Mention the name “Islay,” and a certain segment of whisky devotees goes weak at the knees. Here, on an island off Scotland’s southwest coast, lies the beating heart of the peat-loving whisky masses. Drawn by the eight famed distilleries currently in operation, you could be excused for overlooking the neighbouring land mass tucked between Islay and the mainland.
Of a humbler size, this island’s windswept shores are home to merely one road, one village, one church, one pub and, of late, two distilleries (one of which produces gin). The other shares the island’s name — Jura — and produces stunning whisky. Your good sense of taste would be wise to take note.
Fortunately, Jura Distillery shows no signs of inferiority from living in the shadow of the greatness across the channel. As many tales of distilleries are told, the original distillery first opened in 1810, fell into disrepair toward the end of the century and then resurfaced in 1963. Since that time, a proud islander tradition of whisky making has helped forge the Jura name and attract a growing legion of fans.
Trust a maritime community to design the instantly recognizable Jura bottle with an eye toward preserving it during the all too occasional stormy crossing to mainland markets. That mercantile sensibility would also recognize the need to share their premium single malts with an audience beyond the island’s 200 inhabitants.
Jura attributes its signature flavours to a combination of the unique microclimate, the extra-tall stills that are designed to produce the most pure spirit possible and the determination to produce a lineup of whiskies that, yes, stands out in a sea of choice.