We previously wrote about Bushmills 10 year old, but this post is the next in our Bushmills series. This sixteen year old spent fifteen years in a mixture of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks with a finish for one year in port pipes. The depth and complexity of flavours is streets ahead of the 10 year old. This has more of the depth I prefer and complexity I prefer, but still is missing something to make it a classic. That is not to detract from the quality of this edition. It is possibly overpriced (around £80) but is in a very competitive price bracket. It is a whiskey that is probably better drunk in a social environment than in private, talking about it with friends would tease out more flavours.
Although port finished whiskies are currently very popular, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them, such that I never buy a bottle without trying it first. Sometimes the spirit is overwhelmed by the port, and I feel I’d have done better just buying a bottle of port, I like whiskies where I can discern the distillery style. The other problem I have with a port finish is I can often detect either a sulphur or burnt rubber taste, neither of which I won’t nor like. This is a good example of what a port finish can add, and the port pipes have not overwhelmed the distillery style.
|Previous Drink||Bushmillls 10 Year Old|
|Colour||Dark Straw Plus A Red Blush|
|Nose||Strawberry Jam / Peaches / Spices|
|Palate||Soft Fruit Jam With Spice|
|Finish||Back To Strawberry Jam, Fades To Chocolate With Some Spice|
|Overall (Star Rating)||⅘ Stars 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑|
How did my tasting notes compare with the official notes? I think I am pretty much in agreement. I’ve gone for strawberry jam as the descriptor, but I can see why the palate is described as caramelised peach and mango although I’m not really sure what that combination would taste like. Whilst I’d agree there is depth and complexity, I’m not convinced it is exceptional. On the finish except for where I put the emphasis, we’re in agreement. Does this mean either the distillery or I am wrong? Absolutely not, tasting notes can and do vary between people and even by the same person on a different day. Tasting notes should be treated as nothing more than a guide and through experience you’ll soon work out the ones to take with a pinch of salt, or who to listen to if looking for your next bottle.
Overall, this is a very moreish expression that is possibly too drinkable. I can see the bottle disappearing very quickly. It deserves sipping and contemplating each sip. Well worth trying particularly if you like Irish whiskey. I wonder what a cask strength expression might be like? That could be very interesting.
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