Whisky Focus - Jura Celebrates 50th Anniversary At 2013 Feis Ile

Jura Celebrates 50th Anniversary At 2013 Feis Ile

9th April 2013

Jura celebrates 50th Anniversary at 2013 Feis Ile with the Delme Evans Select, Festival Bottling 2013, Turas Mara and a rather unusual 39 year old whisky!

At this years "Fis le" (Islay Whisky Festival) the Jura distillery will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. I thought Jura was much older than 50 years I hear you say, you are correct Jura was built in 1810, and was rebuilt in 1876. Like many other distilleries Jura closed in 1913 during World War I but it did not reopen after the war due to a dispute between the building owner and the distillery machinery owner.

Jura then lay silent until 1958 when it was rebuilt by two local estate owners, Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith, they employed architect William Delme-Evans. William Delme-Evans introduced tall, elegant stills into the distillery and it is those very same stills that continue to produce Jura malt whisky to this very day. The distillery reopened in 1963, so technically they are celebrating 50 years since the Jura distillery reopened.

The Jura 50th anniversary celebrations will be part of the 2013 Fis le which includes a packed programme of live music performances, interactive whisky tastings and storytelling sessions.

As part of the two day festival on 29th and 30th May, visitors to Jura will be able to hear about the rebirth of Jura distillery first hand and experience some of the finest malts Jura has to offer, including: Delme Evans Select, Festival Bottling 2013, Turas Mara and a rather unusual 39 year old whisky!

Master Blender Richard Paterson will be leading the tasting Master Class for this years unique festival bottling, a marriage showcasing the best of Juras heavily peated and sherry styles, containing whisky aged in a 1963 Vintage sherry butt, tying this new whisky right back to the reopening of the distillery 50 years ago.

The liquid celebration of the anniversary doesnt stop there, as a lucky few will get to taste a whisky specifically created to recognise the work of distillery architect William Delme Evans.

Just over 500 bottles of the Delme Evans Select were released in 1988 and it completely sold out. But the distillery held some bottles back, and visitors to this years festival will be the last in the world to enjoy this special spirit which was created using the very stills designed by the man whose name is on the bottle.

In another first for the Jura Festival, there will be a whisky masterclass held at sea (I hope the weather is good), with a 40 minute guided cruise around the small isle bay and a chance to taste the newest edition to the Jura range Turas Mara.

Meaning "long journey", this travel retail exclusive was inspired by a poem by island resident Jessie Scott who wrote an ode to Jura when she emigrated from the island in the 1800s. A plaque with the poem has pride of place on the beach at the point where she left the island.

Meanwhile, Paterson will also be hosting an exclusive pre-launch of the Jura 40 year old which at the time will only be 39 years old with festival goers getting the chance to create the tasting notes to go along with the whisky when it officially launches some time in 2014.

For more information on the 2013 Jura Distillery Whisky Festival please visit www.isleofjura.com

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