gavin smith

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Elements of Jura

by Gavin D Smith, 05/08

Whisky-pages has been given exclusive access to samples of the Isle of Jura's new quartet of expressions ahead of their launch at the Islay Festival of Malt & Music later this month (May 2008).

These aged, non-chill filtered, limited edition bottlings have been selected to reflect the four elements of earth, fire, air and water. All have been chosen in association with Richard Paterson, master blender for Jura's parent company, Whyte & Mackay Ltd, and are hand-signed by former Jura distillery manager and current brand ambassador Willie Tait.

Jura, Elements - Earth (Scotland)
Distilled in 1999, Earth has been made using heavily-peated malt. It offers a nose of soft peat, wood smoke, damp vegetation, freshly-turned soil and a hint of cinnamon. The peat becomes more insistent and attractively acrid with exposure to air. Lively and spicy on the slightly salty palate, with prominent ginger, smouldering peat and a hint of fresh citrus fruit. The finish is medium in length, fruity and insistently spicy. 869 bottles. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £49.99, specialist whisky merchants.
Jura, Elements - Fire (Scotland)
Fire was produced in 1998 and has been finished in fired, ex-Bourbon casks. The nose is notably floral, with garden flowers, chewy toffee and vanilla. More citrus fruits develop in time, and water stimulates delicious sticky toffee pudding notes. Quite mouth-coating and full-bodied, with vanilla, honey, dried fruits and gentle spices. Redolent of a small-batch Bourbon. Spice, vanilla and milk chocolate notes linger in the finish. 779 bottles. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £74.99, specialist whisky merchants.
Jura, Elements – Air (Scotland)
Dating from 1993, Air has been matured in air-seasoned, ex-Spanish manzanilla barrels from Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Fragrant on the nose, with Sherry, nuts and fruit cake. Water releases fresher, zesty notes of sea spray and citrus. Quite dry on the palate, with dark chocolate, salt and muted Sherry. The finish becomes quite nutty, with slightly flat, damp oak. 729 bottles, individually numbered. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £99.99, specialist whisky merchants.
Jura, Elements – Water (Scotland)
The oldest of the four expressions, Water was distilled in 1989 and has been made using water from Jura’s ancient Loch a’Bhaile Mhargaidh, which is reputed to have life-prolonging properties. The initially floral nose is most distinctive, with developing orange marmalade, marzipan and a suggestion of smoke. Full-bodied in the mouth, with Sherry, oranges, hazelnuts and background coffee. Quite lively, yet satisfyingly weighty. 692 bottles, individually numbered. 50.0% ABV, 70cl, £149.99, specialist whisky merchants.


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