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Bushmills Original

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Bushmills Original

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:43 am

Bushmills is an Irish whisky that I grew up reading about in those novels written by Jack Higgins like the Eagle Has Landed. In nearly everyone of his adventure novels, there would be an Irish rogue whose drink of choice was Bushmills. So, I am intrigued.

I, as my moniker indicates, am a novice scotch/whisky fan. Accordingly, I favour the candied, honeyed blends that offer little or no peat.

So, tell me your memories of Bushmills Original. Is it sweet, smooth, etc.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby JCSkinner » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:04 am

I love Bush, but at the end of the day it's just an honest-to-god skulling whiskey, as we say round my parts.
In other words, it's a cheap blend, but not nasty, suitable for mixing, takes a bit of ice well on a hot day, goes well in cocktails.
Dramming it reveals some standard Bush characteristics - that grassiness to the malt character, but primarily it's sweet and bland - the characteristics of the Midleton blend going into it.
It's also very young.
I have an emotional attachment to White Bush, but in general if I'm in a pub which has a small whisk(e)y selection and a blend is all's on offer, I'll opt for the Black Bush instead.
It has much more of the distillery's malt character, a strong wine quality and more depth and age to it.
I should add that Bush don't peat any of their whiskeys, and that both the white and Black Bush are indeed honeyed and sweet.
But there is such a massive difference in quality between the two that I'd never opt for a White Bush unless it was a choice between that and the likes of Paddy's or some nasty Scotch blend.
The Black Bush, on the other hand, is a genuine quality dram, especially considering the price. It stands up well to plenty of much pricier blends and even a goodly number of single malts I've encountered. It's a good pub reliable is Black Bush.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Gov » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:08 am

White Bush is very nice and I quite like it for the price. But, Black Bush is on another level :dead:
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:55 pm

Sounds like I will enjoy both the white and the black. Unfortunately, I can only get the white label here, so that will be my next purchase. Will post a tasting note when I have a sample. I'll be in Boston in November, there I will try to pick up a Black bottle. Shouldnt be hard to do with all those Irish Americans!
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:16 pm

Bushmills has rather too much orange on the label - I much prefer Powers.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Ganga » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:25 pm

NSF, we will be doing a tasting of several Irish whiskies on November 15. The Bushmills Original will be part of this tasting. You are welcome to join in in the festivities.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:06 pm

Ganga wrote:NSF, we will be doing a tasting of several Irish whiskies on November 15. The Bushmills Original will be part of this tasting. You are welcome to join in in the festivities.


I'll do my best to participate. In the meantime, here is my preliminary tasting note for Bushmills Original.

A very impressive nose of chocolate. On the palate, a nutty (almond/brazil nut) flavour is quickly followed by honeyed cereal, which in turn is chased by lightly sugared short bread cookie, finishing with a little tantalizing zing of dark chocolate and malt that lingers ever so briefly. Great stuff for the price! Like the Irish people, you can't help but like this whisky!

It has a subtle flavour profile, devoid of any peat. A nice change from scotch when one is in the mood. Those with more refined tastes may criticize this whisky for being candied and lacking complexity, which is probably fair to say, but for a nice drink in a pub, or when you dont feel like breaking the bank at the liquor store, this stuff fits the bill.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby JCSkinner » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:38 am

Nick Brown wrote:Bushmills has rather too much orange on the label - I much prefer Powers.


