Bushmills Black Bush Review

Bushmills Black Bush007

40% abv

Score:  79/100


Ok, my juvenile friends.  Quit chuckling over the rather…ummmm…questionable choice of name and let’s just get into the whiskey itself, what say? 

Black Bush.  A blended Irish whiskey from a distillery I’ve carried on a near two decade love affair with.  Bushmills holds pride of place in my wee shriveled heart, simply due to an abundance of great memories and sentimental attachments.  While I can’t suppress my own personal affinity for the dram, hopefully I can provide an accurate sense of what’s in here and a score reflective of the true quality and character of the whiskey.

As far as blended whiskies go, this is rock solid.  It brings a little more character than most of the caramel-driven homogeneity that typically weighs down the blends section in most spirit shops.  Having said that…it’s certainly no extrovert in terms of trumpeting an overtly unique profile either.  That’s fine though.  I don’t believe most folks reaching for the blend are looking for a challenge.  More likely just something that promises to be easy-drinking and bears a smooth and sweet character.  Black Bush definitely ticks the boxes (laying it on pretty thick with the sweetness, I might add), and delivers a dram of broad commercial appeal.

And that’s the crux (and for some, the rub).  The flavour junkies, Scotch snobs and connoisseurs are likely to be looking elsewhere, as this one is just a little too pedestrian for the more advanced palate.  GIev it a go, though.  You might surprise yourself.  Well made is still well made.

I personally l lean towards the Original or the 16 year when drinking Bushmills.  Maybe that will change when I lay paws on the 1608 or the 21 year in coming days.  Bear with me…

Nose:  Grape.  A lot of grape.  Nutmeg and cinnamon in bread dough.  Creamy caramel latte.  Pepper.  Some florals.  There is a LOT of balance on the nose here.  Almost hard to pick apart actually.  Great composition.  Hmmmm…in short, kinda like a mixed berry scone with a dusting of light spices.

Palate:  Grape again.  Into clean cereals.  Honey.  Some big influence from sherry cask blending, I’d guess, just by following the rollercoaster development of this one.  High grain component here, I think.  Very thin, but mouthwateringly juicy.

Thoughts:  A little anemic and lacking in oomph, but seriously drinkable.  Great mix of uber clean and sweet and fruity.  This is a throw-the-cork-away kinda drink.  Hard to get excited about, not special in any way, but easy to quaff.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt


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