Last Updated on August 10, 2022 by Lydia Martin
We’re sure you’re here to learn all about Bushmills, the Irish Whiskey brand. Our team spent the entire weekend taste-testing and researching to become your best experts on the subject.
Ready? Let’s begin!
Table of Contents
An Overview of Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is produced in Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery, operational since the early 1600s. This gentle, warming spirit is one of the finest blended Irish whiskeys — smooth and mellow on the lips, soft on the palate, with a touch of spice on the tongue.
This incredible whiskey has won multiple awards, including the coveted Best Irish Whiskey in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for the Bushmills 1608 line. The Black Bush and 10, 16, and 21-Year-Olds have also won top awards.
Did You Know?
Distillation & Production Process
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is triple-distilled and made from 100 percent single-malt barley.
The first distillation takes the whiskey up to 25 to 30 percent ABV and then to 70 to 84 percent after the second and third distillations. The spirit is then diluted with water to reach an ABV of 63 percent before being put inside the appropriate barrel to age. Check out the most expensive Irish Whiskeys here.
The Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey is aged for a minimum of six years and the Black Bush for eight to meet the industry standard of three years for Irish whiskey.
The distillery uses four different barrels for the aging process (ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry, port, and Madeira) for an added smoky flavor to the spirit. Once the spirits have been blended, they are further aged for two more years in Madeira casks for more sweetness and an added complexity.
What It’s Made Of
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made from barley grown in Cork, south Ireland. It is malted and ground to a grist and blended with water from the nearby Saint Columb’s Rill, a tributary of the Bush River. The premium ingredients ensure a spirit with a unique depth of flavor and trademark smoothness.
It is then blended with column-distilled grain whiskey purchased from Midleton, a neighboring distillery.
Bushmills Original and Black Bush are made from this blend: 55 percent single malt and 45 percent grain whiskey, and 80 percent single-malt and 20 percent grain whiskey.
The labels 10, 16, and 21-Year-Olds are made from single malts.
The final spirits from all lines are bottled at 40 percent ABV, except for the 1608 line at 46 percent, which was a special release celebrating their 400th Anniversary.
Where It’s Made
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made in the oldest Irish distillery located in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The company that had built the distillery itself was first founded in 1784 by Hugh Anderson, instead of the 1608 you may find on the bottle label. 1608 was referenced from a royal license (King James I) that had been given to a local landowner (Sir Thomas Philips) to distill spirits in the same area the distillery is built on today.
How To Drink Bushmills Irish Whiskey
There isn’t a single “best way” to enjoy Bushmills Irish Whiskey, but, being the experts we are, you should start by drinking it neat. Doing so will allow you to fully appreciate the different flavors in this Irish whiskey, from sweet and delicate to the more nutty and exotic. Don’t forget to use the appropriate glassware, such as an Old Fashioned or rocks glass!
If Bushmills is too harsh for your naked palate, you can further experiment by adding a bit of water or serving it on the rocks. This will cut back the alcoholic bite and further open up the bouquet and flavors of the whiskey. 
It’s also a great idea to have Bushmills in your favorite mixed drinks. Its flavors will work extremely well when paired with club soda or ginger ale.
Common Bushmills Whiskey Prices
|Type||Size||Alcohol By Volume||Average Price|
|Bushmills 10-Year-Old||750ml||40||Around $43|
|Bushmills 10 Year OldBot.1980s||750ml||40||Around $190|
|Bushmills 16-Year-Old Single MaltPort Finish||750ml||40||Around $129|
|Bushmills 2000 Port Cask Causeway Collection||750ml||54.1||Around $360|
|Bushmills 21-Year-Old||750ml||40||Around $248|
|Bushmills Black Bush||750ml||40||Around $34|
|Bushmills Bourbon Cask Finish||750ml||40||Around $34|
|Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish||750ml||40||Around $34|
|Bushmills Original||750ml||40||Around $26|
|Bushmills Red Bush||750ml||40||Around $26|
|Old Bushmills 9 Year Old||750ml||43||Around $522|
|Old Bushmills Pure Malt||750ml||40||Around $4583|
Compared to Other Irish Whiskeys
Jameson is sweet and fragrant on the nose, much like Bushmills. It also uses carefully-selected oak barrels for its 4-year aging process — in this case, Irish Pale Ale-seasoned barrels. The final spirit is a wonderful blend of floral and herbal hops with light citrus and spice.
A 750ml bottle of Jameson Irish costs around $22, at par with Bushmills Original.
Read: Jameson vs Bushmills
What makes Redbreast vastly different from Bushmills is that it’s a single pot still Irish whiskey instead of blended. Redbreast is a lot more luxurious and creamy, balanced out with smoky oak and the sweetness of red berries.
You can expect to pay around $60-ish for a 750ml bottle of Redbreast 12-Year-Old, slightly more expensive than a Bushmills 12-Year-Old.
2 Gingers is double-distilled, compared to Bushmills’ triple. The final spirit is crisp, with potent banana and other dried fruit notes, coupled with light spice, nuts, and honey.
2 Gingers is one of the most inexpensive Irish whiskeys, costing just under $20 for a 750ml bottle.
Popular Bushmills Whiskey Cocktail Recipes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1 oz Bushmills Red Bush
- 1 oz herbal aperitif
- 1 oz sweet red vermouth
- Orange peel
Pour all liquid ingredients into a rocks glass and stir well until combined. Add ice. Give everything a final stir and garnish with an orange peel.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1.5 oz Bushmills Original
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz honey syrup
- 4 sprigs fresh mint
- Lemon wheel
- Mint leaf
Pour all ingredients (except the lemon wheel) into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well until combined and chilled. Strain and pour into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a mint leaf.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
- 1 oz Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish
- 3 oz soda water
- Lemon juice
- Lime wedge
Fill a highball glass with ice and pour the whiskey in. Top everything off with soda water. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the glass and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Is Bushmills cheap whiskey?
No, Bushmills is not cheap whiskey. Their older bottles, like the 16 or 21-Year-Olds, can cost you a few hundred dollars. If that’s out of your budget, you can always go for the Original or Black Bush blends for less than $40.
Is Bushmills older than Jameson?
Yes, Bushmills is older than Jameson. The Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim has been around since the 1600s. In comparison, John Jameson established his distillery only in 1780.
Can you buy Bushmills whiskey in the US?
Yes, you can buy Bushmills whiskey in the US. Aside from being available online, like The Whiskey Exchange and Drizly, many local stores also carry bottles of this brand.
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is a unique Irish blended whiskey with a lengthy history of over 400 years. Pour yourself a glass if you want to reminisce the days past or look forward to the future!
This versatile whiskey will work excellently whether you’re sipping it neat or in your favorite mixed drinks.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.