Bushmills 16 year old whisky is the most under rated whisky. On the other hand, Bushmills 16 year old whisky is the most over rated whisky. Confused? You should be because so am I!
Bushmills was my first foray in to the world of Irish single malt whisky's and it was a place that I stayed at for quite sometime. The standard Bushmills is a very drinkable whisky. So I was expecting good things from the Bushmills 16 Year Old Whiskey, especially as it offers this unique "Three Wood" finishing.
Three wood finishing does pretty much what you expect, the whisky is matured through 3 different casks, Oloroso, Sherry and Bourbon seasoned casks, with the whisky finally kept in port wine barrels (surely this should be called 4 wood?). All this is to add depth to the flavour, and you can see why that should be the case with all the extra flavours that should be present. Unfortunately I dont think this has happened.
First of all, the smell (I know I should call it the nose, but it is just to pretensious). I hear you screaming that this should be obvious, you should get Oloroso, Sherry and/or Bourbon, either all three or at least one of them, or maybe even port. However this is not the case, what you do get is a very heavy aroma, almost reminiscent of treacle toffee. Now this may be because the three woods have all combined, but for me this was a little dissapointing.
The taste. Any Oloroso, Sherry or Bourbon here? Nope! Instead you do get a very full bodied, almost heavy whisky. And if anything I would say that it is slightly nutty.
What about the finish? Well, here at least we are left with something of a positive. This does leave you feeling like yopu have drunk a lovely old port. Although I have described the whisky as heavy on more than one occasion, the finish is not not heavy, rather it is a deep luxurious finish, and this is very satisfactory.
So overall this is a good whisky. However this is my problem, that I eluded to at the begining of this review. This is a really over rated whisky, which I believe it is if this is the only Bushmills product you have tasted. If you start your Bushmills journey here, you will think this is the bee's knees, very rich and very deep.
However, this is the most under rated whiskey for those that have tried any other Bushmills whiskies. In my mind when you are drinking a product that is supposedly a step up from the bog standard product then this product should be better. However, I dont believe that the 16 years or the three wood finish adds anything to this product, and you may as well just stick to the normal Bushmills.
This is especially evident when you consider the price as well! For a Bushmills Original Irish Whisky you can pick one up in Sainsbury's for a rediculously cheap £13.99, on offer at the moment. However, for this 16 year old one, it is not available in the supermarkets that I have been too, nor is it on the Bushmills website as available to buy. At various online shops you can pick this bottle up for...wait for it...£46.99!!! As such I have never even enquired about this whisky from my local whisky shop!
If you still want to give this a go, look out for the traditional Bushmills oblong tin box, this comes in a burnt red coloured box. However, in my opinion there are better whiskies out there to spend nearly £50 on, and if you really like Bushmills stick to the original.
Bushmills Malt 16 Years Old is a premium, rare single Irish malt whiskey. Unique Three Wood finishing adds elements of depth and flavor to the already clean, non-smoky taste of Bushmills Malt Irish Whiskey.