Continuing in my st-paddy's day's theme I went to my favorite liquor store and bought a bottle of 10 years old bushmills. I usually go for the 1608 original bush, but felt like going a bit older this time.
On the nose, it's apple. Baked apple, fresh apple, calvados. Some orange peel. I also get quite bit from the sherry cask: chocolate, ripened grapes, wood. I'm quite impressed so far.
On the palate, the initial hit is quite balanced: neither too sweet, nor too dry. But then, it starts to develop. You get the sweetness of malt and corn, that turns into something like milk chocolate, then strawberry, then classic malt. Finally we get the wood notes of spices and a touch of corn and flowers.
The milk chocolate comes back for the finish but then leaves a very pleasant dryness.
Further nosing reveals some vanilla
There's also a bitterness that comes in the after taste: like lime zest and apple peel. with a just a bit of metal.
All in all, it is better then the regular bush. But not by much. The nose is what impresses me the most. It's got something Clynelish about it. Which, to me is quite good. Some diageo connection there? Probably more to do with the quality of the malt and yeast used.
In Quebec, the 10 YO goes for about 1.5 X more CAD then the original. So the original one is to me the best option with so much bang for the buck. But I would love to try the black bush, because of all the goodness from the olorosso cask. Was able to detect in that one. I can only surmise that all sherry would be even better. Unfortunately, no black in Quebec. Anybody willing to send a sample?
As a side note, blending it with a Laphroaig quarter cask (don't tell the SWA) results in a fantastic dram. I call it my Keltic Knot. You get something like very good Irish or Normandy butter, with a touch of seaweed with a good touch of creamy sweetness. And the wood gets some good action as well. The apple is there. Definitely Normandy. Great stuff! My girlfriend who usually frowns at my islay malts can't get enough of it. The metal notes get buried in the wood spices and smoke.