Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey Sherry Cask Reserve; The "Old Bushmills" Distillery.; Ireland; $40/btl
For obvious reasons, there will be no joking permitted throughout the entirety of this post.
Some people will tell you that the only good whiskey is made in [fill in the blank]. That place could be Canada, or Scotland, or Tennessee. It could be Kentucky, or Russia, or Japan. It could even be Ireland, but I suspect saying that would start a fight, or maybe a civil war.
Well, I’m not a believer that any one area makes the best whiskey. Some have longer traditions, others have more modern methods, and most have learned to do it quite well at some level or another. And, while I’m no expert at being able to pick out a whiskey’s location with my taste buds, I’m as good as anyone at picking it out by looking at the label. This week’s subject is called Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey, and from the label I can tell that the stuff is made in — you guessed it — Great Britain!
Yep, I’m that good at deciphering things.
So, I was over at my friend Mike’s doing an episode of the Whiskey Wonder Podcast and he pulled this bottle out of a hat. We tried it, and then he gave me the bottle. Knowing Mike, that means one of two things. Either A) He was feeling generous, or B) He didn’t like the stuff. I’m going with B, because Mike loves his whiskey, and there’s no way he’s just gonna hand me a bottle of good hooch because he’s being nice. No way! While I do forget what we tried with the Bushmills, I distinctly remember him turning his nose up and coughing.
No, actually, he’s a really good guy and handed me over a wonderful bottle of Ireland’s finest. Bushmills has been around for a very long time, and like to pride themselves as being the “world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery”, with the caveat hidden amongst the word “licensed”. Yeah, every other distillery on earth is older when you remove that consideration.
Seriously, though, they’ve been at the game for a few minutes, and they make a rootin’-tootin’ dandy good whiskey. This average, ordinary, everyday Ken thinks the stuff has a nice little kick, is smooth and easy drinking, and stands delightfully well entirely on it’s own. There’s a subtle touch of smoke and honey, something a bit peaty, and a color reminiscent of liquid gold. That last part sounds a bit snobby — which isn’t my style — so it’s important to note that it’s not that *BLING* kind of gold that hip-hop types would wear. Rather, it's a cool, refreshing gold — the kind you want to drink, like good beer. And the bottle is cool, too. It fits nicely in the hand so you can pour another drink. And it says “1608” right on it, which is either a long time ago, or how much gold is per ounce. It doesn't specify which.
Oh, I almost forgot! This stuff is aged in sherry casks, and you know how I feel about that! Sherry casks are known for offering up a touch of sweetness and rich, red fruit. Important note: Those little, red berries you find in the forrest are "rich, red fruit" … and they'll kill you dead! This stuff should be consume with as much caution. It's so good it's dangerous.
I love pointless analogies.
Either way, I’d give this two thumbs way on up, but that would get me in trouble with the trademark people. So I’ll just call it “really good” and then call it good.
Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey Sherry Cask Reserve
Who is this guy?
I'm just an average, ordinary, everyday Ken, and nothing more. I like wine, whiskey, and beer. I write when I'm bored (and to prove it I've published three books). I like to garden, work with wood, and laugh with family and friends. Ken's Bar is an expression of my enjoyment of adult beverages of all shapes and sizes, but especially whiskey. My tasting notes are as much about stories and connections with people as they are about fluffy, snobbish adjectives. I've tasted a lot of whiskey (including the costs-way-too-much Rip Van Winkle stuff) and decided to start writing about it. Or something. So, sit back and read. If you can.
How do I rank?
Cost per Bottle:
$ - $0-$25
$$ - $26-$50
$$$ - $51-$75
$$$$ - $76-$100
$$$$$ - Over $100
* - Swill. Dump it out.
** - Mix it with coke
*** - A good sipper
**** - Straight from Heaven.
***** - Heaven called and wants its whiskey back!
Shoot me an email with comments, suggestions, or hate mail!