If you’re anything like me, you view whiskey reviewing as an all encompassing hobby that strives to drive you to drink every type of whiskey available and feel downtrodden when you haven’t officially reviewed a base spirit for fear that some Internet strangers (and some friends) will judge you.
Just me? Gotcha. Good. I’m a fucking snowflake of un-imagined proportions (most of them wide).
Bushmills Original almost doesn’t need an introduction, however if I did that this time it would throw you (HA!) and me (MORE LIKELY) off.
We’ve all had this once, or multiple times on a St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a blend, pure and simple. The grain whiskey is aged 5 years in American Oak before being blended with the malt whiskies, and all of them are Triple Distilled, as is the Irish Tradition.
Don’t believe me? Try Irish cuisine. If you don’t think Irish stew has been triple distilled, I’ll do nothing and you’ll feel morally superior to me.
This differs from Irish whiskies as they usually use single pot-still whiskey mixed with grain whiskey, where as this uses single malt whiskey mixed with grain whiskey.
Not to mention all the flipping awards this wins, which is a lot. 36 “this year alone” based on the website. Though I don’t know if that’s 2015 or 2016, still… impressive.
It’s made to mix, people. I’m not expecting a mind numbing mouth orgasm here. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $31.95 (CAD) at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Vanilla, wheat, carrot, alcohol, herbal
For something at 40%, this has quite the vanilla forward nose. Probably the use of ex-bourbon barrels. Or I’m having a stroke, though this was a week ago, so I’m going to give them the nod on this.
It’s kinda rough, though I chalk that up to the young grain whiskey in this.
Taste: Lemon, chilli oil, light vanilla, pine, honey
Again, youth pops up here in heat, lemon, and pine. Not too fun.
That said, the sweet aspects seem to match up with it. It’s almost like someone who knows what they are doing sat down, understood the limitations, and tailored the single malt to help out.
Or they fluked out. That could be it too.
Finish: Orange, yeast, wheat, dry, fake lemon flavouring
I’m going with fluke on the taste now, as this finish hurt. A lot. It’s mercifully short though. Anything else and I’d have to call up my local government to complain about torture on my tongue.
Conclusion: For what this is, I’m not too angry. I actually liked the nose. Given time it wasn’t that harsh. And I noted some attempt at making the flavour better with the young, harsh grain whiskey.
That finish though. This is made to be mixed so that the aftertaste goes far, far away. And that’s okay, I guess. Makes them money to make the tasty, older single malts, so I ain’t mad.
World Whisky review #151, Ireland review #25, Whisky Network review #696
1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #286