Whiskey Tasting Notes: Bushmills Black Bush

Ah, back to the Bushmills for another one of their product line. This time it’s the Black Bush that came into my sight.

Back in 1934, Bushmills introduced “Old Bushmills Special Old Liqueur Whiskey”, a special blend of single malts that had been aged in Sherry Casks (For those not familiar with whiskey practices, When I say “aged in sherry casks”, what I mean is that the whiskey was aged in barrels that once were used to age sherry. It’s a fairly common practice in both Irish Whiskeys and Scotches).

You’ll note that there isn’t a specific age for this reason, and this is something that illustrates that age isn’t necessarily a predictor of quality. While the whiskeys are likely aged a bit longer for Black Bush than for their white label brand, it’s the consistency of taste that’s important, not how many years it sat in a cask. So far, I’ve only seen Maker’s Mark apply this same philosophy (although there are likely many others who practice this…remember, I’m rather new to all of this).

From the anecdotes that I’ve read, Black Bush was (and may still be) quite popular in Ireland, so much so that there was never any left over for exporting. It wasn’t until 50 years after its introduction that it was able to make its way to the United States.

Nose: A bit musty at first. Clears up for a slight pecan pie type of aroma.

Taste: Light on the palate. Initial hit to the center of the tongue is sweet and fruity, sort of a Turkish Delight kind of taste (the mass produced candy bar that’s covered with chocolate). That disappears almost immediately and then finishes slowly with a soft, cinnamon type of taste with the sherry known at this point. Very good.

Cost: $34.95 here in the State of Washington.

As an additional point of perspective, I’m going to start adding a recommendation list for each whisk(e)y tasted. It’ll make sense once there are more than three reviewed.

Very Good
Bushmills Black Bush
Redbreast

Good
Bushmills

My own preference is for Redbreast over Black Bush, but Black Bush is still quite good.