I know Bushmills is not highly regarded by malt snobs, but I guess many people are quite fond of this basic blended whisky, a few versions of which are currently available in travel retail shops.
Bushmills have recently (a month or so back) announced the launch of bourbon #3 char cask reserve – the third and latest edition in the steamship collection – a unique range of Bushmillsirish whiskeys inspired by the extraordinary voyages of the steamship ss Bushmills. As a global travel retail exclusive, this new variant follows the successful launch of Bushmills Iirish whiskey port cask reserve and sherry cask reserve, marking the 125th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the ss Bushmills.
In 1890, the SS BUSHMILLS set course for America to deliver Bushmills Irish Whiskey to new corners of the globe. On her extraordinary maiden voyage she established knowledge and relationships with some of the world’s finest wine and spirits producers, before returning home with a variety of their finest seasoned casks. It is these relationships that have served the Old Bushmills Distillery to this day, helping Bushmills master distillers explore the potential of whiskey maturation in exclusive and rare casks.
According to Helen M , Bushmills master blender : “The amount of char you give a cask has a significant impact on the flavour and this is what makes BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE so special. The seasoned casks are emptied of bourbon and re-charred before being shipped to the Old Bushmills Distillery where we fill them exclusively with triple-distilled Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey. By using a custom char we are able to draw out incredible spicy, honeyed vanilla flavours from deep within the fine grain American white oak. The resulting whiskey has subtle notes of toasted oak, spices and crème brûlée with a long, rich and smooth finish.”
The whisky will be priced at 50 GBP and available from early 2018. Now, let’s get down to some tasting…
Bushmills Bourbon #3 char cask reserve , 40% abv , £50
Nose: It’s quite a soft nose, quite gentle with the expected vanilla, pear/apple peel and a nice sweetness with spices. Not overly complex, very light.
Palate: Some more of the vanilla, with a honeyed sweetness to it, orange peel, and wood spice .
Finish: Similar to the palate, with some spices, orange/lemon zest and a nice touch of vanilla.
Not something completely different, but a take on the well-known Bushmills. 50 quid is not cheap for this kind of whisky. A nice gift, I suppose for a Bushmills drinker who’s looking to experiment, but not so much out of the box. It’s not bad, but It’s not very thrilling either, at least for me.