Nose: Toasted oak, butter, vanilla, pears, white flowers, intense citrus
Palate: Orchard fruits, mango, peach, orange blossom, apricots. A fruit explosion!
Finish: Lingering, warm, cardamom, baking spices and vanilla ice cream.
The oldest licensed whiskey distillery, Bushmills Distillery just announced their new limited edition annual series, The Rare Casks! They also released their first expression namely, Bushmills 28 Year Old Cognac Cask! They also generously sent me a sample of it which was one of 100 samples.
Last year I met the Master Distiller Colum Egan in San Francisco at a great dinner thanks to the great Bushmills team in California! It was one of the most joyful nights with stunning whiskies, including a '27 Year Old Cognac Cask'. So I had a great preview of this whiskey in November 2019 which made my night so great. I ended the night at the concert of Branford Marsalis, which made my night legendary!
Anyway, let's get back to the whiskey! Bushmills 28 Year Old Cognac Cask is made with unpeated Irish barley and it was triple distilled in April 9th 1992. I also checked what happened on that day and apparently, if you are not a Jemma Middleton fan, distillation of this whisky was the best thing that happened in the world.
The new make was matured first in Oloroso Sherry casks and ex-Bourbon barrels for 11 years. Then on December 19th 2003, barrels were married and recasked into Cognac casks. Whiskey was bottled at 46.7% abv on July 7th 2020! This meticulous job was done by no other than the Master Blender Helen Mulholland, who is one of the most experienced master blenders in history, who has been with Bushmills almost for 30 years now.
The sample bottle sent to me had an amazing label on it but I would love to show you how the bottle looks too.
How Does It Taste Like?
This is the oldest Bushmills whiskey I have tried in my life and in the last years I tasted stunning Bushmills like the old Black Bush, the 21 year old, 27 year old Cognac Cask.
The nose starts with sharp citrus notes. It has an intensity like essential oil at first which dissipates with time. Then you can easily feel the Cognac qualities like toasted oak, baking spices. It joins buttery notes with vanilla, pears, touch of flowers and nuts. A rich and layered nose!
The palate is a game changer! This whiskey might have one of the best palates I have tasted in 2020. In a sentence, it feels like you open a door and you find yourself in a fruit cocktail party. Mangos, peaches, nectarine, orange blossom, apricots, prunes, passion fruit ending with roasted nuts!
The finish is long and lingering, carrying the incredible palate and adding on more baking spices with vanilla ice cream!
Bushmills 28 Year Old Cognac Cask is a finely tailored whiskey! I can see Helen Mulholland designed the whiskey to touch different aspects of the long maturation process. I can see this one as a bottle in my collection even though the price is not low at all. There will be only 500 bottles of this beauty in the US and it will be sold for $500. You can find the link above.
I was also informed by the brand that 'whiskey lovers are also invited to join the selection process for next year's release in “The Rare Casks” series, with a never-before-tasted single malt whiskey collection available for members on Flaviar.com', but I haven't found any further information about that.