It is coming to that time of the year where you dust off your kilts, hack up some haggis and slop some neeps and tatties onto your plate. That's right, it's Burns Night! As you gather round with fellow members of your household, yet again, to mumble your way through addressing the haggis. There is also another item on the menu that is synonymous with Burns Night, a wee dram of whisky!
Whisky is a passion of mine but for me to explain it in my blog post we could be here for quite a while. So I will be focusing on one distillery in particular Jura. Scotch whisky is made all around Scotland, from the city of Glasgow to the picturesque distilleries of Speyside. Jura is an island located 60 miles from the mainland and lies close to Islay with lochs, mountains and only one pub!
There has been a distillery on the island since 1810 but production finished at the end of the 19th century and it fell into ruin. But then in 1963 two of the island's landowners decided to start distilling again and help revive the small community.
The whisky produced takes on many of the elements of the island, the main aspect is the water used. The source of it is in the Paps mountains then filters down to the Market Loch, this water makes its way to the distillery and shapes the whisky.
The distillery uses very large stills that have the capacity for 20,000 litres! They are also very tall at 7.7m in height, this extra cooper contact helps to create a smooth spirit. After distillation it is matured in ex bourbon barrels for 10 years and the final aging and enhancing is done in Oloroso sherry casks.
The whisky has aromas of dried fruit, a great depth of dark chocolate and a hint of pepper. When you taste the whisky you can expect nectarines, ginger and freshly ground coffee. The hints of smoke and saline elements you expect from a coastal distillery will enhance the flavours and hints of spice in the haggis.
This is a whisky with a heritage and having a sip helps to support a small community who are passionate about the product they produce. You can bag a bottle on our website for £40.
I’ll leave you with a short poem from the man himself, Robert Burns. His poem ‘John Barleycorn’ (1782), uses personification in referring to the processes of reaping and malting the barley and subsequently distilling it.
‘John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.
‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy;
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.’
Is it your New Year's resolution to cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink? Or have you gone cold turkey for a dry January?
Gone are the days of feeling like you are missing out by not drinking. We have introduced a new range of alcohol-free spirits that you can use to make your favourite cocktails.
Throughout January our blogs will focus on some of the best alcohol free options, exploring great producers, plus some fantastic non-cocktails you can try at home. First up, our Spotlight On series continues with the award-winning brewery, Big Drop.