The Bushmills 1608 was created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the license to distill that was given to Sir Thomas Phillips in Antrim (where Bushmills is) by King James the 1st in 1608. While the actual Old Bushmills Distillery Company wasn’t formed until 1784 because of it’s ties to the original license they still claim the 1608 founding.
This particular Irish Whiskey blend was crafted from 3 separate whiskies; their traditional Bushmills triple distilled Single Malt, grain whiskey (as is common amongst blends) and a malt whiskey they made using crystal malt. Crystal malt is a caramelized version of the typical malted barley that is used to make whiskey and is used quite often by craft beer makers. This high, double malt, blend is unique to this Bushills release and definitely deserving of all the awards it’s received over the years.
Bushmills 1608 Review
A strong coppery malt leads the way with notes of honey, spice, complex fruit, hay red licorice and a light graininess coming in behind. A light bit of vanilla moves about and rounds out this fantastic nose.
Honey coated malt mixes with fruit, spice and toasted nuts for a flavor that’s warm and inviting. Light notes of toffee, citrus, wood and mint add complexity and dimension. A bit of grain whisky pops up towards the end.
Long malty finish sprinkled with notes of spice, fruit, honey and wood.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced with a medium body, a smooth silken texture and mild heat.
Bushmills 1608 is a great Irish blend. It’s unique, aromatic, flavorful and a great representation of what the Irish can do with their blends when they really put their minds to it. As a whole I really enjoy this whiskey but when I break it down to it’s component parts the sweet and supple spiced malt and honey palate has to bow to the aroma that’s a headier and thicker mix of that same malt, honey and spice. Though no matter what part of the dram you focus on the end result is still that it’s a good whiskey.
- Nose - 89
- Palate - 87
- Finish - 87
- Balance, Body & Feel - 89
Bushmills 1608 Value
While it is a good whiskey it's also a wee bit overpriced. I really enjoy this whiskey, but I would enjoy it even more if it were around $80 instead of the $100 - $120 I see it for all over town and the internet.