Bushmills Distillery has been running full speed ahead for several years producing the highest capacity of liquor possible. While in the past there were few choices for different whiskeys from the brand, today there are a number of great versions that you can try. While there were many different whiskeys available to enthusiasts throughout the United States and a few throughout the world, there was no Irish whiskey in their lineup. Thankfully, today there are a wide range of Irish whiskeys.
About Bushmills Distillery
Bushmills Distillery was owned by Diageo until the distillery was sold to Casa Cuervo in 2014. Casa Cuervo is a family-owned company that produces the most popular tequila in the world, Jose Cuervo. Jose Cuervo is actually the biggest selling tequila brand in the United States. With the sale, it is important to remember all that Diageo did for the Bushmills brand. They successfully helped to increase production and bring greater marketing practices to the brand which led to increased sales and growth within the United States.
Bushmills Distillery is located in Northern Ireland. All of the bottles of whiskey that are under the Bushmills brand name are bottled at this manufacturing facility. They ship the whiskey throughout the world, which is how it is available to you.
How to Choose a Good Starter Irish Whiskey – Some Decision Making Tips
So if you have never drunk Irish whiskey before and do not know what you are doing when it comes to choosing an Irish whiskey, you are not alone. We wanted to share some information with you that will show you what you can expect from a great Irish whiskey and what you should look for when trying to find an Irish whiskey to enjoy.
Today Irish whiskey sales are topping the charts and so many people are trying to figure out which Irish whiskey is going to be great for them. The long-standing staples in Irish whiskey have been Bushmills White Label and Jameson Irish whiskey, both of which we will discuss a little later in this article. However, in recent years more Irish whiskeys have been added to the market leaving consumers wondering where they should begin.
There are some great tips that we want to provide you with so that you can make an educated decision and fully enjoy your own Irish whiskey
Tip #1 – Do Not Be Scared by Price Point
The price point that you are looking at does not have to be expensive, nor should it be cheap. Be willing to experiment with a number of different Irish whiskeys from a wide range of different price points. By doing this, you will not just get stuck in a rut where you only purchase whiskeys that you feel are worthy of being drunk based on the price.
Tip #2 – Look at Where it is From
All of the best Irish whiskeys are produced in Ireland. So, when you are looking for a great Irish whiskey make sure that you are buying a bottle that has been produced there.
Tip #3 – Know the Different Types of Whiskey
To be successful in finding the best bottle of Irish whiskey, you should know a little about the different types of whiskey and what the differences are.
- Bourbon — Bourbon is produced in the United States and is younger than Scotch. They mature more quickly due to the circumstances where they are aged. Bourbons have a sweet flavor and are smooth when drinking them.
- American Whiskey — American style whiskey is basically a mass-produced bourbon. This type of whiskey is very sweet and is one of the most popular styles. However, there are some distinctions between bottles and some of these are richer and have a more spicy or punchy flavor.
- Irish Whiskey — Irish whiskey has had one of the biggest growths in recent years. There are far more producers than Jameson, which seemed to be the only Irish whiskey that you could get for a long time. Producers are expanding ranges and are launching different styles of Irish whiskey, so there are a lot of new and exciting things happening on the Irish whiskey scene. Irish whiskeys are flavor-forward and offer a lot upfront.
- Canadian Whiskey — Canadian whiskey might not be popular but the fans of this style of whiskey seem to be a cult following as you will rarely find them drinking other types of whiskey. There are many different craft distilleries popping up that are producing whiskey in this way. This allows for there to be more Canadian whiskeys for the consumer to experiment with.
- Islay Whiskeys — Islay whiskeys are the whiskeys that seem particularly powerful. They have a big flavor. Some versions are peated, but others are not peated. This makes them all very distinct and unique in their flavor profiles.
- Speyside Whiskeys — Speyside whiskey is the whiskey from Scotland. To find a Speyside that you love can seem challenging at first as they are all really distinct. This depends on their pettiness and the different profiles that they have when drinking.
- Lowlands Whiskeys — Lowlands whiskeys are mostly underrated and often do not get attention. They have a nice mix of different types of whiskey and really are quite gentle when drinking. They feature more depth than most other whiskeys.
