Bushmills is back with a newly packaged bottling, this time a rare single malt that's aged for 16 years. Originally matured in a blend of Oloroso Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks, after a period of time this is also finished in a Port wine pipe before release. This release is also bottled at 40% ABV. Let's dive in.
Apple pie is a driver here, with a bit of nuance tucked in. Oddly light and sweet on the nose despite the heft age. Peppers, apples, pears, a touch of cherry cola and a pinprick of ethanol.
Thin on the palate, a touch of ethanol again despite the low proof. Punchy, hot, spirit forward with sherry notes on the back palate. The blend of Oloroso and Port Pipe really shine through if you dig deep, but this dram isn't sherried at first sip and it takes work to find some nuance. Overall, it's a bit unbalanced, hot, spirit forward, and not particularly complex on the palate.
The finish is a pretty big improvement over the nose and palate. If you like a whiskey that lingers, the wine really kicks in here on the finish. Sweet cream, honey, apple pie, red berries and a bit of clove, tobacco and pepper.
This is an interesting pour. It feels disjointed at times, the nose and palate aren't particularly remarkable but a complex finish ties it together. If you love Irish whiskey, are looking for a new distraction from your usual purchases, this may interest you - but it certainly won't blow you away.