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Bushmills Black Bush

Average score from 26 reviews and 91 ratings 84

Bushmills Black Bush

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@markjedi1
Bushmills Black Bush

I already tried the Bushmills Black Bush in 2009 and 2013. It is a well-known and populair blend that does not disappoint. Au contraire! It consists of 20% grain and 80% malt and matured for at least 7 years on oloroso sherry casks. Let’s try a recent bottling from 2017.

The nose is silky soft on semoule with raisins, honey and breakfast cereals, mandarin, chocolate with praline filling and baked apples with cinnamon. Banana and peach. Less floral than previous releases. Very, very good.

It is fruity and sweet on the palate, but with a sharp edge. Peach again, but also clear notes of wood, which I had less in previous releases. Honey and allspice. Sultanas? I confess I am just a tad disappointed after the wonderful nose.

The finish is medium long, starts sweet, but quickly becomes dry and mildly bitter.

It all started so well on the nose, but this batch leaves a bit to be desired on both palate and finish. Nevertheless, this is still bang for your buck.

@OdysseusUnbound

This is an abbreviated version of a post that will be published on my blog tomorrow

I take jabs at Irish whiskey all the time, but I don't really worry about offending anyone, since, as far as I can tell, the Irish don't get offended. Or, at least not by a silly French-Canadian like me. Jocularity aside, I've always found Irish whiskey acceptable if somewhat dull and predictable, like action movies or romantic comedies. Irish whiskey is good in a pinch, I thought, but it doesn't merit the same reverence Scotch whisky commands. A good friend changed my mind somewhat with a tasting of Green Spot. While it's good, the price of Green Spot (here in Ontario) also buys a nice bottle of Old Pulteney 12, Glenfiddich 15, Laphroaig 10 or Highland Park 12. All of those suit me better than the Green Spot. But on a recent family trip, I purchased a bottle of Bushmills Black Bush and found an Irish whiskey that outperforms just about anything I've found at that price point (approx. $37 CAD).

Black Bush contains a "high proportion" of malt whiskey that was aged 8-10 years in Oloroso Sherry casks. What is "a high proportion" of malt whiskey? I don't know. I've read it's as high as 80% malt whiskey, but I can't seem to confirm this anywhere.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): citrus (lemon), red fruit, red grapes, apples
  • Palate (undiluted): medium-bodied, very little tongue-burn (bottled at 40% ABV), lots of red fruit (cherry, raspberry), malty, nutty, biscuits
  • Finish: medium length, red fruit developing to milk chocolate, cinnamon with a licorice note lingering.

Adding water didn't change much in the character of this whiskey, but adding ice brought out more fruit and toned down a bit of the malt sweetness. I prefer this one neat, or maybe chilled. I would like to try chilling the bottle or even the glass. At 40% ABV, it doesn't need to be diluted any further, but tasting it cold was quite nice (heresy to some, I'm sure). I was surprised that the finish was as long as it was. I find Bushmills Original has a fairly short finish and I was surprised that this one went on as long as it did. Maybe the Oloroso casks had a prominent influence, or maybe it is close to 80% malt whiskey after all. I'm not quite sure where the longer finish comes from, but it's a treat.

@MadSingleMalt, good comment. That last bit about the Bushmills people not wanting to admit that they don't produce all of the whiskey which goes into their own products makes me laugh at all of the pompous pretension and posturing in a ridiculously romaticised industry. That is the usual whisk(e)y industry bullshit. Anyone who looks closely can see that the emperor has no clothes. The whiskies themselves all stand or fall on their own merits. The words spoken about them tend to be BS. People who listen to the marketing malarkey are people who just want to be conned in order to continue to dwell in the little romaticised universes which swirl around in their heads.

@Victor It's always a pleasure...but tasting JW RED is NOT funny.

I did try it from a bottle from the late 70s or early 80s and it was drinkable. Currently it is not for sipping.

@NNWhisky

I recently attended a Bushmills tasting provided by The Birmingham Whisky Club. We tried the Original, Black Bush, Red Bush, 10yr and 21yr. Of all of them, the black bush was my favourite when you factor in cost. In fact, I didn't like the 21 at all as, for me, it smelt horribly of sulfur. The Black Bush is a decent step up from the Original due to the sherry cask influence and makes its more palatable in doing so. On the nose: Light, a touch of caramel, some coffee, citrus Palate: More citrus, coffee. Sweet and smooth.

