Ireland’s oldest surviving distillery is Bushmills in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. There has been a whiskey still on site since the beginning of the sixteenth century, although Bushmills itself began production in the 1780s. Bushmills is traditional pot-still single malt distiller, which produces six different brands, two malts and four blends: Black Bush, Bushmills 1608, Coleraine and Original Bushmills. A commemmorative bottling to celebrate the 400th anniversary of King James I awarding the license to distil. A blend made with a special ‘crystal malt’ which lends a toffeish note. ‘Best Irish Blended Whiskey (NAS)’ at the World Whiskies Awards 2008.
The aroma is typical of Bushmills — rosy and fruity — but is joined with a core of olive oil, meaty fruit and honey. The palate starts out with big dabs of honey and goes to fruity hard candy. Then sharp cheese shoots to the roof of the mouth before the whiskey settles back with a woody, toffee, bourbon notes. The finish is very long flavors of wood and honey.