- Indian Whiskey — Whiskey is probably the last thing that you think of when you think about India. These producers actually do not have regulations like producers do in other parts of the world and they have a wide range of flavors and styles because of that.
- Blended Scotch Whiskey — Blended Scotch whiskey is like the bourbon of Scotland. You cannot get Scotch whiskey anywhere else in the world and they are the sole reason that we have single malt beverages available. This type of whiskey is blended through a very particular process which leaves it a great choice for casual sipping.
- Japanese Whiskey — Most people do not even realize that Japanese whiskey is a thing. Japan has recently had a surge in interest for whiskey which has led to a surge in whiskey producers within their borders. Whiskey producers worked to perfect this style after learning in-depth about the production of Scotch whiskey.
By understanding the different styles of whiskey, you will be able to best choose the whiskeys that you are going to enjoy.
Tip #4 – Venture Out on Your Own
Taste Buds are very different for every single person. Just as we are all individuals, we will all have different tastes for the whiskey that we enjoy. Personally, my favorite Irish whiskey is Bushmills Red Bush, but some people prefer a different style of Bushmills, while others prefer a different producer.
Tip #5 – Learn How to Order Whiskey When You’re Out
When you are out drinking at the bar, it is important to know how you like your whiskey and how to order it. If you want whiskey out there are some tips that you should have to order the perfect glass for yourself.
- Without ice and just a glass of whiskey is called straight up or neat.
- If you are choosing a glass of whiskey on the rocks, you will have ice.
- You can have a small amount of water added to your whiskey, just ask for a splash of water.
- If that still doesn’t work for you, you can get a delicious whiskey cocktail.
These tips will help you to be able to enjoy drinking whiskey as a new whiskey drinker and will ensure that you have the knowledge that you need to order a drink when you are out with your friends.
Key Features of Bushmills Red Bush
Bushmills Red Bush is an Irish whiskey that has been gaining a lot of attention and there is a good reason for that. Here are some of the features that we found to be important.
Color -Bushmills Red Bush is a caramel induced amber liquor.
Scent – When you sniff Bushmills Red Bush you will notice that it is a very floral whiskey. This is because the quantity of grain spirit is higher. There is a hint of stewed apples and a hint of malt biscuit as well. It has a pleasant aroma that is sure to please any serious whiskey drinker and to not offend someone who does not enjoy whiskey. You will also get hints of pears, apples, spice, honey, toffee, vanilla, oak, and dried apricot when you are trying to distinguish where the scents are coming from.
Balance, Body, & Feel – Bushmills Red Bush has a good balance. It also has a medium body and a soft feel.
Taste – When you taste Bushmills Red Bush you can detect the flavors of vanilla and sweetness of honey on the front of your tongue. As you allow the whiskey to go down, you will notice that there are strong flavors of both oak and nutmeg. The main flavors that tasters reported are cocoa, dried apricot, a hint of citrus, apples, honey, spices, and toffee.
Finish – The finish is shorter for this whiskey than some others, but personally, I prefer a short finish. It is an oaky and dry finish. The finish is really more medium-bodied and offers up flavors of toffee, honey, apples, spices, and cocoa.
Mash Bill – The mash bill for Bushmills Red Bush is a blend of Irish Single Malt and Irish Single Grain.
ABV – The ABV for Bushmills Red Bush is 40%.
- Smooth finish with robust flavor profiles.
- Delicious and simple.
- A high-quality Irish whiskey for a very low price point.
- Perfect to keep on the shelf for unexpected guests and more.
- Very high quality that is expected from Bushmills.
- Some find that it is not as “strong” in the flavor profile as they would like.
- Some tasters claimed that it was not distinct enough from the white-label to be an entire additional blend of whiskey.
- Some reviewers have claimed that the whiskey is just trying to take up space and build more to the brand.
More Irish Whiskeys to Try
While we prefer Bushmills Red Bush, there are many additional types of Irish whiskey on the market that bear mention. Here are a few of the top ones and some basic information so that you can enjoy them as well.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Jameson Irish Whiskey is probably the most well known Irish whiskey around the globe. Jameson Irish whiskey is triple distilled (as are most Irish whiskeys). This process helps to remove the impurities that are in the liquor, which is why Jameson is so smooth. It is a blended whiskey as well. It features a very light texture and profile that never feels heavy. While Jameson is not often drunk neat, it is a good solid choice for a delicious Irish whiskey.