All of the 8 or 10 samples I've had of Black Bush have been solidly good.

The idea of a sulphured batch of Bushmills 21 yo malt is truly horrifying. @NNWhisky, is this the only Bushmills 21 you've had? If so, that is too bad, because it always was one of the truly great whiskeys in existence. It was a perennial Jim Murray 'Finest Irish Single Malt' of the year, and you can be absolutely certain that what Murray was calling that could only be completely sulphur-free. He is an absolute bird-dog alerting to any sulphur in any whisk(e)y. That is one of the things I like best about Jim Murray, because I also have come to be extremely sensitive to sulphur ruining what would otherwise have been great malt whiskies. Many people cannot smell or taste sulphur. They are sort of lucky, because for those of us who can, sulphur is absolute poison to the quality of a whisk(e)y.

@Victor It is the only 21 I've ever tried so I'm glad you replied. I will give it another go whenever I get the chance. Like you say, I am apparently extremely sensitive to sulfur but I am lucky enough to have only really experienced two whiskies it has totally ruined for me. Out of a room of about 20 people, only two of us could smell/taste the sulfur and I was the only one who found it unpalatable.

@Erlend

This Black Bush is decieving. It is bad. It turns you into an alcoholic. It is sherried and it is soft. Tooo soft. I compared it to the 50percent more expencive Auchentoshan three wood, and this was roughly the same quality. The problem is that I get drunk. I want to drink more and more and at this point I feel that the alcohol is doing someting whit me. Its the third time i poored this into my glass and I am filling it with a lot more than 5 centilitres.

I was wrong. I thought that this dram was an inexpensive alternative to fine Scottish malt. It turns out ton be expencive, because I drink to much.

I don't know whether I should laugh or cry over this review.

@Frost

According to my extensive research (i.e. 3 seconds in google), the single malt component of this blend spent a good deal of time in Oloroso sherry casks.

Nose: oak, sherry, honey, floral, grain

Taste: honey, raisins, grain. There is a spikiness of grain, it is not dominant and adds some gentle bite to this smooth dram.

Finish: short, smooth, a collection of the floral, grain and oak notes with green apples. Short finish that is consistently blends its flavours.

From start to finish this is a gorgeous blend. For me, this does bridge the gap between blends and entry level single malt and is worthy of a permanent fixture in my bar as a soft spoken friend.

@cheeserandyburg

Every now and then, a blend comes along that makes you think twice about spending all that money on over priced single malts (especially over here). This is one of those times…

Nose - Floral, sherry and sweet. Slightly reminiscent of Té Bheag Nan Eilean at times but much more fruity then creamy. The nose on this is full of orange, lemon and citrusy notes along with figs, raisins, and cherry. Shy hints of caramel and vanilla lurk in the back coupled with oak. Good stuff, good start. The sherry influence is quite clear here but not overpowering. Enjoying it for a while, its rewarding.

Palate - A smooth peppery, dry’ish arrival with fruits, spice and sherry. The balance here is the key winner and something to speak of. Everything works so well yet feels almost restrained at times. But this is far from a complaint. I can only imagine what a little smoke and peat would do to this blend. I like it just the way it is though. Much more interesting than Grant’s Family Reserve and a few steps above in terms of complexity and flavor. Yum.

Finish - The finish on this isn’t long but neither too short - a little sweetness lingers on with some woody notes, hints of caramel, and citrus spice floating around. I can’t say anything bad about this fortunately. As a matter a fact its probably my favorite blend now.

Conclusion: A simple-corked classy bottle containing, quite likely, the most balanced blend to date I’ve tasted. Which begs a question, are all Irish whiskeys this smooth? Jameson was. Redbreast was beyond creamy heaven. And now this blend? Another well priced smooth winner from Ireland.

m

JW Black label has become my standard No.1 blend over the years because it's readily available, consistent and has a taste of island smoke which I love. I've had many more expensive blends but I still really rate it as an easily drinkable slice of island scotch. If you're too snobby for this dram, fair enough but you don't live in my world. I recently came across Black Bush in an airport and decided to give it a whirl against my benchmark.

