Jura, “Superstition”

Jura SuperstitionI have very little experience with Jura. I’ve had the 16 yo and that may be it (I have a vague memory of perhaps trying a couple of indies, but that was before I tracked these things and I may well be confusing them with something else, maybe Tobermory/Ledaig). This Superstition, a NAS, peated malt, is somewhat controversial. A lot of people I know online dislike it quite intensely. On the other hand, the friends who shared this sample with me like it a lot (they’re part of our local tasting group) and on their recent trip to Scotland this was one of their favourite whiskies*–and neither of them is an undiscriminating peathead, given to loving anything peaty simply on account of it being peaty. So, I’m intrigued to give it a go.

*Correction: This was a peaty whisky they enjoyed in Scotland but it was not one of their favourites on the trip.

Jura “Superstition” (43%; from a sample from friends)

The sample was poured a couple of weeks ago from a freshly opened bottle.

Nose: Sour at first then turns sweet in an herbal kind of way (in a root beery kind of way–not that this smells like root beer). Quite gingery but not particularly smoky; there’s some leafy, farmyardy peat–something rotting in wet undergrowth. With more time there’s some darker sweetness (some caramel); but then the sourness comes back again and now it’s a little vinegary. After a lot more time there’s a whiff of a stale ashtray into which water has been poured. Now with an actual drop of water the vinegariness recedes and there’s just a hint of lemon.

Palate: Somewhat thin mouthfeel and a somewhat indistinct jumble of flavours as pretty much everything on the nose kind of runs together. After a few more sips the peat is a little more evident and there’s some bonfire smoke (wet wood) and there’s that herbal sweetness too (with a bit of leather as well). With more time that gingeriness comes to the fore (powdered ginger)–reminiscent of the Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve and also some Amruts (though this does not have any of the other qualities of most Amruts). Wait, a little bit of fruit seems to emerge late, but I can’t quite pick what it is. With a drop of water the fruit does become more expressive–dried apricot maybe?

Finish: Longer than expected. Mostly bitter caramel with some smoke on the edges. Water takes some of the bitter edge off.

Comments: Well, I do not like this as much as my friends do (or one of them at any rate) but nor do I find it particularly objectionable. Sorry to be boring. It seems like many other young whiskies, with the peat here probably masking some more obviously youthful notes; indeed, it’s not a million miles from some young Ledaigs. The late-developing fruit lifts it out of the high-70s.

Rating: 82 points. A little more texture and less sourness on the nose might have taken it higher.

Thanks to Clara and Rob for the sample!

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