- Blend – 3x Distilled Malt Whiskey & Grain Whiskey
- Price – $24
- ABV – 40%
- The whiskey is a pale gold color.
- The whiskey has a hint of the grain when you are smelling it. You will notice that the scent builds until you can smell ripe orchard fruits, honey, and pear. There is also a hint of citrus and a hint of malt.
- The whiskey tastes very light and clean, which is something that you do not always find with whiskeys. There are definite hints of vanilla, ripe citrus fruits, and malt. However, you can also get some grassy notes, additional fruits that smell like bananas, and cocoa.
- The whiskey is light, smooth, and easy to drink.
- It finishes with a strong taste of alcohol and malt. You will also get hints of the earth and oak. The finish is very short with this whiskey.
Ballyhoo Irish Whiskey
Ballyhoo Irish Whiskey is another great choice for a delicious Irish whiskey. This whiskey is known for being easy to drink and offering delicious flavors and scents that keep users coming back for more. This whiskey has not been available in the United States for long and has been branching out into foreign markets since 2018, meaning that it is quickly becoming more available if you are looking and have not been able to find it.
- Price – $30
- ABV – 43%
- Cask – Ex-Bourbon to begin and finished in Port Casks
- Mash Bill – 93% corn, 7% malted barley
- The whiskey is a light amber shade.
- The whiskey is noted for having a nice aroma that is mildly vanilla and straw.
- This whiskey feels very light and is never heavy when you are drinking it.
- There are smooth layers of flavor that include lemon cream and vanilla with black pepper and smokey taste on the endnotes.
Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey is often hailed by critics as being the top Irish whiskey that is available today. Tullamore Dew is one of the traditional Irish whiskey brands that is on the market. They do not offer a range of different styles of whiskey and do not offer a lot of different options, but what they do offer is a classic Irish whiskey that is a cut above the rest.
This whiskey is a classic and a favorite for those who want a good Irish whiskey for sipping and for making cocktails. One of the things that you will notice is that the whiskey has a heavier feel than some of the blended whiskeys that you might be more familiar with.
- Blend – Irish Malt Whiskey and Irish Grain Whiskey
- Cask Type – Ex-Sherry & Ex-Bourbon
- ABV – 40%
- Price – $30
- The whiskey has a nice toffee color.
- It features the scents of toffee, dried fruit, red apples, banana chips, and honey with a slight metallic or malty scent. The scent is very interesting for a whiskey that is produced in this way.
- When you taste the whiskey you will notice the hints of copper, cinnamon, nutmeg, malt, red apple, toffee, banana chips, and honey. These darker and earthier flavors like the copper and cinnamon/nutmeg help the brand to stand out from the competition.
- As you finish drinking you will notice a heavy alcohol note and some metallic flavors at the end. However, you will still have the malt, dried fruit, spices, and toffee balancing those flavors.
FAQ’s About Irish Whiskey
What is the difference between Bushmills and Red Bush?
The original Bushmills or Bushmills Original Bush is a whiskey that is aged in both bourbon and sherry casks. This is different from some of the other whiskeys in the line. For instance, Bushmills Black Blush is aged in sherry casks and not aged in bourbon casks as the Original Bush is.
Red Blush is aged in American white oak bourbon casks, so it is different in that it is not aged in sherry casks. There are some differences between Bushmills Original Bush and Bushmills Red Bush that you should be aware of. Both of these whiskeys use a mash that is made from 100% malted barley. Both of these whiskeys are triple distilled. Red Bush is aged for three years whereas Original Bush is aged for five years.
Is Bushmills good whiskey?
There are a lot of different types and brands of Irish whiskey that are available today. One of the things that makes Bushmills so popular is that it is available at a great price. Another is that it has a flavor and quality that you simply would not expect from a whiskey that is in the price range where Bushmills falls. Bushmills Original is one of the triple distilled malt whiskeys that you can purchase. It has a light Irish grain which is aged for at least five years.