Nose - Much deeper/richer than the JW, the sherry comes through strong, followed by toffee and marshmallow. Has the fizz of the JW but with cream and pears. More fruity. Beautifully balanced.

Palate - Pure silky cream, sherry fruitiness meshed with chewy toffee. It lacks the sharp smoke of the JWB but is again smoother and richer. Some mild dry wood follows but does not dominate.

Finish - Medium in length, Slightly longer and more satisfying than the JWB although smoke is absent. However, for me it's fuller than the average speyside and ends with equal sweet and dry wood notes. Very moreish.

This is flat out a better drink than JWB. It matches it in rich flavour profile but can't compete on the smoke level. If it was more readily available it would be my new No.1 blend. An excellent warm up drink for a malt tasting. Very impressed.

Also, extra points for being a little less heavy handed on the caramel compared to the JWB. Between the two it really comes down to if you fancy smooth smoke or smooth sherry fruitiness.

@Rantavahti

Bushmills Black Bush was surely a treat when compared to your average blended whiskies. The force of barley is strong in this one.

Something had shook this blend of malt and grain in a good way. Either it was the wind that shook the barley, like in the title of that good Irish movie.

Or maybe it was the maturing of 7 years in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and sweet bourbon barrels. Decent stuff, I must say...

Nose: Strong barley with sweet and floral notes in the background.

Taste: Thick and wee fruity with barley still dominating the palate.

Finish: Still barley all over with some sweetness. In the finish I got the first real glimpse of the usual bad habits of blended stuff: a bit poignant and watery.

Balance: Without the fast and "usual blended" ending this would have been an 80 point whiskey. Nice job and definitely one of my favorite grain blends!

@Georgy

NOSE: lovely sherry with floral notes, as well as dried fruits, vanilla and pears.

TASTE: slightly sharp but then transforming itself int sweet sherry and dried fruits.

FINISH: not too long, but still a pleasant one.

@MisterDigger

After having turned forever away from the likes of Jameson and Bushmill's Original, and then discovering the wonderful world of Scotch single malts, I thought that I would never give Irish whisky another chance. Preparing myself for another malt tasting with my favorite whisky expert bartender, I researched the Bushmill's line before arriving. On my third and final dram for that evening, I told the bartender to choose between Black Bush and Arran Malt. This one was a very easy choice and I thanked him. I liked it enough that I bought a bottle the next day. That was several weeks ago and now this bottle is almost gone and still needing a review from me.

This one is quite difficult to describe because it is in a class by itself. The nose is honeyed and floral, and the taste is lightly sherried and lightly sweet, being extremely smooth. If I had to compare it to a single malt, I would say that toning down the flovors of a Talisker 10 without adding water would be a fair description. After drinking a heavily sherried Speyside malt such as Aberlour 12 or Glengoyne 17, this one tastes extremely floral and entirely different. This would be more closely related to the more floral Highland malts.

At $34 US, this one is worth keeping around so as to avoid drinking too much of the more expensive malts in one's collection when one's judgment becomes clouded. I would also probably venture to guess that this one would have a minimal hangover if too much was consumed. The 20% grain whisky usually alarms me like 10% ethanol in gasoline for the car, but this one is aged for 7-8 years.

The high malt content combined with the triple distillation process endemic to Irish whiskey makes for an extremely smooth, highly enjoyable dram. The sherry finish works to simulate an excellent Scotch blend that is highly affordable here in southeast Florida where a small local store is still pricing it an only $25. If the ABV could be raised slightly to 43%, it would truly be incredible.

@Intuos

I slowly walk into a lush garden clearing, hearing bird songs above me. Inhaling deeply, I can smell the bark of the trees, a caramel sweetness hangs in the air around me. The scent of a warm apple pie with cinnamon slowly fills the clearing. I close my eyes and inhale everything around me.

I take a step forward into the sunshine, the warmth spreading over me. Every sip of Black Bush gives me smooth sunshine. It warms me from the inside, forgetting everything for a moment, leaving me smiling in the sun.

