Simple idea: I’m tasting Irish whiskey, have enough time/tastebuds left to have one, and someone offers to pour me Bushmills Red Bush. That someone? Alfred Einstein. Wait, no. It was a rep. for Bushmills. So I go off, find a spot without different smells coming in to screw with me, and I review.
But what is Bushmills Red Bush? Simply put, it’s Bushmills that’s been aged in first-fill ex-bourbon casks.
That’s really all I needed to know. I’m a big fan of first-fill whiskies. I find the strong flavours to be something I personally enjoy. That said, there are certainly times where a second or third fill is great as well. But sometimes you want those big, ex-bourbon notes.
Thus this is a no brainer. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $35.45 CAD at the LCBO
Cask Type: First Fill ex-bourbon casks
Colour: 10Y 9/6
Nose: Honey, musk, cherry, wood shavings
Nice nose. Good sweetness and has a lot of the oak forward notes going on. Very wood forward and sweet. It’s acting a tad different than other Bushmills I’ve had.
Really wood forward, the more I have of it.
Taste: Cherry, ginger, raw ginger, oak, cola
Sweet, and a ton of ginger. Why did I write ginger twice? I don’t know. I think I wanted to say that the ginger was the biggest part. So it’s hot and spicy, but not in that great attractive human being way.
Finish: Oak, vanilla, malt, moss, gingery
The finish is mostly earth and vanilla, though reminds you of some of the ginger right at the end. In case you missed the mouthful of ginger from the taste.
Conclusion: An interesting whiskey in theory, that just ended up super raw. I don’t know if it’s age, abv. mixed with the first-fill casks, or needing to use up casks that used expensive barrels and need to be flipped quickly, however overall there’s better from Bushmills and better from Ireland as well.
This needs something else. I’m hoping that some of the SMWS Bushmills that are age stated and cask strength and first-fill show me what this should have been.
World Whiskey review #361, Ireland review #107, Whiskey review #1714