Whisky Magazine Issue 121
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Enjoying the craic with a ‘money can't buy ticket'
When it comes to tradition, Northern Ireland's Bushmills distillery has it in spades. Claiming whiskey-making origins dating from 1608 no less, the County Antrim distillery – which produces two blends and three aged triple-distilled single malts has a back story many Scottish rivals would kill for.
But tradition alone does not sell whiskey, or at least usually not in sufficient quantities, so the Diageo-owned Bushmills brand has chosen to associate itself with a younger, music-orientated consumer group, while still holding its venerable heritage dear. So it was that on a warm day in June, the distillery close to the Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site became a music festival venue for the third year in a row.
‘Bushmills Live' played host to some 700 music and whiskey aficionados from all over the world, but none paid for admission to the event. What were described as ‘money can't buy' tickets were only available to those who entered a draw on Bushmills' Facebook page, and the crowd that gathered included festival-goers from as far afield as the USA, Bulgaria, Portugal and Russia.
Excellent music was accompanied by fine food and drink, and a novelty feature of the day was the presence of the world's largest barrel oak headphones, designed by Hollywood star Elijah Wood and his friend and DJ partner Zach Cowie.
The headphones in question were made by two local craftsmen using almost a dozen Bushmills' whiskey barrels. Standing more than 10 feet high, they formed a ...