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Revisiting: Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 21, 2012

The practice of making whisky at the Old Bushmills Distillery can be traced back to 1608 when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips a royal licence to distill ‘uisce beatha’, the gaelic for ‘water of life’. This grant serves as the first documented evidence of the distillation of whiskey at the site although at that time it was not yet called Bushmills. The first known reference to the Old Bushmills Distillery was in 1743 when, according to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard, the site was “in the hands of smugglers”‘. Now over 400 years later, the Bushmills brand is owned by Diageo, however all of the whiskey produced under the Bushmills name is still produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The Bushmills 16 Yr Old Single Malt is composed of whiskey distilled three times. A portion of the whiskey is aged in American oak (bourbon) casks and a portion is aged in Spanish oak (Oloroso sherry) casks. All of this whiskey is aged for 16 or more years. The final whiskey is blended prior to finishing in old oak Port wine pipes. With such a variety of oak used in the aging and finishing in there is the potential for great complexity.

I revisited the Bushmills 16 year Old Single Malt recently, and when I looked over my original review, I was quite pleased that my impressions were very consistent over two years later. I decided to take a little time to fix some typos and to clarify some points in the review. As well I added a new introduction. Here is a link to my revised review of this Bushmills whiskey which was originally published in November of 2009:

Review: Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt

Please enjoy the review!


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