Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Bushmills BB.jpg
Oloroso Sherry Casks
Grain and Malt Whiskies
Distiller Bushmills (Bushmills, N. Ireland)

This whisky is triple distilled, and matured in sherry casks. It is darker than the other Bushmills, hence “black” (not that caramel doesn't help) – the whisky is crafted in the style of a blended scotch from a mix of grain and malt whiskies.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2015

Nose: Pears jump out first, with some nice sherry caramel and cola notes. It’s still quite a bit grassy, and retains that honeydew note present in the standard Bushmills. Vanilla comes out a bit as it sits, not only on the nose but also on the palate. Sometimes I get some a touch of staleness in the nose too.

Taste: The grains are quite a bit at work here. There’s vanilla, caramel, lots of toffee, and more of that pear…. with a good kick of barley and honey at the end as well. The body, sweetness, and balance are all nicely in place.

Finish: A light bit of “rancio” character which melds with the pear, honey, and honeydew. Lightly nutty, earthy, and spicy as well. Overall, though, quite bright and fruity.

A lot of pear in here, and it is built well around it. Deeper, better tasting, and longer than the standard Bushmills – very nicely crafted. Incredible value for this whisky – there aren’t many bottles (in Canada certainly) better than this for under $40, and certainly none in the fruity malt category.

Score: 87/100

Value: 87/100 (based on $37)

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: L7186IB001 11:03
  • Bottling Date: 2017

Very fruity, as with the other bushmills blended whiskies – but this one is darker and loaded with spice. Apple juice, nutmeg, clove, and almost an armagnac-like spicy richness to this. Pear and peach, too. The palate is spicy, with lots of clove and dried apple, dried apricot, figs, and finishing with a mixed bag of dried fruit. Rancio – ever so lightly. The finish brings in a sudden earthiness which is terrific, alongside light oak, almonds, and light spice. Very pleasant „grip” on the finish.

Score: 87/100

Value: 87/100 (based on $37)