Distillery: Isle of Jura
Age: No age statement
Most whisky makers produce either only peated, or non-peated spirit, but the Isle of Jura distillery has chosen to cover the entire spectrum. As you can see on their tasting wheel, expressions such as Origin and Diurachs’ Own stretch Jura’s range from light and delicate to rich and full-bodied. At the smokiest end of the spectrum we find Jura Prophecy, the island distillery’s rendition of a peat monster. But Prophecy is more than just that; despite its relative youth, it displays layer upon layer of rich flavours. Jura is a bit secretive about the casks that Prophecy has matured in, saying only that Prophecy is crafted from a selection of the finest and rarest aged Jura single malt whiskies. Clearly though, there’s more than just bourbon barrels involved in Prophecy’s making. The result is a captivating whisky, a good example that Jura gets their NAS bottlings very right. The only shame is the heavy caramel colouring that’s needlessly been added to give Prophecy a more attractive look.
Jura Prophecy was my companion during a solo wild camping trip on Jura, so I always have fond memories whenever I drink this whisky. It’s a shame therefore that Prophecy (along with all its siblings) is being replaced in 2018, but who knows what delightful whiskies the new range will bring…
Colour: Liquid mahogany
Nose: Ouhh this is a far livelier, more youthful Jura than we’re used to. The peat certainly isn’t pulling any punches, but is wrapped in tart, fruity aromas. Underneath the prominent barley profile await scents of grapes and forest fruits. Although Prophecy’s nose is decidedly crisp, there’s still that slightly musty Jura smell that I’ve come to appreciate over the years. Certainly lots happening on the nose, but I’m not yet convinced it’s all good news. Can these aromas bind together into a great whisky?
Palate: It only takes one sip to answer that question with a resounding “yes”. Prophecy is beautifully balanced, combining that boisterous spirit of a young peated whisky with a wealth of complexity. I suspect there are some sherry casks thrown into the mix, as flavours of raisins and hazelnut mingle with a subtle hint of nutmeg. The peat is never far off, accompanying briny notes of smoked kippers and seaweed.
Finish: The finish doesn’t disappoint, and brings exactly what you’d expect of a heavily peated whisky. The aftertaste is pleasantly salty, showcasing Jura’s maritime character.
Verdict: The ‘profoundly peated’ advertised on the box is no word of a lie. You shouldn’t expect Ardbeggian levels of peat here, but compared to other Juras, Prophecy certainly packs a punch. I suspect this dram is quite a young Jura, but that youthfulness doesn’t for one moment distract from the fact that Prophecy is an extremely engaging, complex whisky. With Jura completely overhauling its range in early 2018, you don’t have to be a prophet to see that Prophecy will become a scarce commodity in the future. Be sure to snap one up while you still can, I for one will miss this whisky!