Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Review / Jura Rum Cask Finish

This single malt whisky is the third bottling in the Cask Editions series from the Hedbridean island distillery of Jura. The Jura Rum Cask Finish has been created by Gregg Glass, the Whisky Maker & Blender at brand owner Whyte & Mackay, and has seen the spirit first matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Caribbean rum casks for a finishing period. It is presented with tropical themed packaging to reflect the cask influence. The Jura Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 40% ABV and will initially be exclusively available in a one litre format in UK supermarkets. The price will be £45. A 70cl bottle will also be released to other markets later in 2021.


"Summer is on its way and with it consumers are seeking fruity and vibrant flavours. The Jura Rum Cask Finish offers an easy-sipper that will transport tastebuds to tropical islands by way of the remote Scottish island of Jura." 
Kirsteen Beeston - Head of International Malts at Whyte & Mackay. 
The Jura distillery is located on the Hebridean isle of Jura and was founded in 1810 by Archibald Campbell. It was originally called the Small Isles distillery after the numerous islands located in Craighouse Bay, which the distillery sits on and overlooks. It was closed for a long period between 1901 and 1960, at which point it was rebuilt using a design by renowned post-War distillery architect William Delmé-Evans. It was only then renamed as Jura. 

Production restarted in 1963 and it has been operating ever since. The distillery has an annual production capacity of just over two million litres and is currently owned by Whyte & Mackay, who took control in 1993. Under their ownership the brand has seen sales grow massively, especially within the last 10 years or so.

Our tasting notes

The colour is golden yellow and the nose is full of vibrant and fruity aromas. Golden syrup and honey mix with dried pineapple and mango, which are backed up with hints of green apple and cocoa powder. Further aromas of peach, apricot and vanilla add depth and interest, and these are accentuated by hints of gingerbread and cinnamon.

On the palate this whisky has an instant luscious and juicy feel. Those tropical fruits from the nose, particularly the pineapple and peach, are expressive and have a delicious vibrancy. These notes are supported by an increasingly influential suggestion of bittersweet malted barley and a hint of soft and gentle distant peat smoke.

Then comes the next layer of sweet and fruity characteristics - sultana, green apple and a twist of blood orange peel combine well with the golden syrup and floral honey from the nose, plus icing sugar. There are also notes of vanilla, dessicated coconut and a good pinch of baking spices (especially cinnamon). Late hints of powdered ginger and cocoa are joined by a drying grass-like quality, which is most reminiscent of raw sugar cane and straw.

The finish is short and sweet. The fruitiness fades and allows the malt, mild peat smoke and warming spices to come through. This also has the effect of giving more prominence to the golden syrup and honey, but then even these are gone.

What's the verdict?

Rum casks are becoming increasingly popular over recent months it seems and Jura are the latest brand to join the party. A couple of the best examples that we have sampled have been quite smoky and the combination seems to work well. Jura's peat smoke is much more subtle and just gives a savoury suggestion, rather than being a dominant feature here. 

The rum cask influence is also much more subtle here than in some of those other examples. The expected tropical notes weave around the savoury and sweet elements, complimenting them well. The result makes Jura Rum Cask Finish a delicious and easy going whisky. Very enjoyable.


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