We got word recently that Jura distillery has launched the Jura Pub Quiz on their website, www.isleofjura.com. The goal is to keep fans of Jura whiskies in touch with island life online. The quiz consists of one question a week (named, appropriately enough, “the Question of the Week”). Given that only around 200 human beings live on the Isle of Jura, one question per week seems about right for keeping the rest of us in touch with life on the island: they make amazing whisky there, but it’s hard to imagine that, in general, island life is happenin’, in the strongest sense of that term.
Now, don’t misunderstand us: we would love to live there and call ourselves real (and not just honorary) Diurachs. John would gladly trade in the trowel he uses to grow organic beets and kumquats for a malting floor rake in the distillery. Bill would fall on his knees in thanks if he could resign his post at the mobile phone shop, where he dreams of stabbing himself in the eye as he caters to snot-nosed teenagers looking for the newest ringtones, and go to live and work in the idyllic peace of Jura. And you wouldn’t have to ask Stephen twice to forsake his lottery winnings–and the bunion removal shop he bought with them (and still operates all by himself)–to take a job cleaning up after the many deer on the island. Each of us at the Malt Impostor would drop everything to go live on Jura if we could, but even if we did, we wouldn’t expect to find anything resembling Studio 54 in its heyday–and that’s the way we’d want it.
At any rate, Jura will give away a bottle of Jura to a different honorary Diurach each week for correctly answering the Question of the Week. This will go on for the next 12 months, and at the end of those 12 months, the people who have the most correct answers will be entered into a drawing for a limited edition bottle of Isle of Jura 1974, of which only 685 bottles were produced. One caveat, however: if you live in the United States, they can’t send you alcohol. If you’re an American and you win a weekly prize, they’ll send you a Jura Hamper instead–clearly not as good as a bottle of Jura whisky, but a creditable substitute nonetheless. Plus, it’s not their fault–it’s George W. Bush’s fault, because he put into place the current restrictions on having alcohol shipped into the United States.
The Jura Pub Quiz goes hand-in-hand with Jura’s honorary Diurach community, which gives those who sign up access to other competitions and chances to win a wide array of prizes, including stays at the Jura Lodge and limited edition whiskies. The Diurach program also gives those who sign up discounted accommodation on Jura, a free dram every month for life at the Jura Pub, and a free distillery tour.
With all of this, Jura presents an informative and unique website experience for its fans. Several other major distillers have rolled out their own website projects in recent months, most notably Bowmore’s “Inner Core” site and Glenfiddich’s ‘Explorers’ Website, and most of them so far (and especially these three) have done very nice jobs putting up original content that differentiates their brands. For those of us who can’t get to Scotland nearly as often as we’d like, these sites provide a little something to satisfy us for the short-term–and increase our overall desire long-term. Only an industry steeped in the utmost patience could come up with marketing this devilishly good.