In May 2016, we visited the Islands of Islay and Jura, for the Whisky Festivals. We were booked in for the Jura Festival and stayed on the island at the Jura Hotel, next door to the distillery. I have posted about all the other distilleries that we visited on Islay, but for some reason, I had posted lots about Jura, but not the distillery visit. It was only when husband asked, had I added it to the ‘Whisky Distillery Category’ …….well the answer was no, so hence the reason I am doing it now…..he doesn’t ask for much, ferrying me around, just a nice meal and a glass, or rather a bottle of whisky for his collection now and again. It takes two ferries to get to Jura from Oban on the west coast of Scotland. This trip was in 2016, in 2017 we tried to visit again, but the weather was too rough and the ferry was cancelled. We tried again this year 2018, and guess what, the ferry was cancelled again due to bad weather, we got our money back, but husband was just a little disappointed, but he did make up for it in some other distilleries. But back to Jura, the weather wasn’t great, but the whisky was flowing and we had a great time.
We had booked a tasting menu with different whiskies, a trip out on a speed boat drinking whisky with sea spray and tasting beer and whisky that matched each other.
Husband walking with an air of determination, there’s whisky in them there buildings 🙂
Inside the distillery we were given generous sized samples of the different whiskies and then we made our way to the hotel. Which is a really nice, comfortable and friendly, so handy for the distillery.
The next day we had the tasting menu and you can see from the photos just how tasty it was.
Later we went out in the speed boat, for more tasting and husband won a bottle of whisky, hence the big smile in one of the photos.
After our sea trip, we went to the shop and husband made some purchases. I took one of the bottles, I had seen other people getting their bottles signed. The manager was retiring and both him and the new manager were signing bottles. I got both and then I noticed the someone else, he was the head buyer, so I asked him to sign my bottle, so I got all three.
After the signing, it was time to taste some more whisky and beer this time, to see if certain beers complimented the whisky. So ended a day of lots of food, whisky and beer tasting, we would do it again, if the weather allowed us to 🙂
Just a little history……. The Campbell’s from Jura built the distillery around 1810. The whisky produced then was a peaty character, which differs considerably from the whisky produced today. The distillery was rebuilt in 1884 and produced 64,000 gallons per year back then. In the early 1900’s the distillery was dismantled and the buildings became a ruin. In about 1950, a few people on Jura got together and decided to restart the distillery, creating jobs for the island. The new distillery was built on the same location using some of the old ruined buildings. The distillery finally reopened in 1963 providing jobs for a quarter of the male workforce on the island. The whisky however changed as much as the appearance of the distillery and the taste became less peaty and more of a Highland character.