Bushmills Irish Whiskey


The year 1608 was when King James I granted Ireland’s Bushmills region an official license for distilling.  However, the notoriety of Bushmills is thought to extend a few centuries before then.  There are stories of the troops of King Henry II partaking of this spirit.  This tradition is still alive at Ireland’s oldest operating distillery, where the complete process takes place, from the distillation all the way to the bottling.  Bushmills over the past 400 years has developed a world-renowned reputation as a superb classic Irish whiskey.  The distillery today has a rich whiskey portfolio.

More Information On Bushmills Irish Whiskey

An Irish cream liqueur, in addition to 10, 16 and 21 year old malt Irish whiskies, are produced by Bushmills.

It is distilled in Bushmills, Antrim County, Northern Ireland

Tours are available of the historical distillery.  For details, visit their website.

Imported by Diageo

Bushmills 1608

Bushmills 1608

Bushmills 1608 is built on a 400 year tradition of producing the finest classic Irish whiskey.  It is a flavorful, smooth, melt in your mouth kind of whiskey.  The creaminess of this whiskey comes from specialty barleycorn malt, which following a light toasting, has a crystalline appearance.  The 1608 bottled whiskey is a blend of various Bushmills malt whiskies (the selection comes from whiskies aged in Spanish sherry or American oak casks), crystallized malt, and a small bit of Irish grain whiskey.

The Bushmills 1608 offers a smoothness that is toffee-like with dried fruit, honey and vanilla notes.  It is inviting and warm and is an excellent illustration of a fine craft Irish whiskey.  From my tasting it straight, neat was my preference.  Ice seems like a distraction and also an unnecessary dilution of the sweetness of the whiskey.  However, don’t let this stand in your way of mixing 1608.  It can be tried in a Black Nail, Irish Martini, Burning Bush or anything that compliments, but doesn’t distract from, its sweet, smooth character.

From February to December 2008, Bushmills 1608 was available for sale in the United States.  However, now it is necessary to go to the distillery itself if you want to taste 400 years worth of craftsmanship in this particular form.

  • Retail price is $100 for 750ml bottle
  • 46% alcohol/volume (92 proof)

Bushmills Original

The Original represents the base of the portfolio for the distillery.  This is an excellent bottle to have stocked for regular use.  The Bushmills Original blends light Irish grained whiskey and triple distilled malt whiskey aged for 5 years at least in used Spanish Olorosco sherry or American bourbon casks.  This whiskey is inviting and rich with notes of oak and spicy vanilla that cry out to be mixed in just about any drink you could dream of.  Everybody’s Irish and Irish Coffee are definite favorites.

  • Retail price is approximately $22 for 750ml bottle
  • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)

Black Bush

Bushmills Black Bush

In 1934 Old Bushmills Special Old Liqueur Whiskey was released.  Eventually it came to be called Black Bush (first in the bar and then later on it was put on the bottle).  This was because it had a dark label that was very distinct.  This Irish whiskey is made using triple distilled malted barley.  Most of it is aged inside used Spanish sherry casks.  This results in a rich nut and fruit flavor that is mixable and smooth.  This whiskey can be tried with light, sweet and bitter cocktails like Koi Cocktail or Black and Red.

  • Retail price is approximately $35 for a 750ml bottle
  • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)