Liquor Laboratory

10 Best Bushmills Whiskeys: Irish Excellence (2024 Updated)

Best Bushmills Whiskey

Dating back to the historic year 1608, Bushmills earned the prestigious distinction of being the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.

For over 400 years in the whiskey industry, Bushmills has had a treasure trove of Irish whiskeys waiting to be discovered.

We’ve conducted dedicated tastings and engaged in conversations with whiskey enthusiasts, all in pursuit of discovering the best Bushmills whiskey they offer.

Top 10 Best Bushmills Whiskey Bottles (Ranked)

1. Bushmills Single Malt Aged 16 Years

Bottle of Bushmills Single Malt Aged 16 Years and a Box

Average Price: Roughly $149.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Clean, subtle sweetness, almonds, honey, port, vanilla

Palate: Juicy fruits, almonds, honey, port influence, vanilla

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Bushmills Single Malt Aged 16 Years is a true masterpiece and one of the crown jewels in the world of triple-distilled whiskey.

Unlike other single malts, the juicy fruits burst forth, intertwining seamlessly with the rich essence of almonds and the luscious honey. It’s as if the whiskey carries the fruits and nuts’ essence. 

The influence of the port wine barrels becomes evident with a gentle, velvety touch, while the underlying notes of vanilla add depth and complexity to the experience.

2. Bushmills Single Malt Aged 21 Years

Bushmills Single Malt Aged 21 Years

Average Price: Roughly $269.95 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Complex, dried fruits, aromatic maltiness, hints of nuts and raisins, subtle dark chocolate undertones

Palate: Dark chocolate, toffee, nutty nuances, and the luscious sweetness of raisins dancing on the palate

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: With a minimum of 21 years of aging and maturation, this Bushmills expression takes us on a profound journey of taste and aroma.

Upon the first encounter, the aroma reveals dried fruit flavors intertwined with spicy, aromatic maltiness. It has developed impressive tasting notes as it is aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks [1]. 

But it’s on the taste buds that Bushmills 21-year-old, truly shines. Each sip is a revelation as it unfolds with a symphony of flavors. Dark chocolate takes the lead, accompanied by toffee notes that add a layer of luxurious sweetness.

3. Bushmills Black Bush

Bottle of Bushmills Black Bush

Average Price: Roughly $31.49 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Sherry, subtle peaches, inviting nuttiness, sweet 

Palate: Dark velvety, fruity notes, long finish, sherry, peaches, nuts, amazingly spicy.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Bushmills Black Bush is an exceptional blend crafted by combining a high percentage of malt and light grain whiskey and aged Oloroso Sherry and ex-bourbon barrels. 

Bourbon drinkers will appreciate the tasting notes of Black Bush. 

Its dark, inviting color hints at the treasures within from the very first pour. It has dark, velvety, fruity-tasting notes that persist to a satisfying, lingering medium-length finish.

What makes Black Bush even more remarkable is its versatility. I savored it neat to appreciate its depth fully, but it is also good over ice as it enhances its incredible allure. 

4. Bushmills Single Malt Aged 10 Years

Bottle of Bushmills Single Malt Aged 10 Years and a Glass on Wooden Table

Average Price: Roughly $44.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Aromatic apple tart, inviting milk chocolate, hints of malted barley, and a gentle honey sweetness 

Palate: ripe fruit, apricot, marzipan, baking spice, honey, vanilla, and milk chocolate

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: As I savor Single Malt Aged 10 Years, bottled at 40% ABV, it’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of whiskey craftsmanship. 

As I savor the drink, a symphony of enticing apple tart and comforting chocolate takes center stage, followed by subtle malted barley notes that add depth.

Read: Bushmills vs Jameson 

5. Bushmills The Original

Bushmills The Original

Average Price: Roughly $21.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Aromatic vanilla caramel, the sweetness of summer fruits, honey, and oatmeal cookies

Palate: Vanilla, chocolate, sherry, apricot, smooth, baking spice

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Bushmills The Original is a timeless classic, and the malt and grain whiskey recipe has remained unchanged since 1888.

It has been thoughtfully matured in both ex-bourbon and sherry casks, and this meticulous aging process imparts a delightful freshness to the experience, complemented by the comforting embrace of vanilla caramel.

