We continue our series on Irish Whiskey with a look at two whiskies from Bushmills. The only one of the three Irish Whiskey distilleries that we have yet to review any bottles from, Bushmills is located in Northern Ireland.
Along with Midleton's Jameson, Bushmills' standard blend is one of the big players in Irish Whiskey. I will forgo that ubiquitous blend, and instead taste two popular Bushmills whiskies: Black Bush blend and Bushmills 10 year old single malt.
Black Bush, 40% alcohol ($25-$30)
Black Bush is a blended whiskey matured in sherry casks. It has a nice, malty-sherry nose. The flavor follows up with both malt and sherry...very Scotch tasting, like a lighter version of Macallan. I really enjoyed this Bushmills. It would make a good everyday drink; it's flavorful, has some complexity but isn't too heavy. Very nice.
Bushmills Malt, 10 years old, 40% alcohol ($25-$30).
Bushmills Malt is a triple distilled single malt aged in two woods, Bourbon and sherry. The nose is very light with a bit of malt and a perfumy quality. The flavor is also light, with malt, hay and a slight sweetness and sherry taste at the end. It's a nice whiskey, but a bit too light for my tastes.
I usually prefer single malts over blends, but I have to say that I preferred the bolder taste of Black Bush to the Bushmills Malt. I'd never before sampled any Bushmills beyond the standard blend and found both of these impressive.