Bushmills Original Review
Bushmills, you probably know most of the marketing blurb by now, its hard to miss...., granted a license to distill in 1608, 400 years of whiskey making in North Antrim, triple distilled Irish goodness but you can check out www.bushmills.com to get filled in on the rest.
At present all the distilleries core bottlings are bottled at 40% abv, all it would seem are chill filtered and all unfortunately use a little caramel colouring for the sake of visual consistency.
Until recently the distillery was owned by Diageo, who must be applauded for the significant investment they put in while under their stewardship, however I always felt they were playing fairly safe with the brand and weren't making the most of the excellent distillate made onsite. Now owned by Jose Cuervo there were rumblings of a braver, bolder strategy to take the disillery forward. Possible single cask runs, 'bottle your own' limited runs only available at the distillery....unfortunately so far we have only been 'gifted' the rather appalling overpriced no-age-statement (NAS) travel retail exclusives destined for Global Travel Retail outlets otherwise known as the 'Steamship Collection'. The first was a sherry matured NAS that retailed for around £80 and I can honestly say that the Black Bush is a much superior dram at a much less expensive price. I haven't had the new rum finished NAS expression and at £100 a bottle I'm unlikely to invest in one.
Anyway, on to the review for the staple Bushmills Original or White Label. This is a NAS blend (although I can confirm it is matured for 5 years) that is composed of 50% Bushmills Malt spirit & 50% of a grain spirit from Midleton, County Cork.
The grain spirit is instantly apparent, dominating the nose and giving a slight alcohol burn also highlighting the youth of the spirit. This gives way to green apples, pear, overripe banana, caramel & vanilla.
Alcohol heat on the tip of the tongue, honey, vanilla, malt & green apple.
Very short finish, honey oatcake with your palate drying very quickly.
In short not a very complicated whiskey. Quite one dimensional in that the honey & vanilla are the strongest aromas and flavours to be picked out. Fine for sipping but not terribly memorable, for me this is strongest when paired with ginger ale & lime or the mixer of your choice. An alright introduction to Irish Whiskey but not one to get your heart racing.