Thursday 8th January saw us return to Barocco in Cardiff, our new home in the capital and to celebrate, we tried out our first vertical tasting! During the evening we sampled five drams from Jura distillery, including some bottles I’ve been waiting over a year to open!
Welcome back everyone and Happy New Year! We’ve been very busy here at SWWIG over December and not only have we planned the calendar of events for the forthcoming year, we also brought along a few surprises – but more of that later!
Jura was the first dram Matt brought me a few years ago, which was my first real taste of a scotch – it’s the one that started my interest, the conversations and adventure that was the trip to Islay (and Jura), which in turn lead to the creation of SWWIG. So it seemed fitting that it should be our first vertical tasting for the group. It also gave me an excuse to open a couple of bottles I’ve been wanting to break the seal on – the Tastival edition of 2014 and the Boutique Barrel 1993 I purchased at the distillery in October 2013.
We tried out the other seating area in Barocco this time, and it’s definitely the better place to seat the 17 people who joined us. It’s fantastic to see regulars at the event, but also to see new people coming along, or being brought along by their friends – we’re obviously doing something right! Overall this is the use of the best space and also gives those arriving early a place to sit. Setup was also a lot faster this time, we had the chance to break out the little library I’m collecting as well.
The evening started with some fantastic news – SWWIG was awarded the ‘Whisky Club of the Month’ by whiskycast.com. There’s a blog post going up about that separate to this, but it was fantastic not only to get the new Glencairn glasses, but also to get some acknowledgement from such a respected person in the whisky world!
The drams for the evening were as follows
- Jura Origin
The Jura Origin was the most obvious place to start. Not only does it provide a perfect ‘baseline’ for the evening, but with it’s celtic symbol for birth and new beginnings, it’s the perfect first dram for the new year.
- Jura Tastival 2014 Edition
Next on the list was a complete change of tone to the seven barrel finished Jura Tastival which I managed to pickup online on the day of release and was awarded bottle number 91 of 3000!
- Jura Boutique Barrel 1993
Before the break we sampled the bottle I’ve picked up on the day Matt and I visited the island. This has sat proudly on my whisky cabinet for over a year, just looking for an excuse to open it and tonight was the night! Just as good as I remember it, sampling the dram also gave me a chance to reminisce about the day I purchased it.
- Douglas Laing ‘Old Particular’ Jura 21 year old
After the interval we moved the beautifully packaged offering from Douglas Laing – this lovely single cask, uncoloured version of Jura.
- Jura Prophecy
Rounding off the evening we concluded with the ‘profoundly peaty’ in Jura’s collecting. As usual the peaty ones always go down well with the group and this one did not disappoint!
While everyone appreciated the Origin for it’s representation for the evening, it was never going to be favourite for the evening. The next popular choice was the Jura 21, which surprised me as it was favourite for me. Personally I felt it a perfect example of how you want a ‘standard’ Jura to taste, like a condensed version of the distillery’s offering with all the great bits enhanced. Unfortunately this comes with a
price (£100) which probably put people off it. Third place was the Prophecy, though only because it had heavy competition from the remaining two. Everyone agreed, it’s a great introduction to the peaty whiskies before giving someone a Laphroaig or Lagavulin.
First and Second place go to the Tastival and 1993 respectively. Personally I didn’t expect the Tastival to do so well as it’s been referred to as a bit ‘Marmitey’, but the folks of SWWIG really enjoyed it – especially after giving it a bit of time in the glass. It was great to sample the 1993 and it’s nice to know I had good (or popular) taste when I first got started, but overall it was just nice to share this one amongst my new friends (even though it came 2nd)!
As always, thanks to everyone who attended and for Barocco hosting us! We’re putting some updates to the site over the next few days, so be sure to see check back or look in your inbox!