In 1963, the spirit sprang from the Jura stills for the first time since the turn of the 20th century. The whisky distillery is the Isle of Jura’s one and only and underwent a substantial rebuild; nothing remained from the old buildings save for the walls. The buildings were designed by William Delmé-Evans who would later be the principal architect for the Tullibardine distillery. It was two local estate owners, Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith who employed Delmé-Evans to renovate the distillery in a bid to boost the local economy.
Despite the relative close proximity between Islay and Jura, the whiskies are rather dissimilar. Jura whiskies offer power, but none of the intense peat smoke of its Ìleach cousins from across the narrow channel between the two isles. The Isle of Jura distillery was founded by Archibald Campbell in 1810 and named the Small Isles Distillery. It was some eight years after the License Act of 1823 that William Abercombie obtained a license for the distillery, renaming it Isle Of Jura.
The name derives from the Old Norse for ‘deer island’, a reference, most probably, to the large local herds of deer, which more than outnumber the isle’s human population. The most notable resident was George Orwell, who famously travelled to the isle on a bright, cold day to write ‘1984’. There have been several independent bottlings as well as an extensive official range which include the 2008 release of four vintages which make up the Elements series.