Bushmills Single Malt Acacia Wood Finish Distillery Exclusive Tasting Notes
Bushmills Single Malt Acacia Wood Finish Distillery Exclusive
Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Tasting note compiled by Barry Chandler
This limited release from Bushmills is a non-age statement single malt, though we know it is at least 10 years old, having spent 9 years in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso Sherry barrels before being married (60%/40% bourbon/sherry split) and finished for at least a year in Acacia wood barrels before being bottled at a healthy 47%.
Acacia is a native wood to Australia though there are 1300 species of it worldwide. The wood for this particular whiskey was sourced from Africa. It grows widely in the southern African nations of Zambia, Angola and South Africa.
I first tried this whiskey sitting in the bar of the Bushmills Inn earlier this year, barely a half mile from where it was distilled, matured and bottled in the Old Bushmills Distillery and no better place to taste it. (Side note: somehow I’d missed the release of this whiskey, had never heard of it, seen it or tasted it prior to that night so it was a joyous shock to see this unfamiliar whiskey on the menu!)
The distillery is the only place you’ll find this whiskey for sale as it’s a distillery exclusive though it pops up on auction sites from time to time too and if you’re in the U.K., online ordering from the distillery shop is a (lucky) option.
I’m thrilled to finally have a bottle in my hand so let’s get into the tasting notes.
Bright yellow gold. Heavy whiskey tears sticking to the glass.
Initially vibrant, with instant notes of Seville oranges, cinnamon spice and a crisp red apple note. I found this took a good half hour to come into its own in the glass, where it finally revealed its subtle wood fragrance.
A few drops (6-8) of water brought out the greener, lighter, notes in the whiskey, reminding me of the lively summer notes of a Green Spot. The more water I added, the crispier this got.
Surprisingly creamy on the mouth with a good body to it. There’s a lovely dusting of antique wood and a playful dance between light pepper spices (not too heavy) and a sweet melange of banana, honey and those oranges from the nose have now been cooked and are giving off a lovely sweet, warm juicy note.
When I added a few drops of water I lost the richer, heavier, spicier characteristics I like. If you prefer lighter, crispier, green leaves vs autumnal dark browns and reds, then water will be your friend, but it wasn’t mine. I wouldn’t go below 47% on future sips to maintain the balance of malt sweetness and wood spices.
Nice length to it. The Bushmills DNA shines through here – malty biscuitiness meets vibrant honey and herbal notes.
One of my favorites from the Bushmills range and a great shame it’s not more widely available.
£74 in the distillery shop.
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