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Bushmills' Red Bush Irish Whiskey

A new bourbon-like expression just in time for St Patrick's Day

by David Graver
on 16 March 2017

As we've noted for years now, the state of Irish whiskey remains strong. Typically lighter and sweeter than its Scottish peers, Irish whiskey's an easy entry point to the brown spirits world, but allows for plenty of room to investigate nuance and depth. There's a substantial amount of both in Bushmills' new Red Bush, an expression they've produced with the American bourbon drinker in mind. As expected from the brand, this expression is a blend of triple-distilled, single-malt and Irish grain whiskey. Aging in first-fill American white oak bourbon barrels guides the maturation process toward a flavor profile familiar to American whiskey drinkers: vanilla, caramel and a nuttiness. There's a sweetness throughout, and a lengthy finish—punctuated by some of Bushmills fierier characteristics.

For anyone needing a category refresh: Bushmills happens to be Ireland's oldest working distillery, at 409 years old, and is located on the north coast. And while there are some excellent age statement products in the full range, Red Bush happens to be one of the most affordable entry-level expressions. This also makes it quite dynamic, as it can be mixed in cocktails, consumed neat or (as the Master Distiller Colum Egan prefers) with a bit of water to taste.

Bushmills Red Bush is rolling out nationwide for $23. It can be purchased through Reserve Bar for $26.

Images courtesy of Mad Wolf Photography

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