Bushmills Single Malt 10 Years / 16 Years

Bushmills Single Malt 10 Years / 16 Years

When I’m in a random bar and I’m expected to drink whisky (I’m that guy after all), then I’m inclined to order Irish whiskey. The Scotch on offer is often too basic, and better options are sometims not available or outrageously priced. In that case I’d happily have a glass of Bushmills for instance. Today we’re trying two of their single malt expressions.

Bushmills 10 Year Old ages in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. We’ll have it against Bushmills 16 Year Old, the older version finished for about 9 months in Port pipes.

In 2021 the rounded rectangle bottle was replaced with a more angular and muscular design, at least for the higher end releases. We’re having the new bottlings.


Bushmills Single Malt 10 yo (40%, OB +/- 2023)

Nose: very mild and pleasant. Plenty of honeyed notes, mango, mashed banana, pears and lemon candy. Then buttery shortbread and vanilla custard. Light hints of dusty cereals and floral notes. A mild touch of alcohol too.

Mouth: soft, with more banana sweetness and vanilla custard. Some active woody notes too, bringing even more vanilla and hints of white pepper, alongside plain wood shavings. Sweet malty notes. Also honeysuckle, apples and melons.

Finish: quite short with some heat and a dry, spicy note.

As a nosing whiskey, I think this exceeds expectations, with nice fruit and rounded vanilla. It’s only on the palate that you still gets the youth and obvious woody notes. In the right context, I still think this is a pretty good choice though. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance.



Bushmills Single Malt 16 yo (40%, OB +/- 2023, Port finish)

Bushmills 16 Years Nose: sweeter and seemingly more sherried. You get dried and fresh (red) fruits, like raisins, apricots and cherries. Peach yoghurt, maybe dried strawberries. A little mint. Also floral touches, I’m not a flower connoisseur but there’s certainly jasmine and light potpourri.

Mouth: the Port is more noticeable now. A kind of mulled wine element, with red berries and fig jam but also herbal notes, clove and pepper. Toffee. Hints of hazelnut underneath, including a subtle bitter edge and hints of pine oil. Vanilla but more importantly a light astringency from the wood is taking over in the end.

Finish: still quite short, with fruits, toasted grains and a little green wood.

Complexity is a little higher and most of that youthful alcohol is gone. On the other hand I’m missing some of the tropical notes here, which get overtaken by wine. The low ABV doesn’t really help either. This is three times the price of the 10 yo, so that one offers more value for money. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance. Score: 83/100