As I savor each sip, it uncovers a delightful interplay of flavors, from the inviting sweetness of summer fruits to the gentle caress of honey and the nostalgic hints of oatmeal cookies

6. Bushmills Red Bush

Bushmills Red Bush

Average Price: Roughly $20.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Prominent bourbon vanilla, subtle wood, and a touch of nuttiness

Palate: Blend of dark spice, sweet bourbon, vanilla

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: As I take in the aroma, that bourbon vanilla takes center stage on the nose, accompanied by a hint of wood and a delicate nuttiness. 

While it does not have an age statement, it is a well-aged and rounded liquor, and its versatility and complexity strike me.

The Red Bush, bottled at 40% ABV, maintains the vanilla theme but takes it further, transitioning into a slightly creamy profile. Thin wisps of honey and caramel intermingle with warm malts, creating a delightful interplay of flavors in the drink.

Bartender Tip: Mix the Red Bush with coke and ginger ale.

7. Bushmills Single Malt Aged 28 Years Cognac Cask

Average Price: Roughly $489.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46.2% ABV

Nose: Apple tobacco, woody spices, hints of marzipan, orange oils

Palate: Ripe fruit, dark spice, sweet, grain, oak, fruity, toffee

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Upon the first encounter, the nose is a sensory journey. It’s an intricate blend of apple tobacco, generously layered with woody spices that evoke the warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice [2]. 

Maturing this precious malt in former Cognac casks has brought out unique notes and characteristics specific to Cognac.” -Helen Mulholland, Master Blender

As I enjoy the drink, it caresses my taste buds with a silky mouthfeel, unveiling more marzipan and dried fruit. 

It evolves into a delightful blend of flavors, including hints of sticky toffee pudding with black-tea-soaked dates, salted toffee syrup, and the crowning glory of vanilla ice cream.

8. Bushmills Single Malt Aged 12 Years

Bushmills Single Malt Aged 12 Years

Average Price: Roughly $56.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Apple blossoms, walnuts, almond shells, and spicy malts reminiscent of apple cake.

Palate: Blend of sweet apple, dried fruit, chocolate, spice, malted barley

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: As I poured it into the glass, I was greeted by the delicate fragrance of apple blossoms, gracefully supported by the earthiness of walnut and almond shells. 

There’s a subtle but alluring hint of spicy malts akin to the aroma of a freshly baked apple cake. It leans towards a dry and nuanced profile. 

The initial impression of apple transforms into the crispness of apple chips, reminiscent of a dry cider.

It’s an interplay of applewood, the subtle bitterness of dark chocolate powder, and a mild nuttiness that lingers on my taste buds. But what’s the best Irish whiskey to drink straight?

9. Bushmills Prohibition Recipe “Peaky Blinders”

Bushmills Prohibition Recipe Peaky Blinders

Average Price: Roughly $23.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV

Nose: Leathery tobacco leaf, a hint of baking spice, malt, grain, sherry 

Palate: Fruity, smooth with a hint of toffee, citrus, and leather

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Slowly sipping the Bushmills Irish whiskey, bottled at 46% ABV, I discover big and bold tasting notes of Peaky Blinders bursting with a symphony of flavors [3]. 

Rye bread takes center stage, accompanied by the delightful presence of orange marmalade, toasted almonds, and a gentle dusting of cinnamon. 

10. Bushmills 1608

Bushmills 1608

Average Price: Roughly $1399 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV

Nose: Blend of vanilla, hints of honey, citrus zest, and a touch of nutmeg

Palate: Smooth and velvety, cinnamon spice, toasted almonds

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: The aroma of the warmth of oak, vanilla sweetness, and a gentle hint of honeyed citrus lingers. The toffee and ripe pear greet your palate, followed by a delightful dance of cinnamon spice and toasted almonds.

As I savor it, it reveals a subtle tapestry of dried fruits, leaving a lasting impression of elegance and complexity.

Note: The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each product was evaluated on its overall quality, complexity, smoothness, age, flavor profiles, limited editions, and market popularity.

Best Bushmills Whiskey For:


For beginners, the ideal choice is the Bushmills Single Malt 10-Year-Old. 

This triple-distilled liquor offers a gentle introduction and is a perfect starting point for those exploring the diverse flavors of Bushmills Irish whiskey.

Whether sipped neat or enjoyed over ice, its exceptional complexity is beautifully balanced by its approachability.

Mixed Drinks

The Bushmills Original and Prohibition Recipe whiskeys offer excellent choices for crafting mixed drinks, each contributing distinct characteristics to your Old Fashioned and other mixed drinks. 

