Jura 18 Year Red Wine Cask Finish

Scotch Whisky Review #405: Jura 18 Year Red Wine Cask Finish

Distillery: Jura.

Region: Island.

Age: 18 Year.

ABV: 44.0%.

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon maturation, “enriched by the finest red wine casks”.

Price: $90.

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.

Nose: Very similarly to the 19 year travel retail Jura, my first impression here was that things were pretty wonky. The same dried herb and potpourri note comes on strong thought it is also quite boozey despite the low ABV. With some air time, it does change quite a bit. Gone are the wonky dried plant notes and on comes some notes of fortified wine, chocolate liqueur, licorice, and artificial cherry flavoring. There’s a weird note of non-acetone nail polish remover as well.

Palate: The mouthfeel is a bit chewy at first. You get a hint of chocolate liqueur up front but then it’s over taken pretty strongly by a very boozey cherry kirsch note. It reminds me of the cherry filling you get from a Black Forest cake, but a filling that hasn’t been quite cooked appropriately and the alcohol hasn’t all evaporated off yet. With water, it gets sweeter. Gone is the chocolate entirely here and it is replaced with a nice caramel. The cherry kirsch note sticks around as well.

Finish: Medium in length. A hint of peat sneaks in here. The main note is a gassy, heavy note that reminds me of if you’ve inhaled a little too much charcoal smoke.

Conclusion: Normally, I’d walk straight past the Jura bottles in any liquor store. However, after my surprise enjoyment of the 19 year old travel retail bottling, I found my eyes wandering over to the shelves holding these hourglass shaped bottles. Had I misjudged the distillery? Was I missing out? FOMO set in hard and, well, here I am with another review of Jura. This 18 year was actually fairly nice. The nose starts strange with those wonky dried plant notes but eventually turns into a nice boozy dessert. The palate isn’t anything overly complex but it is quite pleasant with the boozey cherry kirsch filling notes. Overall, it’s quite decent though I’m left wishing for a little more complexity or depth in flavor to really make me go wild that I just didn’t find here. The red wine cask influence also didn’t seem to shine through either. I’m not sure I’ll be getting another bottle but I will enjoy the one I have.

Final Score: 80.

Note: I’ve made some changes to the scoring legend, the descriptions have been updated slightly to match my actual scoring a little better.

Scotch Whisky Review #405, Island Review #67, Whisky Network Review #559

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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