Ready for something fun and unexpected? Bushmills Irish Whiskey has just launched Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask Whiskey, the debut release in Bushmills’ new annual series, “The Rare Casks.”
Matured in bourbon and Oloroso sherry barrels for 11 years, the single malt is then finished in Cognac casks for 17 years. All of 500 bottles have been released in the U.S. so you will need to act fast if you want to nab one.
The nose is instantly exotic and engaging, a flood of aromas that run from maple to incense, brown butter to potpourri. Notes of honey and clean linens swirl in the glass, and the whisky really comes across as a surprising “best of both worlds” where Irish whiskey and Cognac meet.
On the palate, it’s just as delightful. Caramel, vanilla, and honey lead the way to engaging notes of dried flowers, more incense, almonds, and butter cookies. The Cognac element then quickly kicks in and takes over until the finish. It’s a long, slow, sultry fade that offers some over Cognac’s best and most traditional flavors: raisins, a mix of spices, and again more heady incense. A kick of licorice on the finish takes things out with a slightly drying yet beautifully balanced kick.
This is easily one of the greatest Irish whiskeys I’ve ever tasted — and it’s clearly in the running for a spot on our Top 10 Whiskeys of the Year list. Stay tuned.