Image

It's known in some quarters as Bush red label rather than White Bush due to the labelling.
I suppose one could consider that little stripe to be orange though.
Even so, it's a very odd reason to reject a whiskey out of hand.
I reallydo hope that was what you were referring to, though.
While I would be the first to admit that Bushmills village is a very Loyalist place, I really don't think that is relevant in the slightest to the quality of the whiskey produced there.
The owners of the company are Diageo, who also own many Scotch firms and distilleries.
The whiskey itself is marketed as Irish whiskey. And the distillery works seven days a week and warmly welcomes visitors from all over the world with the same cheery welcome.
I know many people do prefer Powers due to its pot still character or because it's what they grew up with.
Those are fair reasons for a preference. The colour of the label is not, to my mind, and the political opinions of the workers making it is definitely not.
The days of Protestant whiskey and Catholic whiskey are behind us in Ireland.
These days we have a decimated industry (destroyed in the North by our Scotch brethren, and in the South by tarriffs and short-sighted state policy), and it is indisputable that both Bushmills and Midleton led the way in keeping any semblance of a once thriving industry (bigger than Scotch and much better respected well into the 20th century) alive.
I'm just pleased both are still with us, and pay tribute to the work done at Midleton in preserving such a bewildering array of heritage drams like Powers.
And I look forward to the spirit flowing from Kilbeggan and of course the Porterhouse distillery planned for Dingle.
I don't care if they have Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims or Satanists distilling at any of them.
I just want what's left of our Irish distilling industry to grow in ever-increasing volume, variety and quality, as it has in recent times.
I think all true fans of Irish whiskey would think likewise.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby IainB » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:29 pm

I have a dream.............
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby DavidH » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:28 pm

JCSkinner wrote:I don't care if they have Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims or Satanists distilling at any of them.

The Rev Ian does call their product "the Devil's buttermilk"...

But yes, there seems to be a general mood to leave sectarianism in the past and I'm all for that.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby cathach » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:30 pm

DavidH wrote:
But yes, there seems to be a general mood to leave sectarianism in the past and I'm all for that.




Isn't this more a thing in the States??? American tourists often come into offies here and refuse Bushmills as Jemmy is seen as the 'Catholic' whiskey.


Mind you on a point of historical accuracy they were all Protestants!!!

You can see John Jameson's manuscript census return online
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:57 pm

That little stripe is orange, and intentionally so.

I confess I was kite flying, but I did know many people who would refuse Bushmills and drink Powers instead because of the perceived sectarianism of Bushmills (the town) and the perceived sectarian employment practices at the distillery. I believe the new owners have tried hard to change the culture, and I hope that increasingly it is not just the distillery that welcomes visitors from all parts of the world, but also the town that welcomes them.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Wave » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:28 pm

cathach wrote:Isn't this more a thing in the States??? American tourists often come into offies here and refuse Bushmills as Jemmy is seen as the 'Catholic' whiskey.

I've seen a lot of reasons why some people refuse one drink over another but that tops them all! Maybe for the fact that I'm not a Christian (since reaching the age of reason) that I could care less about sectarian BS!

On to the original post;
Thee very first whiskey I ever bought when turning 21 was Bushmills Original and it's all Todd Rundgren's fault(?)!

Part of "Hungry For Love" from Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, A True Star
An ounce of sweet Jamaican
A snowy spoon of powder
A half a pint of Bushmill's
Nothing gets you high when you're hungry for love


I still keep a bottle of the Original to bring back memories of the years gone by.


Cheers!
Last edited by Wave on Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby JCSkinner » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:31 pm

There's never been any problem with visitors to Bushmills, distillery or village, that I'm aware of.
It's a picturesque, remote rural area, now belatedly part of the 'Causeway Coast' marketing campaign.
They know their income relies heavily on the distillery and tourism and they have always offered a warm welcome to visitors as far as I know.
Employment at the distillery is largely dictated by who lives in the area, and it was traditionally a Presbyterian part of the world. There are Catholics on the workforce (always were - it wasn't the shipyards) and many come in from Ballycastle to work there.
But they never let the religion interfere with the distilling of whiskey, even on a Sunday. Paisley, they're not.
As has been pointed out, ALL the major Irish distillers were Protestant, and as I pointed out, today they're all owned by multinationals (with the exception of American John Teeling's Cooley and the forthcoming Porterhouse distillery - which I just spoke to Oliver about, incidentally.)
I think it's unfair to talk of a 'culture' at Bushmills, implying that it was some sort of hive of sectarianism and Catholic-hating. It wasn't, any more than Midleton was a hive of Irish republicanism.
People went there and made whiskey. Then they sold it to anyone who wanted to drink it.
It was a rural whiskey distillery, and remains such. They make a great dram, and they're all that remains of a once proud Northern whiskey tradition that was savagely destroyed by their own rivals in Scotland.
I for one am very glad they managed to survive, and am just saddened that Comber, Coleraine, Watts and Dunville couldn't do likewise.
And that strip still looks red to me.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:42 pm

