Isle of Jura Superstition – Review

*Thanks to the good folks at the Baddish Group for the sample.

(Had to do it…you can never hear that song too many times.)

Superstitions are really pretty silly when you come right down to it. For example, there’s almost no way stepping on a crack could break a mother’s back, but they’d never come to be superstitions if something hadn’t happened to make people believe they’re true. Perhaps some obsessive-compulsive politician never stepped on any cracks whilst walking, and then one day, whooops…did so, only to find out that his mother was in traction shortly after. Nevermind that his mother actually broke her back when she slipped on a piece of ham and that the crack had nothing to do with it, this politician, being fairly self-absorbed as politicians are apt to be, figures his wanton crack-stepping is to blame, starts up a big media campaign and the next thing you know, mom’s back and shoddy pavement are forever linked in people’s minds.

I’m not sure which came first, the Isle of Jura Distillery’s name for this particular whisky or the superstition they’ve cleverly invented/attached to it. The bottle is adorned with an Egyptian Ankh, the ancient symbol for everlasting life back when pharaohs killed thousands of slaves building their mammoth…tombs (hmmm, guess they should’ve used more Ankhs). Thankfully, Jura doesn’t put such weighty expectation on their Ankh: when pouring, hold the bottle with the Ankh in the palm of your hand and you’ll have good fortune. Simple as that, and though perhaps a little vague, no one’s going to turn down good fortune, be it a winning lottery ticket or just one last beer in the fridge when you thought there was none. Jura’s Superstition is a unique combination of mostly older (13- 21 year old) unpeated malts and a much smaller percentage of youngish (less than 10 years maybe?) peated malt.

The Nose:  Chocolate covered peat. There’s not really much smoke here, just an earthy, slightly medicinal peatiness coupled with notes of chocolate fudge, burnt toffee and vanilla. Behind that, stewed raisins, candied orange, and roasted nuts. Subtler notes of polished oak and faint smoldering grass hover in the background.

The Palate:  A creamy, almost fruit syrup entry slowly turns into more chocolatey grain. The peat is stronger on the palate than on the nose, along with nice baking spice notes, it calmly waltzes in as a slightly astringent, medicinal counterpoint to the sweetness and steadily grows into burst of greenish wood smoke towards the end. A nutty saltiness grows alongside the peat with nice, tannic wood notes as well.

The Finish:  That sweetened peat trails off slowly, leaving nutty, slightly salty and bitter notes at the very end.

Thoughts:  I really enjoyed the Superstition. While perhaps a little blunt in its mature, sweetened grain and youthful peat combination, it progresses from the nose to the finish really nicely. It’s well-balanced and well-integrated, without that disjointed-ness some other mildly peated, sweet drams have. A much more interesting malt than the 10 or 16 year old, and for around $45, a pretty good value.

Isle of Jura Superstition, Island, Jura

45% ABV

Score:  85

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