Loved this whiskey from the beginning, one of my first and it will certainly stay with me for quite a while. Every time the finish is gone you feel like stepping into the sun again.

It's not as rich as some single malts, but nice and light. Perfect for sitting in the sun with some friends and enjoying a nice dram.

@markjedi1

On the Facebook ‘Whisky Bloggers’ the idea of a Flash Mob arose to publish the very same tasting note on the same date. The date, 17th March, made us decide to go for an Irish whiskey. I even turned it into a little video as well, to be seen on YouTube. Anyway. The Bushmills Black Bush is a blend, consisting of 80% malt whiskey and 20% grain. It matured for 7 years on both bourbon and oloroso sherry casks.

The nose needs a bit of time. It starts soft and accessible with both grain and raisins, mandarin and some caramel. A bit floral, some chocolate, praline and rum. Baked apples. Cinnamon. Quite a nice mix.

On the palate, it is wide awake. Honeysweet with a sharp edge from the grain, that is immediately softened by a rumlike sweetness. Apricots, yellow raisins and a light bit from the spices. The sherry is prominent, but under controle. The next sip offers grain cookies with chocolate. Honey. Hints of nuts and a touch of oak towards the end.

The finish is not overly long, but very pleasant with a nice balance between the fruit and the toasted oak.

An excellent blended whiskey, that holds its own next to quite a few malts. And less than 35 EUR for a one liter bottle. Now that is value for money.

I believe the Bushmills distillery makes only malt whisky. So does the grain component come from Midleton? That's my impression but I've never seen confirmation.

@PMessinger
@Megawatt

According to the Bushmills website, Black Bush is composed of 80% malt whisky, and aged up to 7 years in bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. Gotta love it when distillers give you actual info on their products.

The aroma is gentle and fruity, with hints of Mandarin orange. Also a slight sourness. Not very expressive but not uninviting either.

On the palate it gets much more interesting. Sweet right off the bat, with a hard bite from the grain whiskey. The crisp, fruity sweetness of triple-distilled Irish malt is evident in the flavour of apricot. Sometimes I get a note of bubblegum, though not on this tasting. The whiskey is fairly light on the tongue but has a nice prickly spiciness to it. No mistaking that this is Irish whiskey. Sherry casks give it an extra sense of richness but by no means dominates the taste. Repeated sipping brings notes of chocolate.

It finishes sweet and toasty, with no funny sour flavours. The finish is quite short.

Overall, a very pleasant, easy-drinking whiskey with a great range of flavours that dance across the tongue. The rich malt taste balances nicely against the spicy grain, all held together by good cask selection. A definite step up from the standard Irish fare.

Do they still provide that info? All I see is the following, with no such detail:

www.bushmills.com/whiskey/

I wonder whether they changed the recipe or just stopped promoting it.

@McGrain

I hate whisky snobs (Sorry if you are one). What's wrong with this - short answer, nothing. It's a fun, complicated, busy whisky for all that it's a dirty Irish blend, bey.

Nose: Honeyed (sherry?) sweetness, i don't get the smoke but I do get some salt? And a spicy tang, possibly ginger?

Mouth: Very sweet, has a fullness in the mouth built entirely upon that sweetness that makes it seem sweeter, and takes that sherry flavour i'm not confident is on the nose and then makes you think of honey again. Something florid about it.

After: Dry to me but with a jet of spice and a suggestion of smoke. Pleasant but not thrilling or particularly long.

I do consider myself a whisky snob. I do think it's better to drink decent quality malt instead of majority of popular and advertised blends. Or drink some other alco drink or beer instead. However, I do like Black Bush very much - no snobbery when we talk about a quality blend. I rated this whiskey quite high. Cheers!

@StevieC

About 3 years ago I purchased a bottle of Black Bush after being acquainted with this fine whiskey at a local pub.

At the time, I consumed a few drams, without really giving it much attention or appreciation. I tucked the bottle away in a storage container in my basement, leaving it as a last resort, or for guests who prefer imbibing Irish whiskey.

As sad as this may be, I developed a level of whiskey snobery over the past few years. My reasonsing was, "Meh, it's only blended Irish whiskey, and it doesn't hold a flame to single malt scotch whiskies, blah, blah, blah."

Although I am far from being a whiskey expert, I have done a bit of research. My research on Black Bush revealed how this blended Irish has a large proportion of malt added to the grain spirit. Since my tastes matured, I decided to revisit the Bush. I was not disappointed! Here are my thoughts on this whiskey:

Colour: Dark gold/orange, almost tawny like

Nose: smells like a Speysider, sherry sweetness, toffee sweetness, slightest hint of smoke.

Palate: smooth, slight spice, nutty sweetness, medium
viscocity. You can definately taste malt! The taste is familiar, like a medium bodied single malt speyside malt. Glenfiddich 15? Aberfeldy?

Finish: medium, pleasant aftertaste, smooth nutty finish.

Overall, Bushmill's Black Bush is an everyday, easy to drink blended Irish whiskey. Definately worth the attention this St. Paddy's Day!

(This was my first review)

Black Bush is a very pleasant whiskey, giving excellent value for the money. Thanks, @StevieC, for a very nice review. I am guessing, though, that you are merely comparing some of the flavours in the Black Bush to Glenfiddich 15 and Aberfeldy, and not suggesting that Bushmills is incorporating Scottish malts into their products. I would expect that Bushmills would like to be using their own malts in their product line. Otherwise it would cease to be fully Irish whiskey.

Thank you for the encouraging words gentlemen! You are correct Victor, I was only comparing the flavour profile of Bushmill's to that of some other speyside malts that I have tasted in the past. I have read somewhere, and correct me if I am wrong, that Bushmill's gets their grain whiskeys from Midleton's? I find the history, politics, and social patrongage of whisky and certain labels to be quite interesting.

@britwhiskyfan

Black Bush is deeper and more complex than most Irish blends, take a small amount of a single sweet grain Whiskey then blend with love and care generously with a spicy malt whiskey that has been aged in Oloroso sheery oak cask,

There you have it, possibly my favorite Irish Dram

@talexander

A fantastic Irish whisky, very smooth and easy to drink. An amber, medium bodied feel, with an oaky nose of popcorn and licorice, a sherry-hinted taste of honey and straw overtones. Lemon comes out with a little water - and a tickly warm finish. Loved this.

Funny - I love this blend so I'm surprised I didn't give it a higher score than 80...

Given an off the record chance to make a new rating, would you nudge it up much? I plan to post a review on this one. Soon...

@Pudge72

As noted in the '5000' discussion thread, Connosr's own Jean-Luc celebrates his birthday today (or yesterday depending on what part of the world you are in). This review was finalized during a celebratory dram of Black Bush, in honour of Jean-Luc's pursuit of Bowmore Black.

Bushmills Black Bush is a triple distilled blend of malt whiskey and batch distilled grain whiskey, which is aged in Oloroso Sherry casks for over eight years. The origins of the products' name apparently stems from a shortened reference of its originally clunky name, "Old Bushmills Special Old Liquer Whiskey". Black Bush allegedly developed when patrons asked for it as a reference to itsoriginal (and current) labelling, which is darker than Bushmills standard offering.

Tasting was performed from a copita glass, without handwarming. As always, any constructive criticism or feedback is appreciated.

Nose - Seemingly unique to reviews that I have read, the primary aroma I note is the pleasant sweetness of a red apple (as opposed to the tartness of most green apples). Coming in as the most significant secondary aroma is a host of baking spices, with cinnamon in the mix. A soft, buttery aroma is also present. In one nosing, I detected a hint of light, pleasant, smoke as well, though this was not present during other samplings, so it appears to be an outlier aroma...please comment if you have picked this up as well at some point.

Taste - The baking spice mix (cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves blended nicely together) takes centre stage on the palate, with the apple and butter notes also continuing through from the nose on a supporting basis. Overall, the intensity of the taste does not match that of the aromas initially presented.

Body/Balance - Slightly oily, very smooth mouthfeel. The aromas transfer nicely to the mouth, with the various notes co-existing very nicely.