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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:51 pm

Like I say - I was flying a kite. I hope the situation has become more normal and that Bushmills is a safe and welcoming place for all visitors and employees - but I think it would be wrong to deny that there have ever been issues.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby DavidH » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:27 pm

Northern Ireland is a dysfunctional society, more than most. But it's changing for the better and we can probably help it along by refusing to acknowledge any link between whiskey and sectarianism.

I made a choice when I began it never to mention this topic on my website. I did receive an email inquiry on the subject from the US to which I replied that Irish people (Southern Irish anyway) don't have any negative feeling towards Bushmills. In my experience that is the case.

Descendants of emigrants abroad seem to see things in more black-and-white terms and are more easily stirred up by perceived injustice back in the old country. So maybe this old grievance is still being nursed in the US. But it won't get any Google juice from me :)
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:45 pm

Gentleman, let's drop the talk of sectarianism and all that crap and return to the whisky it is. Points have been made about the colour. Lets return to the point of the thread: opinions on the whisky.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:42 am

Nick Brown wrote:Like I say - I was flying a kite. I hope the situation has become more normal and that Bushmills is a safe and welcoming place for all visitors and employees - but I think it would be wrong to deny that there have ever been issues.


I think your attempt to depict Bushmills distillery as a hive of bigotry is despicable, not to mention utterly inaccurate.
Your 'issues' date from over a decade ago and feature incidents the like of which have occurred in both communities all over the North and which have nothing to do with the distillery.
One of those links is a reference to a pointless and ill-informed campaign among Irish-Americans in the Nineties to boycott Bushmills over unfounded and untrue allegations of an employment bias. As you no doubt recall, that boycott didn't last very long once people realised that it was based on a lie.
Your citation from the Sinn Fein in-house magazine I wouldn't dignify with a response.
I suggest you take your 'kites' and go fly them elsewhere.
I sincerely doubt that Diageo, the Distillery staff or anyone attached to the place would appreciate your attempt at a hatchet job on them on this site.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Elagabalus » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:51 am

God bless the holy sacrament of the Eucharist and his holy presence in the monstrance!

Viva Christus Nick B!

My ridiculous posts aside, I am a devout Catholic, and thus due to Nick Brown's revelations, am unlike to purchase of even ever imbibe Bushmills.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby DavidH » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:51 am

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:Lets return to the point of the thread: opinions on the whisky.

I don't have a white label to hand but the last few months my "unwinding" drop has mostly been Bushmills 10yo. It goes down easy.

And I really like the unassuming square bottles for taking up so little space on my shelf. I wish they all came like that.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Gov » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:12 am

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:Gentleman, let's drop the talk of sectarianism and all that crap and return to the whisky it is. Points have been made about the colour. Lets return to the point of the thread: opinions on the whisky.


Good idea! I prefer Powers out of all the basic NAS stuff. Bushmills is much taster than Kilbeggan and is about equal to Jameson in my book
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:15 am

JCSkinner wrote:I think your attempt to depict Bushmills distillery as a hive of bigotry is despicable, not to mention utterly inaccurate.
Your 'issues' date from over a decade ago and feature incidents the like of which have occurred in both communities all over the North and which have nothing to do with the distillery.
One of those links is a reference to a pointless and ill-informed campaign among Irish-Americans in the Nineties to boycott Bushmills over unfounded and untrue allegations of an employment bias. As you no doubt recall, that boycott didn't last very long once people realised that it was based on a lie.
Your citation from the Sinn Fein in-house magazine I wouldn't dignify with a response.
I suggest you take your 'kites' and go fly them elsewhere.
I sincerely doubt that Diageo, the Distillery staff or anyone attached to the place would appreciate your attempt at a hatchet job on them on this site.

