Bushmills

Review: Bushmills Single Malt 10 Years Old Irish Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

Bushmills 10 2.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
Ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso barrels
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Bushmills (Bushmills, N. Ireland)

I believe this one is mostly ex-bourbon casks, but a triple distilled malt from Bushmills. Bushmills is more known for their blends, but this 10 and a 16 and 21 year old highlight the malt in their whiskies - triple distilled in copper pot stills rather than the more typical double distillation, resulting in a lighter spirit (generally...).


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L7171IB001 10:31

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Very nutty – it’s like opening up a bag of hazlenuts with the skins on. Apple juice, peach, oak, blanched almonds, marzipan, green wood, and light barley earthiness. The hazlenut is terrific! The palate is nutty and earthy, lightly sweet, with some vanilla and apple – leading into light, woody spice: nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is lightly tannic and still carries a bit of that sweetness, but is where the barley really comes out and shines. It still has a bit of grassy spice to it, which is nice.

Canadian distillers often describe single malt as very nutty – this is complete evidence of that. It’s not the defining characteristic for me, generally, but it is on display here...

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, at $42.


Review: Bushmills Red Bush Irish Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

Bushmills Red Bush.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
Ex-bourbon barrels
Recipe
Grain and Malt Whiskies
Distiller Bushmills (Bushmills, N. Ireland)

This triple distilled whiskey was added to the lineup, between the flagship whiskey and Black Bush, with a focus on bourbon cask maturation.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L7292IB 001 12:29

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Loads of pear! Loaded with fruit – baked pear, apple, peach, cherry – but also vanilla and light oak. The palate is loaded with sweet peach and eventually dried out to oak and some tannins. The finish has milk chocolate, clove, vanilla, and more fruit – peach again prominent. The finish has a touch of bourbon – creamy, vanilla laden, and full of dried fruit. Really easy and very nice! More in the vein of the standard Bushmills than Black Bush, but a very nice addition to the lineup.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, at $35.


Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

Bushmills BB.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
Oloroso Sherry Casks
Recipe
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.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, 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.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, based on $37.


Review: Bushmills Irish Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

Bushmills.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
Malted & Grain Whiskies
Distiller Bushmills (Bushmills, N. Ireland)

Irish Whiskey is spelled with an “e” rather than the Scottish spelling without the “e” (“whisky”). Why is this? In the mid 1800s, much of the Scottish produced product was, frankly, nasty stuff. However, Ireland was producing lighter, higher quality product – and started to use an “e” in the spelling because they didn’t want to associate with the other nasty “whisky” being produced. At this time, more Irish whisky was drunk in Scotland than other whiskies.

Bushmills is a distillery in the north – Northern Ireland, in fact (the only major Irish whisky producer not in Southern Ireland), and it triple distills its product, producing much whisky from malt rather than a mix of unmalted and malted barley (“pure pot still”) like many other Irish distilleries. This whisky is triple distilled, which will lend a lighter character to the spirit, and it is a blend, containing a mix of malt and grain whiskies.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Nose: Lots of apples come off at first. There’s also a fascinating interplay of grassy vegetal notes and toffee. The vegetal characteristic combined with the fruitiness in the nose leads to aromas much reminiscent of honeydew melons. Malt, honey, candied orange peel, light bourbon aromas, and a light oaky presence are also in the mix – with the nose overall smelling quite sweet. At times there’s a bit of a menthol feel and a bit of bitterness.

Taste: Doesn’t quite deliver the promises of the nose, and not as sweet as I had expected. Vanilla, and a good kick of barley and malt at the end. Honey is there also, with the same grassy and vegetal character. Lots of toffee (think Werther’s). Light and short – but quite pleasing.

Finish: A bit of barley carries the finish forward with light spices, coconut, baked apples and barley with quite a nutty character. A bit of unfortunate bitterness comes through on this. Unfortunately, the bitterness seems to grow rather than diminish with time.

Conclusion: Really this is quite high quality stuff, and I think is terrific value for what you get especially if you like lighter fruity malts. A fruit driven malt, this one. Toffee and grassy as well. Very pleasant, and a very nice entry-level blend, I must say.

Value: Average. On the higher end. Really not a bad buy for the price.