You might have noticed a common theme in some of the whiskies that we have recently been reviewing. In light of National Irish Whiskey Day, it made sense for us to show our appreciation of the beautiful drink, by reviewing four Bushmill Whiskies. Here they are in order of our favourites:
Bushmills 1991 Madeira Cask Finish 50.2% ABV – scoring 5/5 stars
This whiskey was our favourite because the depth and complexity was everything I could expect from a whisky, but I would expect it to be this well-rounded at £700 per bottle. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 1991 Madeira Cask Finish.
Bushmills 21 year old 40% ABV Irish Whiskey – scoring 4.5/5 stars
This whiskey came in second scoring a solid 4.5 stars because although some say they taste too much wood, it has a lovely distillery style that has time to mature. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 21 year old.
Bushmills 16 year old 40% ABV Irish Whiskey – scoring 4/5 stars
In third place is this whiskey because, for those wishing to explore more than the bog standard, this one can be bought for a special occasion that lets you explore how 1991 would taste if you were lucky enough to taste it. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 16 year old.
Bushmills 10 year old 40% ABV Irish Whiskey – scoring 3/5 stars
In last place is this whiskey because this is a core range which exhibits the basic style of Bushmills. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 10 year old.
I think in the last decade, I’ve only bought a handful of Irish whiskies. Going through this flight has made me wonder if that has been a serious omission. If whiskey is this good from one Irish distillery, how good might the rest be? I’ve enjoyed all four and enjoyed the journey from “day to day” drinker, to special occasion whiskey. I’ve enjoyed tasting these whiskeys and exploring the history contained within the whiskey and the memories this tasting has evoked. I’m sitting here now wondering if I can get the opportunity to repeat it, or maybe I need to invent another special occasion and start saving for that special bottle.
Looking at what I’ve written, my concern with the last three whiskies is whether they offer value for money. Value is probably more important to me than the actual price, beyond being able to afford it, I don’t mind spending good money on an experience if the perceived value is there. Value like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is a personal matter.
I’m pretty sure there are other whiskies out there that offer better value and Bushmills is not alone in this, even though Bushmills offers better value than Macallan in my mind. And quite honestly these bottles are priced at a comparable price point to several other distilleries. I experienced this sort of situation a few weeks ago when I was all set to enjoy one of my favourite 25-year-old sherry bombs. I thought it would be nice to finish the night with a peated whisky and as I’d not tried the particular peated expression I was thinking of, I had a swift snifter early on in the evening. It was so good, I did not touch the 25-year-old, nor did my guests, the peated expression beat it hands down at a fifth of the retail price. This just confirms that if you look hard enough, you can still find good whisky, at a reasonable price, even in today’s market of what feels like ever-increasing prices.
To conclude, I loved each of these Bushmills expressions, you will not be disappointed, but there is probably a debate to be had over the value offered. That should not prevent you from trying them maybe through a club or bar, just you may not feel inclined to buy another bottle.