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Jura Boutique Barrels 1993 Sherry JI Cask Finish

54% ABV - Isle of Jura, Scotland

Nose: Lots to explore upfront with chocolate prunes, black cherry, candied plum, and distinct sherry spices.

Taste: Cherries and black currant with dark fruits, wood (complementary and not off-putting), and spices close in tow.

Finish: Medium to long finish; mixture of dark fruits, wood, pepper, and spices.

The Boutique Barrels! This line of cask strength, single cask, cask finished, vintage releases by Jura has little information on the label and required some searching online. From what I could gather, there have been two main "waves" of Boutique Barrel releases to select markets; one release in 2010(?) and one in 2013...

From an indeterminate release date – the internet suggests 2010 – there are three expressions under the Boutique Barrels label: 1993 ex-Oloroso at 54% (labelled with JI, this review), 1995 ex-Bourbon at 56.5% (labelled with JO), and the 1999 ex-Bourbon at 55% (labelled with XU, and using heavily peated malt?)

I suppose that release was deemed successful as then we have three more expressions bottled in August 2013: 1995 ex-Bordeaux at 56.5%, 1995 ex-Sauterne at 58.9% (not Sauternes), and the 1997 ex-Sparkling Rosé at 55.5% (read my review).

I couldn’t help but insert those facts upfront – so let’s get onto the whisky in the dram… There is a heavy (heavy, heavy) ex-Oloroso Sherry influence right through to the finish in this single cask Jura. In particular, the nose has some characteristics – the spices – that would probably have me confused in a blind nosing amongst actual Sherry...

Time is required, and water is recommended, to tease out the nuances and to appreciate the complexity. This is one of the few limited or rare whiskies that I had the opportunity to try before I buy - shout out to Fet’s Whisky Kitchen! The local price was in the neighbourhood of $30CAD and the bottle price was $200CAD – not exactly cheap… however, now that I’ve opened this one up, and have been working through it at a relatively quick pace, I’m already thinking about reprioritizIng my wish list in case I see another bottle on the shelf!

I can’t say that I am a Jura-head (not sure anyone says that), but I do really like this one. For my flavour preferences, it’s a significantly better offering than their core range (c. 2016-18).

Tasting Notes (Official): This malt is, without question, a sensual delight. It will excite, surprise and satisfy your taste buds with its subtle array of flavours: rich citrus marmalade, crushed almonds, spicy ginger and roasted coffee. It’s warm, deeply mature and inviting. Pure luxury in a glass.

Tasted 27 January 2020. (Posted 30 January 2020.)

95/100
Detailed Rating Information...

90+: Fantastic whisky; highly recommended. My favourite whiskies. I might have more than one bottle if the price is right and the supply is limited! The higher values in this range will reflect a stronger balance and consistency between components.
85-89: Great whisky; recommended. Whiskies that really tick the flavour boxes and you'll likely hear about these from me. Good purchase decision—I would consider buying again.
80-84: Very good whisky; recommended, but still consider trying before you buy. Anything is this range or above I would order at a restaurant or make a calculated purchase decision.
75-79: Good whisky; consider trying before you buy. These are whiskies that I enjoyed drinking, but likely would reach for another bottle from the shelf or select something different to order.
65-74: Average; consider trying before you buy, but not recommended. There is nothing that stood out about this whisky and I might be inclined to add ice, mix it with soda, or use it in a cocktail, instead of trying to enjoy its own flavours.
50-64: Bad; not recommended.


Whisky Bottle