Thursday, March 31, 2011

Going Green - Bushmillls 10yo Single Malt

Bushmills 10yo
With the advent of Saint Patrick's Day 2011 and excuse to cook and drink whisky I had fellow DTWC members and family, The Grey Bush and El Capitan, over for a hearty Beef and Stout pie with mashed potatoes and cabbage, a few pints of Guinness, green cup cakes and of course a Dram or 2 of Bushmills 10yo Single Malt Whiskey (note the spelling).

It had been a long time since I have had an Irish and even then it was a blend. What better excuse to buy an Irish than for Saint Patricks Day. Of course the selections of Irish are pretty limited here in Australia as it is so it doe not leave much for choice. At least if I only buy a new Irish each Saint Patricks Day that is going to give me 4 or 5 years before I run out of choice completely.

What to expect out of a run of the mill Irish. First and foremost is Triple Distillation. There is many reasons why Triple Distillation is done and depending on what history you read and from whom will vary greatly. There is 2 things though that are firm with this process and that is 1. a lighter, fresher, smoother taste and 2. a removal of the impurities giving a clear and consistent colour. Many say it was the Irish that perfected the methods of whisky distillation and that the Scotch then adopted it. It should also be noted that Irish was the whisky of choice and greatly out sold Scotch in the US prior to Prohibition.

Bushmills 10yo Single Malt
Triple distilled, aged primarily in ex-bourbon barrels
Alcohol: 40%
Location/Region: Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Colour: Yellow amber

On the nose warm honeys with a citrus zest and ripe figs I guess you could say. Very clean but also a bit of a burn. Unexpectedly fresh in comparison to a Scotch (if that is what you are used to of course).

To taste quite silky on the tongue, vanillas are very strong but less the sweetness and mild hints of mixed spice. I find it hard to even get any distinguishing wood notes at all. Easy to swallow and not too challenging.

The finish is medium and dry with the draw quite hot before a tingle returns to the palate and lips.

The balance is a little off to me on the finish which is a mild drawback overall but it is interesting to get a whisky that changes through the 3 primary stages of tasting.

Value is excellent at $49 AU a bottle and I have had a lot of bad single malt scotches well above that price range so there is no disappointment factors here.

I do not take water in my whiskies as you all know so I cannot comment on what a drop or 2 might add to the flavour.

I like this whisky but not excited by it. Certainly my attraction to Scotch has not been swayed by this Irish. If I was to give a dram then it would 5 out of 7. No booty scale either. If you are interested in getting into whisky in general this might be a good starter.

As a note the recipe I have developed for Beef and Stout pie is pretty fool proof and is an excellent accompaniment to any evening that you may be wanting a few nips of the water of life. I will post up about that one soon enough now that it is getting a winter chill in the air. Looking forward to next years Saint Patricks Day already.

Also for you Guinness drinkers our good mate at Whisky Cast, Mark Gillespie, posted a great title video on how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. Does not work so well from a can (I have been trying for weeks now) but if I ever get a chance to get behind the bar and pour my own I am ready and willing.

The Baron