Finish - The baking spices complete a wonderful journey from nose to mouth to throat, maintaining their balanced co-existance. The red apple that was so prominent in the nose has now transitioned to a minor, still nicely complementary, finishing note that I wish had held a little stronger. The overall finish is medium length without being overpowering.

My experience with Irish whiskies is admittedly limited, but this does come across as a nice, well balanced, smooth dram that is comparable to a good many of the single malts that I have tasted.

Black Bush is absolutely one of my favorites. It isn't the absolute best drinks I have ever had, but it is not expensive and it is of high quality. You know what you are getting and I am never disappointed. I agree with your review.

I have tried all the Bushmills because I like this brand so much. I think if I had to go on absolute best, I personally would take the 21yr rare. However, on a price point basis none of them come close to Black Bush.

21yr rare is approximately 2.5 times as expense at my stores and maybe 25% better. Complete estimates there and I am sure somebody will disagree with me. But I think the point will hold up.

Cheers!

I will always have at least one Irish whiskey in my cabinet at all times, and while I haven't had any to compare to the BB, I would agree with you 'Bigt' that this is a very enjoyable bottle! Definitely on the 'Top 10 Best Value Bottle' list.

@tabendar

Firm aroma and a wonderful taste. Hints of apple and toffee with less evident malt and spices. Wonderful oak characteristics giving this one high quality complexity for the price.

@Carl

Near the end of 2010, I became interested in single malt whisky, after a conversation with a friend. Many delectable tastings later, I decided to do some research on Irish Whiskey. Until that time, I had only tried Jameson, and I still have an ufinished bottle of the 12 year Special Reserve, which is very nice.

I wanted something reasonably priced, smooth, with a bit of sweetness, but not too much sherried sweetness that I often find with single malt whiskies. From all the reviews, the Bushmills Black Bush seemed to be a good place to start. My boss said that it is a favourite of his Father's, and being Irish born, I thought this would be a good recommendation.

Monday evening after work, I got a bottle. I raced home to try it, and soon as I opened the bottle, nosed the cork, poured a dram and nosed it, I knew it was something special. The first and second tastes are always the test for me. In this case, after the first one, I knew right away that I had struck gold! After that, it just kept getting better. So smooth,nice and thick on the tongue, and just the right amount of sweetness. Not so much, mind you, that you get tired of the sweetness after a few glasses. Not a lingering sweetness, but one that finishes off with a lovely semi dryness. I don't normally drink during the week, but this is now the fourth night in a row that I have had a dram or two. With single malt scotch whisky, I always have a debate in my mind as to which one I am in the mood for. With the Black Bush, I am always in the mood, and regardless of my palate that day, it tastes just as wonderful as it did the last time. So perfect is this Irish Whiskey, that I am buying a second bottle, and really have very little desired to try the other Bushmills, ie 10 year, 16 year which are available here. I simply cannot imagine them being any more perfect than this! Cheers, Carl

Drinix: I certainly hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Tonight, I am working on a small bottle of Ballantine's Finest. This reminds me very much of the smoothness of Black Bush. The price point on this is amazingly low! This seems to me, to be a blended Scotch Whisky that matches up almost to my favourite Single Malt, the GlenDronach. With the Bushmills Blackbush and this Ballantine's Finest, I have found my two favourite blended whiskies. If they were the only ones I could ever afford to drink, I could be at a very happy place with only these two! Cheers, Carl

@carl, Black Bush is also one of my best-buy favorites ... I often take it to an event as my contribution to share. Been tasting single-malts this evening, but after reading your review, tasted some BlackBush ... and wow, it really holds its own ! Good review, thanks!

d

Another almost-empty bottle I had hanging around in my cupboard. Time to restock! Anyway, this is my go-to blended whiskey at the moment, so consider this review a little positively biased.

The color is very nice, but caramel has been added to create it. Some reviews note caramel caramel in the taste, but I can't find it.

The nose gives us barley, but the majority of this nose is sweetness. There is some fresh apple in there.

On the tongue this dram really comes to life. First thing to notice is the smoothness, with more honey. Then the malt comes to life with a oak and - hang on - spices!

The finish leaves us with the sensation of the spices slowly dying out, the malt coming back into the mouth with , and finally a taste which I can only describe as oak covering the entire mouth.

