With a license to distill dating back to 1608, Bushmills is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. All that history gives Bushmills access to an impressive reserve of aged whiskey stock, which is why the distillery is able to release high-age-statement expressions with some regularity.
Most of those old whiskeys are limited release, but the brand just introduced two rare, permanent additions to its core range: a 25-year-old and a 30-year-old Irish single malt whiskey. Naturally, releases like these take some forethought and planning.
“When we started planning these two new whiskeys over 30 years ago, we traveled all over Europe to hand-select each cask,” says Bushmills Master Distiller Colum Egan. “We collaborated with winemakers to specify the fortified wine recipe used to season them to create the flavors of our future Bushmills whiskey.”
Egan explains that the company still engages in this process, down to the detail of cask toasting times and temperatures before adding the wine. The casks are then left to season for at least a couple of years in the hot European climate before they’re transported back to Bushmills. They only ship casks during colder months to keep them “fresher” for the long maturation ahead.
“We’re proud of that mastery and expertise that ensures every cask is at its freshest and most flavorful to mature our Bushmills whiskey,” says Egan. “It means our 25 Year Old bursts with intense hedgerow dark fruit and a
luxurious honey sweetness, and it ensures our 30 Year Old boasts an exquisite and enticing raisin, fig, and praline richness.” See below for more on each expression.
Bushmills 25 Year Old
This non chill-filtered single malt whiskey is matured in bourbon barrels
and sherry butts for almost six years before moving to first-fill ruby port pipe oak casks for another couple decades. The delicate European oak elevates Bushmills’ floral and fruity signature style with intense fruit
and soft spice flavors.
Bushmills 30 Year Old
Distilled in 1992, this is the oldest expression Bushmills has released as part of its core range to date. The non chill-filtered liquid was matured in bourbon barrels and sherry butts for 14 years and then finished in first-fill Pedro Ximénez casks for the remaining 16 years, producing a whiskey with rich and elegant dried fruit flavors. Bushmills 30 is characterized by signature cherry aromas of dried fruits and boasts a deep PX complexity.
Bushmills 25 and Bushmills 30 are both bottled at 46% ABV. They are
available now in limited quantities throughout the United States and will be available worldwide in the coming months. As should be expected, whiskeys this age aren’t cheap. A 700 mL bottle of Bushmills 25 carries an SRP of $900, while Bushmills 30 is $2,200. Add one or both to your collection, but if you’re hosting St. Patrick’s Day festivities at your place, you may want to hide these bottles from your guests.