous neighbour, Jura is mountainous, bare and infertile, covered largely by vast areas of blanket bog, hence its small population.” George Orwell, Jura’s most famous resident, called it “extremely ungetatable.” It reminds me of “mostly harmless.” It’s believed that name the Jura is derived from an Old Norse word for deer. Now that we’ve proven I can read Wikipedia, let’s move on to the whisky!
In the world of Scotch, Jura single malt scotch is a big seller. Between Jura and Dalmore, Whyte & McKay have 2% of the overall scotch sales in the UK. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s a top 9 finish (Dieago owns 36%, Chivas 19%, and Willian Grant & Sons is with 7%). From a branding perspective, Jura hits those authentic edgy notes with familiar symbols on the bottle and great naming (such as Superstition). Many scotch drinkers find Jura, and stick with it, and with good reason. The distillery offers a range of whiskies for less peated to more peated, and with a greater diversity of flavours from use of different types of barrels.
Jura Superstition is the is a no-age statement scotch aged in ex-bourbon barrels, with a high level of peat (for Jura Distillery). It’s a peated scotch, but not heavily peated, and the notes are light and friendly. Jura Superstition makes for a great step into peated whiskies.
Category: Single malt scotch, peated, NAS
Nose: Cinnamon, orange citrus, ginger-soda, dark chocolate, distant smoke. There’s a slight old barrel nose that’s hidden behind rich caramel notes.
Palate: Vanilla, ginger, plenty of oak spice, with anise and dark chocolate coming in later. Burnt buttery notes are both fatty and slightly bitter, but the ginger balances this out quite nicely.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that’ll come and go
Long ago I’ve concluded that I didn’t like my whisky smooth, and Jura Superstition is mostly smooth with a touch of edge. It’s light on peat, strong on caramel notes, and has wonderfully sharp spicy notes. Scotch enthusiasts with three rows deep of whisky won’t be as thrilled with Superstition, but for a regular person with a regular collection, Superstition makes for a good part of that rotation.
*Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original
Disclaimer: A bottle of Jura Superstition was provided by a representing company for the purpose of this review, which did get it ahead of the queue for whisky reviews but had no influence on the review itself.