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Bushmills Red Bush

Redefining expectations

3 482

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

23rd Jul 2018


Bushmills Red Bush
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Red Bush is the latest blended whiskey offering from Bushmills. I'm quite fond of the Sherry cask matured Black Bush so I was eager to try their ex-bourbon cask offering, especially since it was on sale. I'm not sure how Red Bush compares to Bushmills Original, as I don't think I've ever had it. The Bushmills website was less than helpful, as it featured liberal use of the word "SMOOOOOOOOOTH" to describe the taste of Red Bush. I'm glad I purchased it before researching it.

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): vanilla, icing sugar, toasted oak, absolutely no spirity aromas of acetone (nail polish remover) that sometimes appear in non age-stated (i.e. young) blended whiskies. A gentle nose, but a very pleasant one.
  • Palate (undiluted): light-bodied, but not thin or watery, cereal sweetness, red apple skins, more vanilla, a bit of barrel char, and a vague nuttiness; pecans, maybe.
  • Finish: short to medium length, with more cereal and vanilla notes, a bit of a cream note, and a touch of maple syrup lingering at the end.

Adding water tones down some of the vanilla and oak notes. Red Bush becomes more like maple walnut (or maple pecan) ice cream with water added. It doesn't thin out as much as I expected it to. Heck, it's even good on the rocks. Sacrilege, I know. I feel like this whisky might be an ideal candidate for introducing people to sipping whisky without mixers. If I didn't know better, I'd guess this was a young-ish (6-8 years old) Single Malt whisky. Red Bush won't change your perception of whiskey, but it may change what you expect from a whiskey that's just a shade above 30 bucks here in Ontario.

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Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, thanks for your review. Everything I have read about Red Bush states that it is matured in bourbon barrels only.

I am not fond of Red Bush. I would probably score it a little lower than you the 82 points you gave it, probably about 78 points. I would definitely score Black Bush several points higher than the 84 points you gave that one, probably at at least 88 points.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented


Everything I have read about Red Bush states that it is matured in bourbon barrels only

Have you not read how smooooth Red Bush is? Perhaps my environment affected my scoring. Most of this bottle of Red Bush (and the subsequent tasting notes) were taken as I was camping with my family at Restoule Provincial Park. The weather was beautiful, the people were terrific and the whiskey was a fine accompaniment. As to Black Bush, I’ve had a variety of experiences with different bottles/batches: all have been thoroughly pleasant, though not extraordinary. It’s an 84-86 point whiskey for me.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

Context is everything

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

casualtorture commented

I like your tags. So would you say this is smooth?

5 years ago 2Who liked this?