What is Bushmills Red?
If you are not a whiskey drinker or are just starting your whiskey journey, then Bushmills Red Blush is a great whiskey to put on your tasting list. Whiskey enthusiasts everywhere love this delicious Irish style whiskey. Bushmills Red Bush is one of the smoothest whiskeys that you can find on the market today.
It features a blend of both fine grain and malt whiskey. This gives big and unexpected flavors to the profile. You will notice the amazing balance that this whiskey has as you taste it and you will enjoy sipping it. It is a well balanced and mature Irish whiskey that has been aged to perfection in American white oak bourbon casks.
What is the best Irish whiskey?
There are many different Irish whiskeys that are available today on the market. There are some that are more popular than others, but all of them seem to have at least a small following. These are the whiskeys that we felt were the top contenders in the Irish whiskey category:
- Bushmills Red Blush
- Jameson Irish Whiskey
- The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey
- Redbreast 15 Year Irish Whiskey
- Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey
- Powers Gold Label
- Green Spot Irish Whiskey
- Teeling Single Grain Whiskey
With so many to choose from, you can find one that you enjoy the most by tasting them all or you can grab a bottle of Bushmills Red Bush.
How do you drink Bushmills?
Bushmills can be drunk in a variety of different ways. It can be poured into a shot glass and taken as a short. You can serve over ice with a splash of water on the rocks to sip. Plus, there is a wide range of different mixed drinks that can be created with Bushmills.
What is Bushmills Black Bush?
Bushmills Black Bush is another variety of whiskey that is made by Bushmills Distillery. Bushmills Balck Bush is a darker Irish whiskey that has been aged in sherry casks for around eight to ten years. It is aged longer which gives it some of the darker colors. It is an award-winning whiskey.
What is better Jameson or Bushmills?
Whether you like Bushmills or Jameson better is really up to personal taste. Personally, I prefer Bushmills as I just like the flavor better, but I have friends who prefer Jameson. I would suggest buying a bottle of them both and then trying them out.
Is Tullamore Dew better than Jameson?
As someone who loves a good Irish whiskey, I personally think that Jameson tastes better than Tullamore Dew. However, there are many people who prefer Tullamore Dew. I would have to suggest a tasting where you can taste each of these and discover which one is more suitable to your personal taste.
What type of liquor is Bushmills?
Bushmills is an Irish whiskey that comes from a distillery that is located in Northern Ireland. This whiskey is purchased and sold throughout the world. Regardless of where you live, you should be able to find it behind the bar or on a liquor store shelf.
Is Bushmills triple distilled?
Bushmills is triple distilled. What triple distilled means is that after the liquor has been fermented, it is then distilled. Most whiskeys are distilled two times, but Irish whiskey is distilled three times. So, while Bushmills claims the triple distilled process, most Irish whiskey brands are also doing this, but might not be saying so openly.
How long is Bushmills Black Bush aged?
Bushmills Black Bush is aged from eight to ten years.
Is Bushmills whiskey gluten-free?
One of the unique things about Bushmills whiskey is that they are all gluten-free. When the mash goes through the distillation process the gluten is removed from the cereal. This means that if you are eating gluten-free for health or dietary reasons that you can still enjoy Bushmills.
Why I Chose Bushmills Red Bush
One of the things that I really appreciate about Bushmills Red Bush is that it has a good but not complex balance. It is well balanced and allows you to get all of the flavors and profiles that you are looking for in a good Irish whiskey. Plus, it is a very affordable bottle of whiskey which helps those of us who are shopping on a budget.
When you drink Red Bush you will notice that it has balanced layers of ripe fruit and honey with a touch of grain. The aroma is very pleasant and I enjoyed how the whiskey smelled. The experience is very oak-driven, but the flavor is not what you expect. In fact, I found the flavors to be both richer and deeper than what I had expected for an inexpensive bottle of Irish whiskey.
If you have had Bushmills white label, you will find that Red Bush is a more complex whiskey. It is a good whiskey that is considerably higher in quality than some of the other whiskeys that you might have had before and in my opinion, it is lightyears ahead of the white label.
What Does Bushmills Red Bush Cost?
