Bourbon Reviews Bushmills Irish Whiskey

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

Verdict: Smooth, Crisp, Well-rounded

My Irish friend never fails to interject his opinions about the superiority of Irish whiskey whenever the topic of whiskey comes up. I’m adding Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey to this blog as a nod to our brethren across the pond. They’ve been distilling whiskey (or ‘Water of Life’ as they call it) for over 400 years, so I guess they have gotten pretty good at it. This post is also fairly topical since the company’s “Make it 2 Bushmills” contest just wrapped up.

First off, you are not obligated to drink Bushmills neat if you are in the presence of an Irishman. Drinking it with ginger or coke is perfectly acceptable. For the purposes of this review, I added nothing so I could get a gauge on the full taste.

Bushmills (like most Irish whiskey) is distilled 3 times, therefore I found it a slightly milder than American whiskey. On the nose I detected some subtle florals with spice and citrus, but the smells were not overwhelming. Although I would describe the taste as smooth, it’s not shy either and packed a nice punch going down. It had a good burn, with warming flavors of honey and herbs. I couldn’t describe the finish as anything other than crisp. I can almost hear the pub music as I drink it – which I think is a good sign.

Bushmills has a long tradition of making great whiskey and I raise my glass to wish them well for another 400 years.

Bourbon Reviews Jefferson's Small Batch Bourbon

Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon

Verdict: Warm, robust, smooth

I’m not sure why, but when I hear sound of the cork popping out of a bottle of bourbon my taste buds start to anticipate something great coming their way. Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon, from McLain & Kyne, did not disappoint them.

Jefferson’s Small Batch is aged 8 years (vs. their Jefferson’s Reserve version which is aged 12) in metal warehouses to accentuate extreme temperatures. According to the distiller, this environment “forces the bourbon to expand into the barrel and pull out the wood flavors.” I guess the term “small batch” is a pretty general term, but my bottle was number 1009 from batch 147 which does seem pretty small compared to the production of some of the larger distillers.

The scent of Jefferson’s is incredibly mild. From the bottle and from the glass you really have to work to get a nose from it. The taste was well-balanced with flavors of sweet caramel and vanilla. There is a satisfying burn, but overall very smooth and pleasant finish.

Jefferson’s is very good whiskey. This is good old fashioned Kentucky sipping whiskey. I would highly recommend this one.