I feel that this blend is one of the best ones out there considering the price. It's one of my most valued daily drinkers and I expect this to stay that way for a long time.

@jdcook

Recently a friend of mine, his father-in-law and I had a tasting session. We actually went through 13 drams in one sitting. A long but very good night! The whiskies we went through in order were Bushmills Black Bush, Macphail's Collection Bunnahabhain 1990 (bottled in 2006), Bruichladdich 10 year old (bottled in 1979), Ardbeg Blasda, Port Ellen 25 year old (distilled 1980 bottled 2006), Bowmore 1956 (distilled in 1956, bottled in 1983), Glenfiddich 15 year old, Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Ardbeg 13 year old (distilled in 1972), Ardbeg 10 year old, Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila 16 year old (distilled in 1969) and the Ardbeg Supernove. Over the next few days I will be writing up my notes. I won't be re-reviewing those malts I've already reviewed, but there are plenty of new ones.

First up was a bottle of Bushmill's Black Bush, the only Irish whiskey, and the only blend amongst a lot more serious-minded malts.

The nose was sweet, full of buttery vanilla and toffee. Simple yet still enticing.

The taste was fresh and light, with a hint of sherry smoke, and a little salt joining the initial sweet toffee. Over a few seconds a hint of spice comes through to balance all the sweetness.

The finish was short, with a hint of dried fruit and the continuance of the gentle sherry smoke. Despite being short, it was very moreish.

I honestly wasn't expecting a lot, but this was really pleasant and easy to drink, and a fantastic way to ease into a big night of drinking. I've been banging on about session whiskies recently (whiskies you drink when you want to have a real drinking session), and this hit the nail dead on the head. I wanted a second glass.

So not the most world beating whisky, but genuinely fun to drink, and ~very~ affordable (as far as whiskies go). You want a big night on whisky? Don't want to waste your best? Then you should seriously consider getting a bottle of this.

@jdcook, Black Bush is one of my favorite Irish whiskies. With its sherry influence, quality reputation, and universal appeal, it is a good bottle to bring to a social event that welcomes booze.

My ... that was quite some tasting you had !!

That was indeed some tasting session but I am sure a good time was had by all. With so many great drams out there you often avoid the likes of Black Bush but I might just give it a try next time I am in for a long one.

@badams

I generally prefer single malts over blends, but there are a few exceptions - some of Jameson's finest and this particular Bushmills, the Black Bush.

Its flavour is remarkably distinctive for a blend, you'll never have difficulty picking a Black Bush out in a blind test. It starts strong with heavy notes of pepper, then mellows into classic Irish triple-distilled smoothness.

Bushmills make some fine single malts, but this blend remains my favourite of Ireland's oldest licensed distillery.

Aye, got a bottle of 1608 waiting for a special occasion to be opened. :) Had a taste of it at the Bushmills distillery, lovely stuff indeed.

Picked up a bottle of this bad boy tonight, what a smooth finish. Very satisfying.

@markjedi1

I have four bottles of the Bushmills range in my cabinet, but so far only tasted the Single Malt 10 Year Old. Today, I tried the Black Bush.

Black Bush is not a single malt, but a blend of single malt (approx 80%) and some grain whiskey, that has matured for over 8 years (sometimes up to 11 years) in oloroso sherry oak casks.

The body is full and oily.

The nose is complex with spicy malt and some coffee. A little raisin and praline too.

On the palate it starts out some sherry notes and a little spice, then turns your mouth warm in a very pleasant way. It really coats your tongue completely. There is a little nutmeg in there somewhere too. Very oily indeed.

The finish, rather long, is spicy but not overly so. It remains sweet and very pleasant.

This is good dram, very good dram indeed.

(PS. Jim Murray rates this one a 91!)

And it's amazingly cheap, too!

Wow! Another to the wishlist.

@DoubleWood

Nose: Sweet, vanilla, soft, sherry notes

Body: Smooth, semi-thick, well-rounded, full-flavoured, bite-less.

Palate: The sherry flavor is extremely apparant. Notes of vanilla, sherry dance around the taste buds. Soft consistency brings a beautiful finish that begs for more.

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