Next up on our tasting menu was Bushmills 16. This distillery, famous for a wide variety of products including the legendary Black Bush, has had a license to distill spirits in Ireland since 1608. Our host indicated that Bushmills produces single malts only and explained that the older whiskies (over 10 years) are the finest examples of Irish distilling.
The Bushmills 16 is bottled at 40% abv after waiting for sixteen years in bourbon and sherry casks. Yes, the whiskey is aged separately in two different types of barrels, then mixed together in equal parts before being poured into port pipes for aging for another several months.
This “three woods” whiskey is a deep amber colour, showing the influence of the port casks in both colour and nose. A wonderful aroma of sherry, honey, and pomegranate tingle the sense.
On the palate, the juicy texture conveys nuts, dried fruit, honey, and warm oak.
The finish is satisfyingly complimentary to the nose and palate. Here, we’re got some grape without too much of the sweetness. This is a dry finish that leaves behind impressions of port all the while keeping a strong whiskey personality.
Overall, this is a fine whiskey. It builds off a strong start and continues to satisfy well into the long finish. I recommend a bottle for all occasions. Priced at $83 at the SAQ in Quebec, it’s comparable if not better than most whiskies in the price range. Note that as of this writing, Ontario and New Hampshire do not carry Bushmills 16, much to the detriment of the inhabitants of these fine regions.