Ulster Whiskey Blog
What do Ryanair, Nylon stockings and Crack cocaine have in common? No? Well they all achieved the same thing: they brought what was once a very expensive product down in price to the point anyone could afford to buy it. Air travel was once the preserve of the wealthy until budget airlines changed that. Stockings were once made of silk and adorned the legs of aristocratic ladies: the invention of nylon meant the luxury of stockings could be had by any girl who fancied them. Then there’s crack cocaine… by now you are getting my drift. Companies strive to bring the luxurious to the masses, knowing that if they succeed, then success awaits them, and success translates into profits and rewards. The very essence of business is that balance between meeting the customer’s needs and wants with the price they are willing to pay for it. Getting the balance right is the key. On that point I come to the review of Bushmills BlackBush, a blended whiskey that, for me, hits almost all the right notes, it finds that balance needed. Most blended whiskies have around 20% Malt in them, 80% Grain – not Blackbush. In Blackbush it is the reverse of the norm and has around 70% Malt. Think about that for a second. Triple distilled and in smaller runs, against the Scottish double distillation and 80% Grain from continuous distillation grain stills, the price of Blackbush should be getting pushed up but no. The price of Blackbush is around the lower end of the market and the last bottle I purchased cost me £22. For that kind of money one doesn’t expect something of that quality, I’ve paid more than that for a single shot and wasn’t any more impressed. The bottle oozes quality, from the trademark square bottle and traditional label of the Bushmills brand to the nose and taste (the important bits), this whiskey is a joy: an everyday whiskey that sits well in any company. Matured in ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks, for a total of around 8 to 11 years (although there is no age statement), before being blended with the grain, the character builds. On the nose – the oak comes quite thick, fruity, almost sweetie like. Jellybean style notes, of currants or plums. Cereal is there along with the vanilla. Really rather lovely. On the tongue – the Sherry and the sweetie. The sweetie is of red fruit, summer fruits or maybe grapes, spiced, which with the fruit can give boiled cake. The mouth feel is good but not the great of some older Bushmills. Finish is good and of a decent length. This is an experienced, assured whiskey and is a credit to the whole team at the distillery.
Blackbush is so good and so affordable that it makes some of the other, much more expensive bottles, seem like they are wearing stockings on their heads.