In the 1700’s, Clan Campbell ruled the isle of Jura, whose famous neighbour, Islay, lies to the south-west. Legend tells of the clan evicting a seer, or prophet, from the island during this time; on her exit, she predicted that the last Campbell would one day leave the island with one eye missing and a single white horse pulling all his possessions in tow. Over two centuries later, in 1938, this prophecy came true, with Charles Campbell (the last Campbell on Jura) leaving the island exactly as predicted — an eye shot out during World War 1, and all his worldly goods drawn behind a solitary white horse.
From this great and amazing tale comes the name for the whisky we are reviewing this week – Isle of Jura Prophecy. Jura distillery, founded in 1810, fell under the ownership of Whyte & Mackay (who also own Dalmore distillery, among others) in 1994. What does Jura have to say about their Prophecy bottling?
Heavily peated with fresh cinnamon and spicy sea spray. Bottled in a traditional style without chill filtration to deliver an authentic taste of 1938. Flavours of peat smoke, fresh cinnamon and spicy sea spray with tarry bonfire notes give way to hints of soft licquorice and nutmeg. Prophecy received Gold Best in Class at the 2010 IWSC Awards.
Jura’s Prophecy is rich amber in color, with long legs in the glass. Having not been chill filtered, and bottled at 46%, we couldn’t wait to nose this whisky, and it didn’t disappoint — on the nose, the smokiness brought about by the high levels of peat is immediately apparent, as are hints of cinnamon and citrus orange. With a combination of orange juice, pancakes with extra egg whites, cheddar cheese, bacon, and syrup notes — the flavor combinations add up to the ultimate breakfast scotch! Strong peat tones continue onto the palate, as cinnamon, yeast, and salt carry over from the nose. Hiding under it all is a liquorice undertone complimented by a smooth and long finish. Prophecy is a very interesting and complex dram, especially relevant to its sibling, “Superstition.” Marketed as a limited annual release, give this dram a try; if you can find it, that is.