Origin: Antrim (Northern Ireland)
Type: Irish Single Malt Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry Oloroso and ex-Madeira Wine
Additional coloring: Yes
Owner: Casa Cuervo
Average price: € 150.00
Official website: bushmills.com
Top of the range from the Irish distillery, with 19 years spent in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks before ending up for another two in ex-Madeira casks, bottled at the (nefarious) minimum alcohol content of 40%.
Conceptually similar to the 16 year old, it only changes the final refinement while remaining in Portugal, and is produced in a numbered edition (implying it is also limited? Who knows).
Intensely perfumed on the nose, with a profusion of ripe fruit (blackberries, sour cherries, figs, dates), spices (nutmeg, cloves), candied orange, caramel, roasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate, sandalwood. From this dark and somewhat decadent blanket emerge citric notes that lighten the bouquet. Explosive.
The palate becomes (inevitably) less full-bodied while maintaining a discreet consistency, with a greater presence of citrus and spices and the emergence of more bitter notes such as liquorice and rhubarb. Dried and ripe fruit remain pre-eminent, the dryness of the wood increases.
Not very long finish of spices, red fruits, orange, wood.
I hate to repeat myself, but the low alcohol content extinguishes a whiskey that could have been truly phenomenal, with an aroma that promises intense emotions dissolved in a bucket of water, managing to evoke pleasant sensations but lacking in vigour.