Next to Jameson, Bushmills has been half of the twin icons of Irish whiskey. While various expressions of Bushmills have come and go, the standard-level Bushmills — aka Bushmills Original — has been with us literally for hundreds of years. We last reviewed the iconic Bushmills way back in 2008, and we figured the time was nigh to take a fresh look at this classic, which is a typical blend of single malt and grain whiskeys, triple distilled and bottled with no age statement.
Bushmills says its recipe hasn’t changed in over 100 years, and it sure does feel familiar and unsurprising at this point — particularly in the face of an Irish whiskey industry that has been hard at work elevating its offerings.
The nose is mild and easy, hinting at fortune cookies, sesame seeds, and a slight apple note, all set against a backdrop of rustic earth. The palate is surprisingly dry for Irish, with a woody edge that is rimmed with honey rather than infused with it. Notes of pretzel dough give it a certain chewiness, and the finish doubles down on that, with a cracker/biscuit note that sees some gentle spice notes mixed in. Quite mild, the whole affair is very much innocuous and straightforward — and best used as a mixer if you find Jameson too sweet.