Founded in 1810 by the Ferguson family, it is home to some of the tallest stills in Scotland, at over 28 feet high. In 1901 the family suffered a dispute with the Laird of Jura and the distillery was dismantled as a result.
It lay dormant until the Mackinley-Mcpherson distillers rebuilt the site in 1963, this brought a much needed industry to the tiny island community, who have come to depend on the iconic stills as a source of local work and community spirit. Despite being only 100 miles from the centre of Glasgow, the journey to the island is no easy task, in fact the first distillery manager William Delmé-Evans, learned how to fly, instead of battling with the fearful corryvreckan in the sound of Jura.
Images © Jura Distillery
The Distillery is now in the well guided hands of Whyte & Mackay, and has continued to support the island economy by quietly re-investing in community projects and infrastructure. As you approach the distillery, walking past the palm trees on the quay, and the seals sheltering in the harbour, it’s easy to see where the malt takes on the characteristic oily, salted fruit, with the hint of smoke.
Operating in a typically different way, the Jura distillery runs 28 mashes per week of unpeated malt, with a final two week run of heavily peated production at 45ppm before closing down for the summer maintenance and rest. This unique way of managing the spirit is what allows the blenders to create flavours ranging from light and delicate, to a spirit that rivals the powerhouses on Islay, just 5 minutes away by boat.