Bushmills White Label Review

Bushmills White Label Review

Bushmills white label is the flagship whiskey for the 407 year old distillery. Founded in 1608 the distillery is currently in the process of transferring from Diageo to Casa Cuervo as a result of a deal Diageo made in 2014. What this ultimately means for the brand is yet to be seen, but who knows… maybe we’ll see an Irish whiskey finished in a used tequila barrel (which is also an ex-bourbon barrel). Which honestly sounds kind of nice.

The 1608 date claimed by the distillery is a bit misleading because that’s when Sir Thomas Phillipps was granted the license to distill whiskey, which he did, by King James the first. From that point forward distillation was happening in that area for the next 176 years until The Bushmills Old Distillery Company was formed in 1784 which still makes it older than almost all licensed Scottish distilleries with only Bowmore beating it by a mere 5 years.

Bushmills White Label Review

Distiller: Bushmills
Age: NAS
ABV: 40%
Price: $26


Caramel, vanilla, honey and alcohol mix with lighter notes of green apples, hay and malt. It’s a simple blended Irish whiskey, but it’s been blended well.

Caramel, dried strawberries, vanilla, bananas, butterscotch and a light fruit along with some hints of malt and honey glide across the palate. The grain whiskey kick isn’t as powerful on the palate as it is on the nose, but it’s still there.

Ends quickly in a whoosh of alcohol, caramel syrup, banana and malt.

Alcohol heavy nose and finish knock it a bit off balance. Thin bodied it runs warm.


Bushmills White Label was among my favorite whiskies when I was younger and even today it holds a place on my liquor shelf come St. Paddy’s day, but instead of drinking it neat by the glass I’m more likely to put it into cocktails or make a long drink out of it instead. Though that’s not to say I never drink it neat… because I do. I’m drinking it neat while typing this up.It’s not bad, it’s just not my favorite.

SCORE: 80/100

Bushmills White Label
  • Nose - 82
  • Palate - 81
  • Finish - 78
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 79

Bushmills White Label Value

It's cheap and versatile so in that respect it's a decent value, but it's not one of my favorite whiskies and for my money I'd rather get something else.

User Rating: 1.7 (34 votes)
Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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8 Responses to Bushmills White Label Review

  1. […] Bushmills Black Bush is a blended Irish Whiskey, but it’s not the same thing as most Scottish blends. For starters the malt is aged for up to seven years in a combination of oloroso sherry and bourbon casks. The second, and biggest difference, is that it’s 80% malt. Compare this to most Scottish blends which come in at around 20% malt and out’s easy to see why it tastes so much different, and better, than most comparable Scottish blends and even it’s blended brother the Bushmills White. […]

  2. Bushmills is silly smooth.

    I didn’t drink liquor-liquor from about age 19 until 25 years later, where I am now. It’s a man’s drink, done correctly. And I’m 50% Irish by birth. Bushmills goes down really, really easy. Good for a “beer and a shot.” Good on the rocks.

    Just good.

    As a rule, I don’t really overindulge. But when I’ve walked up to that line with Bushmills, it’s so clean that I felt no ill effects the next day.

    I’m picking up a bottle of the 10-yr single malt tomorrow.

    • I feel the same way about Bushmills man 🙂 I’m a fan of them all, but for a beer and a shot combo you’re absolutely right, it’s perfect. I also really like it in Irish cocktails, it has a nice character that works really well in something simple like a Tipperary.


  3. Hey, Josh, have you had a chance to try The Quiet Man? It’s from a Derry distillery that just opened in 2015. I bought a bottle today for $40 and it’s quite good. I’m not sure it’s forty-bucks good, but it’s like a more substantial and powerful Bushmill’s, with tons of orchard fruit (especially peach). I hope you get a chance to try it–I’d love to read your review. Sláinte mhaith!

    • Hey Will,

      I did get to try it and I agree it’s not worth the $40. Everything bottled under Quiet Man is sourced whiskey right now. I don’t think the new Derry Distillery is running yet. I know they were building it in late 2015, but not sure if it’s come online just yet. Which if it hasn’t then we won’t be tasting anything from them till 2019 at the earliest.


  4. Going back over this review, I have a minor quibble with the score. An 80 makes it seem like dreck, but it’s far from it. Sure, it lacks a ton of complexity, but it ain’t some kind of industrial travesty like Beam or something. Looking at your rubric, I’d call this an 83. It is what it is, and it does well at that. Kind of like how Porky’s isn’t the Godfather.

    • I’m gonna keep it at an 80, but your comment “Kind of like how Porky’s isn’t the Godfather” had me laughing out loud for real. Always love reading your opinions. Cheers G-Diddy!

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