Bushmills Black Bush

Another Monday another review. Today I’m having a look at the Bushmills Black Bush, a whiskey I keep on the shelf at all times. Out of Bushmills Distillery of Northern Ireland, the Black Bush uses roughly 80% malt whiskey and 20% grain to create it’s particular flavour. The malt is aged for around a decade in Oloroso Sherry casks before being vatted together with the grain. This special recipe comes together to make a whiskey that won the 2010 World Whisky Awards of it’s catergory, but the main reason for this whiskey to be on the shelf at all times is because it’s so damn good. And with that, let’s head into the glass.


Roasting apples and spices move off the nose, with coconut, barley sugar and baking biscuits leading me to think there is more than one Anzac biscuit lying in wait in this dram. We have a small lemon fragrance, a slight oiliness on the nose and daffodils floating by in the breeze. Heading in further the sugar turns to toffee, the lemon to a jelly, and the spice keeps a firm hand on the dram.

Our dram is incredibly smooth and cooling on the tongue, with cinnamon dusted over vanilla custard and dried orange and grapefruit peel, adding it’s own little spicy tones. Nectarines and plums come out, with some dark chocolate spiced with chili flakes and that dried citrus we saw before. Our sherry comes through in the finish more than anything else, with liquorice, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger and a touch of English breakfast tea. It’s a delicious finish that wraps up the dram and brings out everything the whiskey has to offer; sherry, malt and grain.

I’ve said before I like to keep a bottle of this in the shelves at all times, and that remains true to this day. The whole dram is incredibly well balanced, with just the right amount of intensity and complexity to make it last. Plus, at a mere €30 a bottle, it represents one of the best value for money whiskies you can buy. And while there are many whiskies on the market that attempt a mimicry of Black Bush, there really only is one. Now if you’ll excuse me, that glass of mine is getting empty.

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