Consider the Scardigan. It presents itself as a scarf like any other, but then it offers a pleasant surprise: three buttons and pockets like a waistcoat, and–what’s this?–a top button to keep the neck warm like an ascot. A woolen marvel, the Scardigan. How shall I classify this sartorial platypus, this archaeopteryx of haberdashery? And so it is with the Isle of Jura 16. First, a caramel nose so pronounced that you feel it tugging at your fillings; a sweet, creamy-caramel suffusion, like Goetze’s candies plugged into your nostrils, or a still-warm crème brulee turkey-basted into your sinuses. But this wonderful sweetness soon gives way to spices—high, bright, electric spices–like waking from buttery biscuit dreams into the cargo hold of the Happy Entrance returning from Masulipatam with raw silk, saltpetre, opium, and above all pepper. Yes, this Isle of Jura 16 offers a wealth of surprises, not unlike that found in a successful sock puppet treatment of Der Ring des Niebelungen.
The Isle of Jura is Pete Postlethwaite. This whisky stands apart, and if drinking it made one’s cheekbones hillocked with acne scars and memories of schoolyard fights, well then, just pour me another anyway.