A lofty sense of heritage guides the fine Irish whiskey made by Bushmills, the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, but that doesn’t mean innovation falls by the wayside in favor of tradition. In fact, the two co-exist hand in hand, and the new Bushmills Private Reserve Collection speaks to that shared ethos nicely.
Released this past December, the lineup of four exclusive cask-finished Irish whiskeys is the first launch in the Private Reserve Collection, which aims to showcase hand-selected Irish single malt in limited quantities.
The distillery has already done much to shape a new frontier in the world of Irish whiskey, particularly with releases like 2022’s 33-year-old Irish single malt and a 29-year-old Irish single malt finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks.
None of these four whiskeys climb quite that high in terms of age statement, but the results are nonetheless impressive, as we found out during a winter tasting at famed New York City bar The Dead Rabbit.
Three 10-year expressions (aged in plum, bordeaux and burgundy casks) lead the charge in the Private Reserve Collection, while an excellent 12-year, tequila cask finish puts a rich, bright and ever-so-slightly herbaceous spin on Irish whiskey (look for notes of black olives and anise in particular).
The collection was crafted carefully by Master Blender Alex Thomas from the distillery’s impressive range of previously unused expressions.
Of the four exceptional releases, the tequila cask finish is perhaps the most striking, with notes of butterscotch leading into vanilla, toasted oak and a remarkable amount of depth.
Each shares the same pedigree as other Bushmills expressions, including triple distillation in traditional copper pot stills.
Bushmills previously debuted 25-year-old and 30-year-old expressions in 2023, along with its 2022 Causeway Collection, which also shone the spotlight on an extensive variety of aged Irish whiskey.
The distillery has no plans to slow down with exclusive releases either, noting that “Bushmills’ quality, aged stock and pace is unmatched by any other Irish whiskey brand.”
Consumers needn’t worry about being priced out of such a remarkable Irish whiskey offering: The three 10-year Private Reserve whiskeys feature an SRP of $59.99, while the 12-year tequila cask finish boasts a very agreeable SRP of $74.99.
Suffice to say, your next dram should come from Bushmills and its new Private Reserve Collection, because it needn’t be St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy fine Irish whiskey.
For more information please visit https://bushmills.com/