This whisky is triple distilled, and matured in sherry casks. It is darker than the other bushmills, hence “black” – the whisky is crafted in the style of a blended scotch from a mix of grain and malt whiskies.
Nose: Pears jump out first, with some nice sherry caramel and cola notes. It’s still quite a bit grassy, and retains that honeydew note present in the standard Bushmills. Vanilla comes out a bit as it sits, not only on the nose but also on the palate. Sometimes I get some a touch of staleness in the nose too. 25.5/30 (85%)
Taste: The grains are quite a bit at work here. There’s vanilla, caramel, lots of toffee, and more of that pear…. with a good kick of barley and honey at the end as well. The body, sweetness, and balance are all nicely in place. 27.5/30 (91%)
Finish: A light bit of “rancio” character which melds with the pear, honey, and honeydew. Lightly nutty, earthy, and spicy as well. Overall, though, quite bright and fruity. 18/20 (90%)
Conclusion: A lot of pear in here, and it is built well around it. Deeper, better tasting, and longer than the standard bushmills – very nicely crafted. Incredible value for this whisky – there aren’t many bottles (in Canada certainly) better than this for under $40, and certainly none in the fruity malt category. 17.5/20 (88%)