Not all Superstition is bad.

Taste Review #71 – Jura Superstition

For those of you who don’t know, mariners can be superstitious. I know of fishermen in the North East of Scotland have plenty of little things in their mind they they consider to be unlucky – mentioning the word Rabbit or Salmon is meant to bring no good and neither are having a woman on your fishing boat. And don’t dare consider washing out your sugar bowl. Shooting an Albatross would be probably the final icing on the cake to guarantee a maritime disaster or perhaps an empty fish hold.

As a person who also has spent the majority of his working life at sea, I also have a few superstitions and practices. As an ROV pilot, me and many of my colleagues are a bit nervous about mentioning the word ‘reterm’ which is a shortening of the word ‘retermination’. A reterm is when you have to cut the yellow flying tether between the ROV and the deployment system, or the main lift umbilical between the launch system and the deployment system. Not technically complex, though a main lift umbilical is more intensive and takes around 12 hrs to complete. Usually mentioning the word reterm is seen as chancing fate and is frowned upon by many.

An ROV sitting on top of a subsea manifold being viewed by another ROV. The other ROV tether is visible to the right. Best not broken.

I have no whisky superstitions, but when a bottle of Jura Superstition turned up in a bulk buy of auction whisky miniatures, I did become a bit wary. I’m not a fan of Jura, especially the last NAS offering I tried, the insipid Jura Journey. Would this one be the same? I was sort of hoping it wouldn’t be, as Jura is owned by Whyte and Mackay who also own Dalmore distillery which do have a good range of decent malts and the lesser known Fettercairn distillery. Their master blender Richard Patterson is a well known personality in the industry and has overseen the creation of some great drams, yet sometimes appears to drop the ball when it has come to Jura Journey and Fettercairn’s Fior, though that’s just my opinion.

The distillery on Jura was established in 1810 by the Laird of Jura to create employment on the island, but had intermittent use, finally closing in 1901, possibly as a result of fallout from the Pattinson crash. The main issue with Jura was that an island distillery was always going to make it more expensive to produce from – everything has to arrive or depart via ferry from Islay via Port Askaig on Islay. It wasn’t until the late 50’s that work started in rebuilding the distillery. This included the installation of taller stills (over 7 metres tall!). First spirit started flowing in 1963 and by 1974 single malt whiskies were being released.

The single malt we will be sampling today was first released in 2002 and is very lightly peated. It was joined by the more heavily peated Prophecy in 2009. The range was revamped in 2018 and Superstition was discontinued. Let’s pay a visit to a whisky that has passed on.

Jura Superstition 5CL


Region – Highland; Age -NAS; Strength – 43%; Colour – Deep Copper; Nose – Cereal notes, straw slight hint of smoke. Honey. A bit of brine in the background; Palate Slightly waxy mouthfeel- medium body. muesli, toffee, a hint of honey with more smoke. Now the light peat becomes apparent but not like an Islay. Finishmedium. The oak spices arrive now, with vanilla, smoke, slight dryness and a hint of brine at the end.

The dram


Well, surprise surprise. I actually liked this one. Maybe that’s an overstatement, but it had a lot more to offer than Jura Journey. I’m actually grateful that in my whisky journey that I’ve made the decision not to let one whisky I didn’t enjoy spoil my view of the distillery. I’ve sort of got a small bias against Whyte and Mackay brands, as I’ve not really enjoyed the few samples I’ve had from Fettercairn either, but that has also had a range upgrade recently as well.

I think the muesli notes perhaps come from the relatively short fermentation period of 54 hrs. There were also cereal notes that I detected in the nose. This spirit has been matured in Bourbon casks, has been chill filtered and also has added colour, thus scores 0/4 in the ABCD check list. However I ‘got’ this whisky. The brine influence along with a light peat gave a lovely smokey maritime feel.

If it was available, I’d give this a thumbs up and would recommend this as an easy introduction to peated whiskies, but alas it is no more. I’ve taken a look online and am struggling to see it available anywhere. It may be best to try auctions to try this whisky. It was RRP at £35-ish as a guide, so you should be able to pay less than this for a 70cl bottle.

I think my next Jura will have to be one of the age statement releases.

Yours in Spirits


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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit by clicking on the link.

Photo Credits

All Photos – Authors Own

A road best less travelled

Taste Review 25 – Jura Journey

This review has been a long time coming. Indeed, it was one I wanted to do right at the start of my ‘Journey’ (pun intended) with Scotty’s Drams, but felt entirely uncomfortable with it, as I knew what I wanted to say, but didn’t know exactly how to say it. To be honest, it’s been a long and arduous challenge for my mind to come up with what I present to you today.

the distillery

I hope you appreciate my words, and digest them carefully, as this has been the easiest, yet hardest review to write so far. You’ll soon see why.

Let’s get down to business. The island of Jura sits just to the north of that famous whisky isle / region of Islay. You can reach Jura by ferry from Islay, not too far away from Caol Ila distillery at Port Askaig. The main feature of Jura is a small collection of hills known as the ‘Paps of Jura’ on account of their shape. Pap is a Scottish slang term relating to a part of the female anatomy. The ferry journey is very short, so those of you who don’t have sea legs needn’t worry. There is only one distillery on Jura, and it is in the small village of Craighouse, on the east coast of the island.

the dram




Jura Journey is non-age statement


40% a.b.v


Amber Gold


Honey, barley sugar, slight smoke, black currants


Soft arrival, watery, no real mouthfeel. Vanilla fudge, a wee bit of smoke. Disappointment abounds.


Short but sort of lingers. It ends in black currants in the end. Like Ribena, which is a soft drink in the UK. Something it has in common with Jura Journey, which can almost be classified as a soft drink.

my 35CL bottle


Winston Churchill once said “Diplomacy is the ability to tell a person to go to hell in such a way that they will be looking forward to the journey”.

This isn’t a Journey to look forward to. I’ve tried to be diplomatic about this dram, but my keyboard kept defaulting to ‘rant’ setting, and therefore I have abandoned diplomacy. This is dram you may well struggle to enjoy.

If you are thinking of going for a ‘Journey’ of discovery with this whisky, abort the trip and pour yourself some Laphroaig. You’ll thank me for it. This Jura isn’t so much of a journey but the road to hell.

This whisky is the reason why I decided to keep Scotty’s Drams independent, and wouldn’t have to modify my reviews on account of being in somebody’s pocket. I don’t rely on being provided samples, all are bought with one or two gifts on the way.

This whisky was a present, but when it was opened, me and the gift giver decided the same thing – it was so insipid that it was as though we weren’t drinking a dram at all, or it had been flooded with water even though both of us had it neat. After a nip each, it was put away, but I thought I’d give it time to see if it improved in my mind. We soon moved on to better stuff.

Coming back to it a couple of years later (yeah, I know!!!) my view of it hasn’t changed. It is terrible. There is no real character to it at all, which given the big guns behind this is a big surprise. Perhaps Richard Patterson had his day off when that recipe was concocted, and upon his return made the trainee stick to it, so he could learn from the poor reviews when you make a dud dram. You’d learn quickly.

Jura has made some lovely whisky in its time, the 10 year old is a decent (but not great) dram, but I’m wary of NAS Jura, and this has confirmed my prejudice. I’d wouldn’t even use this for cleaning drains due to its lack of strength. It’s a training whisky at best, only so you know what disappointment is like. I may use it as a cooking whisky, or for visitors I don’t like.

There are two good things about it, the first being that if you are given it, you’ll know one of 5 things about your friend

⁃ They know nothing about whisky

⁃ They are on a budget

⁃ They have no sense of smell or taste

⁃ They don’t really like you

⁃ Possibly a combination of the above.

The second good thing? I lied. I couldn’t find another good thing.

It’s not even that cheap, it gives an experience of a lower price point than it actually is. On a technical note, this seems to be really young whisky, which with a lack of cask influence is not showing the distillery character in a good light, which is a shame. There are good Jura Drams out there. Just not this one.

If you don’t believe me, research on the internet, YouTube (other websites are available) is the best one to see what other whiskyphiles think of it. That is the other reason I waited so long to review.

it’s about the same thing – really

To be honest, had I paid for this, I would have felt violated. I enjoyed the Haig Clubman a lot more, and it’s cheaper. Jura Journey can be bought online for around £30 or £35 at Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s at the time of writing, but if you want my honest opinion, this is over priced. Tesco’s are selling the 35CL bottles at £12 on offer at the moment. That’s the price I would pay just as a cheap way of trying a poor whisky without breaking the bank.

Whatever you do, don’t ask for this at a specialist whisky shop. You’ll be correctly identified as a moron.

I’m away to rinse my mouth with Famous Grouse. At least that has flavour of some sort and is also cheaper than Jura Journey.

Slainte Mhath!

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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit by clicking on the link.

Photo credits
  • Jura distillery – Gordon Brown / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Road to Hell –