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Bushmills Black Bush

Black Bush vs Black Label

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mReview by @mattatec

5th Jan 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

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mattatec commented

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.

9 years ago 0

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