Jura Distillery

Jura 10-year-old from 1980s to 2000s

I always find it fascinating to observe the evolution of a distillery’s whisky over the years and decades, although I don’t often have the chance to do so. Thanks to whisky auctions, particularly miniature ones before Brexit, when access to a wide variety of whisky minis and full bottles was easier, I’ve been able to explore more. A few years ago, I purchased three minis of Jura 10-year-old, bottled from the 1980s to the 2000s. This will provide me with the opportunity to analyse how this particular expression of Jura’s core range has developed over these decades.

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Port Ellen Distillery

Port Ellen 33yo Boutique-y & 1983 Duncan Taylor

In recent weeks, I found myself on the cusp of reaching my 2000th unique whisky tasting. As with any significant milestone, I craved a special celebratory dram. Fortunately, I had received a couple of Port Ellen samples from friends, making them the perfect candidates for my 1999th and 2000th whiskies.

But as Port Ellen distillery was to reopen its doors after a 40 years hiatus, my 2000th tasting was at risk of occurring amidst the bustling chaos of the Lyon Whisky Festival, where precise timing is nearly impossible due to a whisky festival’s frenetic pace. So, I decided to take an ultra-small sip of one of the Port Ellen whiskies right at the 2000th milestone. But fear not – I later savoured both whiskies properly on a serene Sunday morning. By that point, I had already surpassed 2050 drams tasted.

Picture this: the Palais de la Bourse in Lyon, bathed in morning light, almost empty except for myself and a dear friend, Aurélien, as the opening of the second day of the show was not yet to happen for the next 80 minutes. Together, we shared the experience of tasting these two remarkable whiskies: the 33-year-old Port Ellen Boutique-y and the 1983 Duncan Taylor. Our tasting notes were penned collaboratively, as we tried those whiskies together. Whisky is for sharing and drinking, after all.

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Glengoyne 10, 12, 18, 21 and CS

Glengoyne 10, 12, 18, 21 and Cask Strength

We have yet to feature a Glengoyne here, so let’s remedy that with an extensive selection. Since 1833, the distillery has been a fixture on its site, initially under the Edmonstone family and later under the MacLellands in the 1850s. Acquired by the Lang Bros in 1876, it underwent name changes from Burnfoot to Glen Guin, finally adopting the name Glengoyne in 1905. Integral to Lang Brothers’ blends like Supreme and Robertson & Baxter’s offerings (now Edrington), Lang Brothers was absorbed by the latter in 1965. Glengoyne’s single malt era began in the 1990s, boasting ‘the unpeated malt’ distinction. Notably, the distillery is located in the Highlands, while its warehouses lie in the Lowlands. In 2003, Edrington sold Glengoyne to Ian MacLeod for £7.2m, leading to a revitalisation of its single malt brand and the transformation of the distillery into a popular tourist destination. Let’s explore eight Glengoyne expressions, including two 10-year-olds, one 12-year-old, one 18-year-old, three distinct 21-year-olds, and a Cask Strength release.

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Mortlach 2.81 distillation

Mortlach 15-Year-Old Gordon & Macphail (1970s & 2015)

Reflecting on my initial discussion of Mortlach from three years prior (time flies!), I recall mentioning the need to delve into their 2.81 distillation process, potentially following an overview of distillation itself. It seems that slipped my mind! Nevertheless, I’ll share some insights into their distillation method shortly. Meanwhile, let’s juxtapose two iterations of Mortlach’s 15-year-old, bottled by Gordon & Macphail: a vintage edition from the 1970s and a more recent release from 2015.

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Millburn 1978 Gordon & Macphail

Millburn Distillery, Inverness’ eldest among three (with Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor), traces its origins to a farm distillery alongside a river powering mill wheels, likely predating legal recognition. Though achieving legal status between 1805 and 1807, it remained inactive. A revival in 1825, led by inexperienced owners, faltered amidst the 1823 Excise Act’s challenges, closing in the 1850s, reverting to a flour mill. Rekindled in the 1870s by David Rose, it flourished under his son George’s management until the Haigs acquired it in 1892. Passing through several hands, including Booth’s and DCL, it ceased operations in 1985 due to the whisky surplus. Attempts at revival were thwarted in 1990, with the site repurposed as ‘The Auld Distillery,’ yet the potential for a micro-distillery remains, a tribute to Inverness’ legacy. We try today a Millburn 1978 bottled by Gordon & Macphail.

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The Glenlivet Distillery

Official Glenlivet 12 and Speyside #4 Batch 13 Boutique-y

Glenlivet is a distillery that left an indelible mark on Scotch whisky, particularly in the Speyside region. Many distilleries appended ‘Glenlivet’ to their name for years to align themselves with its esteemed reputation and the distinctive style of whisky crafted in Speyside. For further insight into this historical context, I recommend reading an article by the Professor on the now defunct scotchwhisky.com. Originally, this review was intended to feature a Glenlivet 12-year-old bottled in the 1970s or 1980s. Unfortunately, half of my miniature bottle evaporated, rendering the whisky flat and lifeless. Instead, we’ll explore an official Glenlivet 12-year-old from 2018, alongside a mysterious Speyside #4 Batch 13 from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Yes, we may have tried a few other whiskies from Boutique-y recently! The identity of the secret Speyside #4 distillery remains a mystery, of course!

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Six Australian whiskies and a brandy from Boutique-y

Six Australian Whiskies and a Brandy from Boutique-y

Australian whisky is experiencing significant growth, prompting questions about its identity on the global stage. Single malt dominates the scene, offering diverse options from tropical and fruity expressions to wine cask-forward whiskies. Heavy peat varieties are crafted by some Ozie distilleries whilst some others specialise in extensively aged malts. And moreover, Australian whiskies curated by renowned independent bottlers such as Adelphi, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, and others are now accessible, expanding the global reach of Australian whisky. Today we turn our glass to Boutique-y, as we try six Australian whiskies from That Boutique-y Whisky Company as well as an Australian Brandy, that were part of their Return to Oz collection.

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