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Bushmills 1608 400th Anniversary

My new favorite irish whiskey

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@cweidlerReview by @cweidler

15th Jun 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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So I thought I would treat myself today as I just finished a bit of commission work I had been doing. I headed on down to one of my favorite wine/liquor stores and was set to browse around until I found something that piqued my interest; I had no idea what I was looking to buy (I prefer to try as many different things as I can, that way nothing gets boring), and was looking at a bottle of bourbon (Knob Creek, great stuff and I do recommend it) when the owner of the shop told me about something they just got in and offered to let me try a sample.

Let me stop here for a second and just make a point of this. If you shop at a reputable shop that focuses more on giving a crap about their customer and being honest with them rather than a place that is just looking to sell sell sell, there is one thing you should do above all others; be a good customer and develop a rapport with the owner. 9 times out of 10, they will tip you off to something that just came in, offer you good deals/samples and be very open with you about what is really good and what is more commodity / high volume brand. It's like having a relationship with your local butcher; if you treat him with respect and show that you know a little, he'll give you the good stuff. Now back to the review...

I tried the sample and was blown away, and when I asked him what it was he showed me the bottle; I almost fell to the floor because I was so sure that it was a single malt (though I did guess it was from Ireland) because of it's richness. He told me that they, Bushmills, were going to be discontinuing the bottling, so they were getting rid of their stock at (what I can only guess) below cost. Once I saw it was normally going for 60-70 a bottle and he was offering it at 27 USD, I promptly grabbed 3 bottles with a promise to come back for more soon.

On the nose, I get a load of raisins and toffee as well as some baked apple. There is also a considerable amount of spice to it as well, and some pear notes lingering in the background. The thing that is striking about this is you wouldn't peg it as a blend by nosing it; the malt component really jumps out at you. On the palate, I get a lot of toffee and fruit; some cinnamon starts coming to the front as you hold it on your tongue, as well as a splash of grapefruit and burnt raisins. It's also very mouth coating; there's a thickness to this whiskey that is just gorgeous.

The finish lingers for days; lots of spicy oak, some vanilla and raisins again, as well as the vaguest hint of smoke. It's well into 2 minutes after swallowing the sip and I can still taste it clear as day.

This whiskey will make someone who is not into Irish whiskey reconsider their position. I am a big fan of Jamesons offerings and have always found Bushmills standard bottlings to be a bit bland, but this really takes the cake (fruit cake to be precise). I will say that while I don't prefer water in this for my palate, a few drops will cream out the palate even more and take away the pepperiness on the back of the tongue which some people might find a bit too aggressive.

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dougwatts commented

$27 is an unbelievable deal for this. I haven't had it myself but have read several reports singing its praises. And I've never seen it for less than double that price...well done!

12 years ago 0

LeFrog commented

Thanks for the review @cweidler. I've only heard good things about this whisky

12 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

One of my favourites too (and at $27 I would have bought three bottles myself - good catch!)

12 years ago 0

Carl commented

I finally found one! The only bottle left, at a local liquor store. I paid $114. for it, and still glad to get it. There are a few others around, but getting pretty scarce. Glad to hear the positive reviews! I am looking forward to opening it one day, just afraid that when I do it will be gone quickly, and impossible to get more! That is life. As they say, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Cheers, Carl

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

Bigt commented

27??? All I have to say is 27 EUR, USD, GBP, whatever is a steal. I live in Dallas and Bushmills Black label costs $40. Bushmills 10 is $50, Bushmills 16 is $80, Bushmills 21 is $115 and Bushmills 1608 is $120 and worth every penny.

I think Bushmills is up there as my favorite line. I love every label they have except for the white label. If I could find it for 27 (any currency) I would buy the store out and not think twice about it.


11 years ago 1Who liked this?

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