We are constantly amazed at how few people know Bushmills. Owned by Diageo, one of the largest beverage companies (with iconic spirits like Captain Morgan’s Rum, Smirnoff Vodka and Johnnie Walker), you’d think Bushmills would be as big a name as Jameson in the Irish whiskey space. Unfortunately it isn’t. Every time we revisit Bushmills we’re simply shocked that more people aren’t aware that some of the most approachable and flavorful Irish whiskey out there is only one bottle away on most bars and restaurants back bars.
Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey ($30 – 80 proof) is a step up from Bushmills base blend, and at only $5 or so more a bottle, it’s a no brainer to start any Bushmills journey here. Light amber in color, Black Bush has a sweet, fruity nose with bright sherry notes, pear, banana and a very subtle, earthy undertone. The entry is very smooth and yet has a nice a burst of flavor. The opening notes are sweet with the fruity, sherry characteristics clearly present. Things stay very solid through the mid-palate where the flavors transition from more fruity to more earthy and salty. The mouth feel is excellent, almost buttery, and very smooth. The finish is solid with some subtle sherry notes, a little earthiness and just a touch of wood.
Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey manages a careful balance of being a spirit that is both eminently smooth and drinkable while still maintaining a high level of flavor and complexity. Most of the other Irish whiskeys we’ve tried at this price point have been better suited to mixing than sipping, but the Black Bush delivers such a fantastic Irish whiskey, it’s an absolute pleasure to sip. Very Highly Recommended