Sat in unbelievably comfy chairs in the Hotel Du Vin, Lucas and I are getting down to the hard business of tasting whisky. Again.
While I was savouring the final drops of the Blantons Gold Label, Lucas had a wee nose of our Irish contender, Bushmills 16 yo.
‘Wow, from the nose of this Whisky, this battle of nations is just beginning!’
I had a wee nose myself.
‘If this tastes like it smells, we could have a winner without even tasting the other two!’
I haven’t drank many Irish whiskeys, apart from one particularly heavy night on the double Jamesons’ on ice with Euan Martin (Six Nations Correspondent), so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
A little bit of background info on Bushmills before I tell you what we think of this particular whiskey. If you go on their website, the History section goes far enough back to describe the creation of Giants Causeway (60 million years ago). That’s a bit too deep for our purposes.
- In 1276, the land owner of the area of Bushmills, is said to have fortified his troups with Aqua Vitae before going into battle
- In the Fifteen and Sixteen hundreds, illegal distilling was widespread in the area of Bushmills
- First Licence to distill was granted in 1608 to Governor of Ulster, Sir Thomas Philips
- 1784 is when Bushmills was registered as a distillery
Bushmills is triple distilled, which is typical for Irish whiskey. The Sixteen year old is matured in ex-bourbon casks, then ex-Olorosso sherry casks and finally ex-port casks. It sounds mouthwatering.
So what do we think…
Nose: Christmas cake, hints of vanilla fudge and white chocolate. Fresh pastries funnily enough. An epic nose, worthy of any single malt
Palate: Where did this Irish Beauty go? The nose and the palate have never met in a bar, let alone in a whisky glass. Smooth, oaky and slightly sweet. Lucas said it was amazing that for so much alcohol it was so smooth and I am in complete agreement. I am quite sad that after such a nose, smooth is all the palate has to offer.
Finish: It has a bit of the sweetness that the nose had, but also a slight off note.
It was pleasant enough to drink, but we just expected so much more. I think I will try some of the other Bushmills bottlings soon just to try and find the amazing palate that should have gone with such a great nose.
Where you can buy it