Lets look and see whether the issues are all over a decade ago:

http://www.ballymoneytimes.co.uk/news?articleid=3052699

http://www.ballymoneytimes.co.uk/news/I ... 3731422.jp

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3602290.stm

And if you won't accept the truth from An Phoblacht - Republican News, here's the same story from the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/431303.stm

Truth is, Bushmills has issues. Whilst it may not have been helpful for me to have made my reference upthread (which I regret, given the fuss it has caused), it helps nobody to just pretend the issues don't exist, or are all in the past. Sectarianism, like racism, needs to be confronted head on whenever it is found - otherwise it fades into a background of social acceptability.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:13 am

When the scientologists get their hands on the distilleries, that's when I'm turning to rum.

I think I'm not a fan of the Bushmills White, but I can't remember ever drinking it. I did hear that it did very well in a blind tasting done by the Celtic Whiskey Shop, however.

I also thought I did not like the Bushmills 10, but was given a nip of it blind by a friend and discovered that I really liked it. Maybe it has changed recently.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:10 am

For the last time, Nick, you're being out of order.
Bushmills Distillery is owned by Diageo, a multinational firm. It's workforce comes from both communities in NI, and has international workers too. It always had employees of all religions, even during times when almost no Catholics lived in its vicinity.
Bushmills lost millions in revenue in the Nineties when this libel was last perpetrated against them. I doubt they'd hang around permitting people to propagate the lie again.
I've reported your post and suggest you stop peddling this nonsense, Nick. It could get the forum, and Whisky Magazine who operate it, sued.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:22 am

Just to add to the sentiments above one of my wife's best friends hails from Ballycastle (or at least his family do) and would be very much from a Catholic / Nationalist background and his regular dram is Black Bush. Loves the stuff, and apparently most of the people in this very Catholic village do.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:25 am

And to answer the original question, I could take or leave the Bushmills original. It's ok as a chaser in a pub but not a patch on the others. Black Bush, Bushmill 1608 and the 16 and 21 single malts are regular favourites of mine. I'd put them on a par with any Irish or Scottish whiskey in the same bracket. Not the most strongly flavoured of whiskeys but sometime subtlety is what you want.

The single cask versions are also great drams.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:06 pm

JCSkinner wrote:I've reported your post and suggest you stop peddling this nonsense, Nick. It could get the forum, and Whisky Magazine who operate it, sued.

If it were possible to delete my posts on this thread, I would have done so at an early stage. Hopefully a moderator will be able to do so. As I say, I regret opening this can of worms.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:17 am

Sorry to be returning to this so late.
I think it's fair enough for Nick to acknowledge that Bushmills is not your typical Irish distillery (if there can be a type to a collection of three.)
It's in the North, and like all things in the North, there can be a certain baggage attached, and it would be wrong to entirely disregard that.
And I'm sorry in turn for playing my part in derailing this potentially interesting thread.
To reiterate my position: the Bushmills Original is a splendid cocktail whiskey, since its light taste, and youthful spirit don't overwhelm other ingredients. It takes ice well, since there's no complexity of taste for the cold to close down. And it's smooth, being triple distilled, and goes down very easily.
But for me, it's not a whiskey that lives on in the memory. And this is the flagship brand of a distillery who, to my palate, make so many whiskeys that live long in the mind after the dram is digested.
The Black Bush is such a step up from the Original that I can't remember the last time I had the Original, since invariably in bars where one is found the other is close by.
BB is one of the world's great whiskeys by any account. It's a truly legendary dram, incredibly rich and potent for what is, at the end of the day, a 'mere' youthful blend.
In short, White Bush for mixing and cold drinks, Black Bush for dramming, Bush 10 yo for random gifts, Bush 16 yo for gifts to me from me(!), and Bush 21 yo for very special occasions.
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Re: Bushmills Original

Postby MacAttack80 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:09 am

The Bushmills Original is a descent whiskey but Black Bush is great. I make sure I always have a back up bottle of that. Its not that much more expensive than the original.
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