A distillery with a heritage that dates back over 400 years; situated besides the river Bush and Ireland’s oldest working distillery is the Old Bushmills Distillery, The 10 YO is their malt only expression, matured for the majority in ex-bourbon casks with a lesser period in sherry oak barrels. Introduced in the late 80’s, this was the distilleries first venture into the all malt world; a move well received by whiskey connoisseurs and critics alike, prompting the release of older single malts statements like the Bushmills 16 and 21.
The malted barley at the Old Bushmills are dried in closed kilns to prevent the grains from acquiring any smokiness, an effort to ensure as much of its natural flavours are intact in the distilled spirit. The wort is triple distilled in large copper pot stills before being aged and packaged in their signature styled bottling.
Nose: Grain and caramel toffee infused with honey and desiccated coconut, a mild vanilla like sweetness is accompanied by the zest of orange peels and charred wood. The nose tapers exposing earthy green pepper and rose apple.
Taste: Vanilla and milk chocolate mixed with hints of dried fruits and honey. Fresh mint leaves and peppery earthy undertones.
Finish: Short to medium | Sweet with a mild spice.
The Bushmills is a light, crisp Irish tuple with a welcoming earthiness that is both surprising and pleasant. The ex-bourbon maturation adds a layer of depth from the tropical fruits and the vanilla, albeit more so on the nose. The palate however is where the expression falls short, quickly moving from bang to bland.
I expected more fruity berry-like nuances but honestly didn’t mind the lack of it. A daily dram is what this is, with a nose tipping the scales to an otherwise mundane spirit.