Popular Irish whiskey Bushmills Original now finished in a range of different casks – Caribbean Rum Cask and American Oak versions first to be released
What you need to know:
- Irish whiskeys are increasingly popular for their smoothness, fruity flavors, and the promise of the absence of a hangover. This is because they contain triple distilled whiskies.
- The new Bushmills Original Cask Finish range is an extension of the higher end Causeway range, and will kickoff with a Caribbean Rum Cask Finish and an American Oak Finish.
- Each bottling will be a blend of cask finished single malt and Bushmills single grain.
- The Caribbean Rum Cask Finish is expected to have notes of tropical fruit and dry spice flavors, pineapple sweetness, caramelizes brown sugar notes and toffee tones.
- The American Oak Cask Finish (specifically double-charred American Oak Barrels) is expected to spot notes of fresh wood and vanilla.
- This is worth trying because it is cask finished blended Irish whiskey of at least 7 years of aging, which should make for a well married cohesive whiskey.
- We bought 5 bottles.
Irish whiskey has been making a big comeback, and for good reason. Irish whiskeys tend to be smoother, fruitier, but most importantly can save you from a hangover. That is right, same punch but this time no concussion!
This ensures minimal impurities in the whiskey, which are chiefly responsible for your terrible hangover. It definitely isn’t the lingering regret of your bad decisions, of course!
Bushmills being on of the mainstays of Irish whiskies, has been exploring the use of different casks, and hence has unveiled a new Bushmills Original Cask Finished range.
This is an extension of their earlier released Causeway range (made of Bushmills’ oldest single malt to date), which appeals to the higher end folks, or as we call it in Singapore, atas kias (ie. High class folks).
Why does one of them look so chill and the other like an invitation to Dante's Inferno?
The first two expressions in this range will be finished in Caribbean Rum Casks and American Oak Casks.
They are set to weigh in at 40% abv.
Each bottling in this series will comprise of a single malt matured in the respective casks (ie. Caribbean Rum or American Oak) for at least 7 years, and then blended with Bushmills’ single grain whisky.
The Caribbean Rum Cask Finish is expected to have notes of tropical fruit and dry spice flavors, pineapple sweetness, caramelizes brown sugar notes and toffee tones.
The American Oak Cask Finish (specifically double-charred American Oak Barrels) is expected to spot notes of fresh wood and vanilla.
We got a little carried away to say the least.
Cask finish ranges are pretty common these days, much like a Netflix addiction, everyone has one these days. But that said, I’m still pretty keen on this new Bushmills range for two reasons:
- It’s not whisky, it’s whiskey, with an “e”, by which I mean it isn’t any cask finished whisky, it’s cask finished Irish whiskey, and
- It’s a blend, which is to say it has both single malt and single grain blended into one.
This matters because Irish whiskies as mentioned, are very robust in character, bursting with fruits and zest, and are very bouncy. It is almost as if their whiskies are just jumping at you right out of the bottle, it isn’t the slow moving behemoth of Scotch nor is it the mellowness of Japanese whiskey (which I am aware also sports an “e”).
I’ve always found Irish whiskey to be very youthful and exuberant, while maintaining a silky smoothness.
Hence cask finishing them sounds like a lot of fun. It offers something different from the cask finished Scotch we’re used to.
Second of all, as a blend, it takes on a more complex depth of character, with more flavors intermingling, and with a sturdy base imparted from the cask finish, I think you can expect it to meld well into a cohesive symphony.
Maybe I’m just jaded but there’ve been so many cask finished whisky and truth be told, so many of them just sound like a marching band whose trumpeter is off key. Simply throws the whole thing off with too much cask influence.
This is not by accident though. Casks can account for up to 70% of a whisky’s flavor and we wouldn’t put it past some distilleries to use casks to mask otherwise poor quality young whiskies.
It's such a low key flex that Bushmills doesn't even slap an age statement on.
However, that isn’t going to be the case with Bushmills as the whiskies are at least 7 years old, which is somewhat sufficient to marry well the flavors of the distillate and the cask for a truly cohesive blend.
Also given the abv and the price this is probably a good choice for a Highball.
In any case, to put my money where my mouth is, we’ve already got our hands on not 1 but 5 bottles of the Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish.