As promised, St. Patty’s got started a bit early here at Drinkhacker HQ, and here’s your review of Bushmills’ Black Bush bottling of its Irish whiskey.
Black Bush is, like standard Bushmills, a blend of malt whiskey and (a bit of) Irish single grain whiskey to soften it. The real difference comes in the aging, with Black Bush picking up a darker color and a spicier, almost cinnamon kick from eight-plus years of Sherry barrel aging. The drink is smooth while also displaying some heat, with the malt giving Black Bush a heavier, Scotch-like character. Good stuff, but considerably different than just about any other Irish I’ve ever had. (I tasted it alongside Jameson’s standard-issue Irish (B, $19) and the strangely citrus Tullamore Dew (C+, $18), and Black Bush won hands down. An unfair comparison? Perhaps, but that’s life in the whiskey biz.