I’m partial to most malts, irrespective of source, but my major love has to be the chewable, peaty numbers from Islay.
My ‘King of the Isle’? Lagavulin, although its neighbours near Port Ellen (Ardbeg and Laphroig) are grand, as is Bowmore.
Although I’d planned to acquire a special Ardbeg or Bowmore for the festive season, this year’s addition to the drinks cabinet comes from neighbouring Jura. The Prophecy is a relatively limited release and is, I quote, ‘profoundly peated’.
My palette is not too refined, so I can only sum the Prophecy up thus:
For those accustomed to whisky that assaults the olfactory faculties with a cloud of peat smoke, this may disappoint. The peat is rather restrained on the nose, and there’s more spiciness I guess than anything else with, perhaps appropriately, festive fruits and a bit of salt.
The boggy stuff hits more in the mouth: smoky with a definite citrus tang. Ultimately, it’s complex, yet rounded and refined, and the finish is long… sink-into-a-squishy-armchair long. Wonderfully warm, smoky and lingering, but softer than the more peated Islay malts.
Now for the bad-ish news.
This Jura has a lovely deep, Castrol GTX colour. It’s made from ‘rare aged malts’ and is not chill filtered so holds a bit of a haze. Unfortunately, it’s coloured with caramel, which bugs me a bit. Lagavulin also uses colouring for consistency, in order to meet the expectations of the consumer (or so I was told when I visited the distillery earlier this year).
I can live with it, though. This Jura is a special dram. Although sharing some characteristics of the Origin release, it has more depth and if you’re a bog trotter when it comes to Scotch, it’s definitely worth a snort.