Bushmills Distillery Tasting Notes

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Bushmills, Irish Whiskey

Bushmills 10 year old 40%

Tasted: Jan 2007

An austere nose of hard candy, crisp barley and oily toffee followed by some subtle sherry notes. Over time it becomes quite aromatic and has some delightful fruity moments. Still very oily with hints of dried fruit.

The palate starts with the subtle, soft sherry before the hard barley and toffee takes over. There is a lovely, short spice burst on the middle and a touch of menthol freshness. The finish is somewhat austere and a soupcon of bitter oaks dries it out, adding to the overwhelming sensation of sternness. However it leaves a hint of mocha and a lovely wood spice after taste. Very enjoyable and classy.

Bushmills 10 year old 40%

Score: 8.8

Nose: Deep and broad, opening with dense pineapple, banana and oak. The aromas become crisper as the crunchy barley and herbal fresh stony notes appear followed by some perfumed white fruit. In fact it becomes very perfumed with time. (3.7)

Palate: Extremely soft, opening with gentle oak and spices. Not quite as broad as the nose but the toffee coated white fruit, banana and pineapple is pleasant. More oilier and less mineral than the nose (3.4)

Finish: Long and quite fresh as the minerality appears. (1.7)

Conclusion: Superb nose, although the oak clamps down a bit on the palate.

Bushmills 16 year old ‘Three Woods’ 40%

Bourbon/ Oloroso, finished in Port/ Tasted: May 2012

A wonderfully deep, juicy and earthy nose leading off with some ripe, red berry fruit along with hints of gooseberry , peppery spice and fern. There is a touch of nutty, marzipan coated apricot and lush sherry beneath. A very complex and ever changing nose! Now there’s a touch of stewed fruit, sweet barley, bracken and some late American oak vanilla. A lovely combination of aromas from the three casks, all in perfect symmetry.

The palate is lushous and juicy with some earthy barley leading off. There is no shortage of American oak and it does start to bitter a touch but the juicy sherry laced fruit sees that off. The port adds some delightful red fruit at the edge. A touch of natural caramel/ toffee does dampens the finish, but those spices are absolutely gorgeous and linger, taking ones mind off the dampening toffee.

Bushmills 16 year old ‘Three Woods’ 40%

Score: 9.1

Nose: Gently smoked and very winey with earthy red fruit, pomegranate and a touch of perfumed cherry. Slightly herbal with a touch of menthol, toffee. Extremely complex with what appears to be some sherried, rich fruit cake later. (3.7)

Palate: Soft and silky, opening with a lightly syrup coated red fruit, redcurrant jelly, damson and plums. It evolves beautifully as some crisp barley and vanilla appear on the middle along with some dried fruit and edgy spices. (3.7)

Finish: Long and winey with a lovely, almost tart citrus note freshening the finish along with lingering menthol and sweet spice notes. (1.7)

Conclusion: Have multiple casks been used here? If that is the case then they are all perfect harmony. (tasted blind)

Bushmills 21 Years Old 40%

Tasted: Feb 2012

A Full and juicy nose with a touch of malt extract and tar. Some mature fruit mingles with chicory and fennel. Quite edgy and brittle some seriously heavy spice notes developing.

The palate is soft and caramel sweet. Rather oak dominated and toffee’d. Good length with a pleasant spice burst but the oak returns. Conclusion: Quite a pleasant, shy nose, which takes a while to open but a rather caramel flattened palate.

Bushmills 21 year old 40%

19 years in both Bourbon and Oloroso, finished for 2 years in Madeira.

Bt No: 5565/ Re-Tasted: June 2012

Pungent aromas of dried grape and sweet barley to kick off.  Marvellously mature and fragrant with the American oak coming through with a touch of sweet vanilla. Seriously complex with the American oak definitely showing some maturity. With time some dusty cinnamon and nutmeg appears along with a touch of coffee bean.

The palate opens with the luscious, sweet sherry and dried Madeira grape entwined with the lovely, sweet, American oak. Gentle spices meander through, joined by the classic Bushmills, grainy nip. Lovely length with hints of chocolate coated raisin and gentle, dried spices. However the finish is all about the crisp spirit. Wonderfully balanced and showing a lot better than the last time I tasted it!


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