Price Point: $70 – $80 for 750 ML
Distiller: The Old Bushmills Distillery
Single malt Irish whiskeys are, apparently, on the rise. Tullamore Dew has one (reviewed here), the new player Hyde has one (reviewed here), and several others sourced from major distilleries have them, as well. I’m in no way opposed, as I have found the quality coming out of Ireland has been improved since distilleries started releasing single malts.
Bushmills 16 Year Old is the next on my list to review. Their website says “Bushmills Single Malt Whiskey 16 Year Old is aged for 16 years in a combination of Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon-seasoned casks, then matured for several months in port wine barrels. The unique maturation process gives this single malt its distinct notes of juicy fruits, nuts and spice, as well as a hint of ruby redness. It’s best enjoyed neat or over ice.”
Full disclosure – I was given a sample by a colleague, hence the out-of-place photo.
This whiskey begins with cherries on the nose, almost like a bourbon. There’s malty goodness and mature, charred oak, followed by thick honey. Bushmills 16 Year Old’s Irish heritage sneaks in masked slightly by the single malt style. A very nice nose, indeed.
Malt is at the forefront of the taste of this whiskey. Bushmills 16 Year Old packs more honey sweetness on the tongue, with peaches and cream and pineapple notes, not unlike the Glenlivet. This one tastes mature – on a similar level to Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old. Some could argue that the mouthfeel is a little thin at 40%, but nice nonetheless.
The finish contains more sweet and sour pineapple notes, followed by malt. It’s also slightly bitter on the tail end.
Rating & Recommendations
Bushmills 16 Year Old earns a rating of 88 out of 100.
This is certainly one of the better Irish whiskeys out there, which proves to me (once again) that single malts reign supreme over the traditional Irish style.