Bushmills Original has a smooth and approachable nature, making it an ideal foundation for a wide range of cocktails because its warm-tasting notes pair well with various mixers and ingredients.

The Prohibition carries a higher proof at 92, offering a smoother, more full-bodied experience. With fragrant hints of toffee, sage, citrus, and subtle notes of leather, it adds complexity to your cocktails. 

Experienced Drinkers

For experienced drinkers who appreciate the depth, complexity, and refined drinking experience, the 16-year-old Single Malt whiskey is an outstanding choice.

Experienced drinkers will appreciate the depth and balance of this liquor, as well as its ability to reveal new nuances with each sip. It offers a level of complexity and refinement to the taste buds. 

Value For Money

Regarding value for money without compromising quality, the Prohibition Recipe, also known as Peaky Blinders Irish Whiskey, stands out as an exceptional choice.

“Each glass of Bushmills is a journey to the heart of Ireland.” -Liquor Laboratory

Priced at just $23.99 and boasting an alcohol proof of 92, this whiskey balances affordability and flavor. It’s budget-friendly and delivers a satisfying and robust drinking experience.


Is Bushmills as good as Jameson?

Bushmills and Jameson are both esteemed whiskeys; whether one is better depends on personal preference. 
Some prefer Bushmills for their smoothness and distinct character, while others favor Jameson’s flavor profile. 

What are the different types of Bushmills whiskey?

The whiskey encompasses a variety of expressions categorized into Classic Irish Whiskey, Irish Single Malt Whiskeys, and limited edition releases. 

Why is Bushmills so good?

Bushmills’ excellence stems from its rich heritage as it is made in Old Bushmills Distillery and has been crafting Irish whiskey for centuries in Northern Ireland. 
It uses top-tier ingredients, is triple distilled, and is well aged in oloroso casks, Spanish oloroso sherry casks, and first-fill bourbon casks (ex-bourbon barrels). 

What’s the most expensive whiskey from Bushmills?

The most expensive Bushmills Irish whiskey is the Single Malt Aged 28 Years Cognac Cask, which costs around 489.99. It is known for its rarity and exceptional aging process. 
This limited edition release offers a luxurious and premium whiskey experience, appealing to collectors and connoisseurs with its high price tag.

Are Bushmills whiskeys smoky?

No, Bushmills whiskeys are not typically known for being smoky. Unlike some Scotch whiskies that often have a smoky or peaty character, Bushmills tend to have smoother, fruitier, and less smoky tasting notes, particularly their Irish single malts. 

Is Bushmills a good whiskey brand?

Yes, Bushmills is generally regarded as a good whiskey brand. It came from Old Bushmills Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery in Northern Ireland [4].
It offers a range of well-crafted whiskeys known for their quality and diverse flavor profiles as it is matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks. 

What sets Bushmills whiskey apart from others?

Bushmills whiskey is known for its smoothness, complexity, and balanced flavors. The use of triple distillation, along with a variety of cask finishes, contributes to its unique character.

Is Bushmills whiskey gluten-free?

Generally, all distilled spirits, including whiskey, are considered gluten-free because the distillation process removes gluten proteins. However, some individuals with gluten sensitivities may still experience reactions to whiskey. It’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns.

Can Bushmills whiskey be used in cocktails?

Yes, Bushmills whiskey can be used in a variety of cocktails, such as the classic Irish whiskey cocktails like the Irish Coffee, Whiskey Sour, or even simply enjoyed on the rocks or neat.

How should Bushmills whiskey be stored?

Bushmills whiskey should be stored upright in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations. Proper storage helps preserve the flavor and quality of the whiskey over time.

Is Bushmills whiskey suitable for gifting?

Yes, Bushmills whiskey makes an excellent gift for whiskey enthusiasts or anyone who appreciates fine spirits. The brand’s range of expressions caters to different preferences and budgets, making it suitable for various occasions.

Final Verdict

Bushmills has something for enthusiasts and newcomers alike, from versatile “workhorse” whiskeys ideal for cocktails to top-tier sippers that captivate your taste buds. 

Among the exceptional expressions, the Bushmills Single Malt Aged 16 Years stands out as a gem.

Its layers of flavor, featuring juicy fruits, nuts, spice, and a hint of ruby redness, make it a standout choice for discerning whiskey enthusiasts. 

Whether sipped neat or with a small cube of ice to open up its complexities, this 16-year-old single malt exemplifies the excellence of Bushmills and the artistry of Irish whiskey craftsmanship.


Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar