Not my favorite Bushmills, but a solid addition to range nonetheless. This one takes the sweet caramel barley of the Original, but amps it up with bucketloads of wine-y fruits. Expect a little dust and oak over deep purple grape and mildest sherry. There is a bittering berry in there as well, but notes of butter-rich milk chocolate smooth it out and remind of Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut. The grains at this age are still singing like a plucked piano string, and ten years in oak doesn’t seem to have taken much of the edge off. Not a bad thing however, just a little sharper than I had expected.
The real beauty of Irish triple distillation is how much it strips the spirit down to purity and allows the barley to take center stage. This is the heart of a whisky…why shouldn’t it play the star? Hints of citrus zest round out the nose.
The palate delivers tart dark fruit skin (again…think purple grape) that morphs into apple skin towards the back end of development. Before we get there though, soft orange fruits and creamy caramel light up the taste buds.
As I hinted at, there are several better Bushmills expressions out there, but the unique character of this one makes it worthwhile if you like your Irish.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt