Review: Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey 16 Years Old

Review: Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey 16 Years Old

Bushmills 16 years old single maltHappy St. Patrick’s Day to you all!

If you’re drinking Irish today (and you probably are), consider upgrading your dram with something a little more sophisticated.

Bushmills 16 Year Old is a single malt (rare enough for Irish) that is matured in ex-Bourbon barrels or Oloroso sherry barrels — a portion of the production in each. The two barrel types are then married and finished in Port barrels for a triple-wooded attack.

This unique whiskey has lots of the hallmarks of Irish — a nutty almond backbone, hints of banana and coconut, and an earthy, honeyed finish. But there’s much more going on here, too, that adds ample complexity. The sherry is big on the front, offering more than just the usual orange oil and orange peel notes you get with sherried Scotch but also deep, oxidized sherry character, something that must come from many years in a sherry barrel rather than a simple finish. I don’t get a whole lot of Port here (it spends just 6 to 9 months in that final barrel), though the deep burnt amber color is a clear indicator of its impact. Hints of dark chocolate-covered-cherries on the finish are the only real remnants of the Port, with a surprising amount of roasted barley notes overwhelming the picture in the end. Tons going on here, and for the most part they all work well together.

At $70 a bottle, it will set you back considerably more than the typical bottle of Irish, but the exotic profile of this spirit should earn it a spot on your top shelf.

80 proof.


Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey 16 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Johnnie Walker Fan on March 23, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Really enjoyed your post. To be honest I’ve never really tried Irish single malt, but I’ve always liked Irish blended whisky because it mixes well. After reading your blog, I’ve become inspired to try out some Irish single malt. Thanks for sharing.

  2. moon on May 29, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    hello,I know it’s been a while but I just looked this up on your site because of the bottle of Glenfarclas 12 that I recently opened. I have always enjoyed both the 10 and 12 yr expressions very much

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