At last we come to the oldest and most expensive one to be newly released. Previously, the oldest was a 16 year old. The 18 however is stronger at 44% ABV but also more expensive at 75 pounds. While the 12 year old was quite expensive for the age conversely this 18 is on the lower end of the market.
The 18 year old was released after a short finishing in red wine casks but again it has been coloured because it looks no different to any other Jura in the range. After the Journey, 10 and 12 being very similar I hope the 18 raises the bar. At 18 years of age you expect there to be something interesting for those who want to spend quite a bit on a bottle of whisky.
Some of the best whiskies I have ever bought have been core range 18 year olds. Deanston 18 Year Old and Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old are the first two to spring to mind. The reader should also note they are both owned by the same people and take note. This is a producer to watch out for and I can safely recommend you buy anything they officially bottle without reading reviews or asking for a sample first.
Anyway, enough about quality producers what about this 18 year old Jura.
Colour – whisky yellow
Nose – murky and sea weedy nose. Some tannins from the finish are there two. They blend nicely around a subtle peat smoke.
Palate – The palate is not thin like the 10 or 12. There is some weight to it now. There is a lot of herbs and especially mint.
Finish – The finish is much longer than the other age statements to. Lots of cinnamon buns, fruit jams and oak tannins.
The 18 is by far the best of the new releases. The problem is that was a low bar and at 75 pounds there is lots more interesting whiskies to try. The whisky is decent but at the price I still feel cheated somehow.
Jura has a fundamental problem in that they produce hot whisky and mature it in poor casks for most of its life. This is fine as blending fodder but if you want to have a brand around it then you need to be investing more in your wood policy.
The owners don’t need me to tell them all this of course. I am nothing more than an amateur and not even the most informed out there. Whyte & MacKay are no new kid on the block and have teams of market experts on their payroll. They know that there is a market for slightly conventional and slightly unadventurous whisky. Those people don’t drink much of it or only buy it as a gift. There is so many people like that in the world who buy Scotch because its from Scotland or because they . That is the underlying truth to the existence of this brand.