Whisky Live TLV take I–Tasting Isle of Jura 1984

Yesterday as planned I visited Whisky Live TLV which was held for the second year in a row, As always it was nice meeting many friends and blog readers from the growing Israeli whisky community as well as some cool guests from the whisky industry who were lucky enough to journey here from Europe.. I tasted quite a few whiskies, mostly ones I’ve had before (I know, it’s hard to please me…), but some were new and exciting And I shall review the star of the show (for me) today, and maybe post other tasting notes in the days to come, but before that my top experiences from last night:

The milk and honey distillery

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I’ve been following this operation for the last couple of years from some distance (I am not a member or affiliated with the distillery, but I am a friend those good people). I was really excited to see the distillery is making progress, and actually distilling whisky in Israel! They did bring their new make to share with us (production only started a few weeks ago, so they have only very young spirit), and after trying the new make both at 73% or so, and cut to 50%, I can say there’s great promise, and the new make is really lovely and drinkable, not funky or something, and given the right maturation period and good casks, we’re going to see some very interesting whisky in a few year’s time.  I am going to visit the place pretty soon, then I shall write a comprehensive post about what’s really going on there, meantime – Exciting stuff.

Whisky Live TLV Exclusive bottlings

This is the first year WL TLV has bottled exclusive single casks for the show, and they were both on sale. I’ve tried both (notes to follow), the first is a 7 year old youngster from Craigellachie distillery, the other being a 19 year old Tormore which was lovely. Prices are also quite good at 250 NIS / 350 NIS (58 EUR / 82 EUR), and I recommend the Tormore wholeheartedly. Get one if you can.

Most interesting whisky stand

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With quite a few importers, The most interesting whiskies were the Jura/Dalmore stand by Y.D, and having Willie Tate (Master distiller at Jura) over,was lots of fun. He’s a great guy as you probably know, and speaking to him about whisky was the highlight of the show for me. He was quite knowledgeable and it was very interesting to hear his opinions on distilling and whisky in general (not only Jura related, mind you). In addition the Jura offering was quite diverse, and The Jura 1984 I was lucky enough to try (the only Jura whisky I’ve yet to try until last night, in recent years I mean) did not disappoint, it was indeed the best whisky around. They also featured the Dalmore with a W&M representative, and a fine opportunity to try the new Dalmore 25 for the first time too.

Meeting friends and blog readers

I was lucky to meet whisky friends I meet frequently, and others I’ve only met once or only met on social media, and it’s always fun to meet FB and blog friends face to face, and share a dram. So thank you for coming over and saying hi.

and now after this quick summary, let’s review the Jura 1984, well worth a review.

Jura 1984 vintage, 44% abv, NCF,£750 (~4000 NIS)jura84

This  whisky was distilled in 1984 then matured in American White Oak, Amoroso and Apostoles Oloroso sherry butt casks. Exactly 1984 bottles ever produced.

Nose: This is a lovely nose, very deep and quite vinous, but not in a bad way. Plenty of red berries, wine tannins, honey and ripe melon,  some pineapple too with a lovely touch of spiced wood, which does feel older, and we know I love those woody notes. There’s also a nice amount of Jura style peat and maybe tobacco leaves, cough syrup. The wine notes work very well with the woody backbone, they are not as sweet as the Dalmore sherry finishes though which is good. It’s really complex, and layered.

Palate: The palate is an extension of the nose in this case, starting very winey with the sherry and wood, then getting a lot of peat (a lot more than I was expecting), and tobacco and also an earthy notes that works well with the sherry. Orange marmalade, and some red fruit too make up for a very well rounded palate. The wine is not overpowering but is very much at the foreground.

Finish: earthy peat, quite a bit of wine, and red berry jam. Love it.

Conclusion:

I heard this dram was good from a few friends who were lucky to have tried it a while back, but it really was far better than I had expected. For me it’s better and more interesting than the 30 year old which is a favorite, and clearly one of the best Jura whiskies in recent years. Too bad pricing is ridiculous (being a collector’s item of some sort). I can’t recommend this for 750 quid or at over 4,000 NIS, it’s way over priced. If only Jura bottle this without the fancy packaging at an affordable price, I would I could not resist.

Score: 92/100

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