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.