Bushmills Red Bush is a very affordable Irish whiskey. It costs just $18-24 for a bottle depending on where you live and what market you are in. This means that it is a reasonable choice for a delicious Irish whiskey that you can be proud to display in your home.
How to Use Bushmills Red Bush – Drink Recipes
Here are some of the most popular Irish whiskey drinks that you can make on your own at home.
- Irish Whiskey Straight Up – This simply means that you are getting a glass and pouring your Irish whiskey into the glass.
Irish Whiskey on the Rocks – This is where you have a glass of Irish Whiskey that you have poured over ice.
Irish Whiskey with a Splash of Water – This is a glass that you have poured Irish Whiskey into and then topped off with a splash of water.
Irish Whiskey on the Rocks with a Splash of Water – To create this drink, you can put ice into a glass, add your Irish whiskey, and then top off with a splash of water.
Whiskey Sour – You will need 2 ounces of whiskey, 1 ounce of lemon juice, ¾ ounce of simple syrup, 1 egg white, and a cherry for garnish. You put all of the ingredients into a shaker cup, add all of the ingredients except for ice. You will shake for 10-15 seconds. Then add ice and shake again. Double strain the drink into a chilled glass and garnish with a cherry.
Manhattan – You will need 2 ounces of whiskey, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth, 1 or 2 dashes of bitters, and a cherry for garnish. Stir liquid ingredients with the ice. Then strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a cherry.
The Libertine – You will need 2 ounces of simple syrup, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 4 ounces of bourbon, 2 ounces fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp orange marmalade, 1 tbsp of maple syrup, 1 tbsp fresh orange juice, 1 egg white, and an extra sprig of rosemary for garnish. Boil the simple syrup and rosemary in a small saucepan and allow them to cool to room temperature. Next, strain the syrup and add it to a shaker with lemon juice, bourbon, and marmalade. Then add the ice and shake in a shaker. Pour into a glass that has been filled with ice. Then put the orange juice, egg white, and maple syrup into the shaker. Shake this mixture until it is nice and frothy at which time you will be able to pour over the cocktail. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Irish Coffee – You will need 1 ½ ounce of Irish whiskey, ¼ ounce of Demerara syrup, 5 ounces of hot coffee, a pinch of salt, 3 cardamom pods, 6 ounces of heavy cream, 2 tbsp white sugar, zest from an orange, 2 dashes of orange bitters, and toasted marshmallows for garnish.
You will want to muddle the cardamom pods in the bottle of a preheated Irish coffee glass. Then add whiskey, syrup, hot coffee, and salt to stir together. Next mix the heavy cream, bitters, orange zest, and sugar and whip until it is thick and pourable. When you are done, use the back of a spoon to gently float the cream mixture over the coffee. Add the toasted marshmallows for garnish.
There are a wide variety of additional cocktails that you can find on cocktail menus across the nation. To switch things up with any whiskey cocktail, you can add Irish whiskey instead of the standard whiskey that is typically used. Bars are accommodating and will do this if you ask as well. This is the best way to ensure that you love what you are drinking and that you are able to have your favorite Irish whiskey anytime.
Bushmills Red Bush is a delicious Irish whiskey. The flavor is not the most complex flavor that you will find in an Irish whiskey. In fact, this is a simple Irish whiskey. However, it is a really good Irish whiskey that offers a nice balance that has unique layers of flavor.
There is a touch of caramel grains, honey, and ripe fruit which makes it a nice whiskey for drinking. In addition, the aroma is nice and leaves you wanting more. It is not a deep whiskey, but that does not mean that it is not delicious.
While the whiskey might seem simple, it is really more complex than others that are out there. The flavors are great and very serious for delicious choices and something that you are not going to find elsewhere. You will cherish the flavors and will enjoy that you can drink this whiskey on its own or mixed into a cocktail. It is certainly a whiskey that you will keep drinking until the drink is finished.
Personally, I never felt that I would be an Irish whiskey fan. I had Irish whiskeys that I liked if it was all that there was to drink, but there was not one that I would have picked up by choice until Bushmills Red Bush. This Irish whiskey has quickly become a staple and something that I will always keep stocked in my liquor cabinet.