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Bushmills 21 year old Rare review

Bushmills 21yo Rare feature image

I heard lots of good things about Bushmills 21 year old Rare single malt before we had an Irish whiskey tasting with our local whisky club. And believe me, those good things turned out to be true. Truly, a magnificent whiskey by the Northern Ireland distillery, The Old Bushmills. I’ve really started to fall in love with this distillery. They have a great product in each category:

Bushmills 21 year old Rare single malt review

Bushmills 21YO has been matured in a mixture of Ex-Oloroso Sherry and Ex-Bourbon casks, before a two year Madeira casks marrying period. This is a limited product, each bottle is numbered. The bottle we got to taste at our tasting was: 14483/2013

WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, but focusing more on some Chewits or Jolly Ranchers

If this whiskey was music, it would definitely be Roy Orbison’s Candy Man – tastes like fruit candy, delivered in an otherwise dark, yet very fresh palate. Like Orbison delivering the song in his Black and White Night.

Since I’m referencing movies, I won’t go into Candy Man in that area. This Irish greatness deserves a better reference. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is probably too obvious, but I’m sorry, that’s jsut one of the first ones that come to my mind, when thinking about films and this fruity whiskey full of candy and hints of darkness. It just has to be children’s movie, that’s associated with candy and has a dark side. It might as well could have been Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Matured in:
Ex-Oloroso Sherry and Ex-Bourbon casks, finished in Madeira casks for two years
Colour: Dark amber
Nose: Rubber and musty oak start the show. Cereal notes are strong too, like crisp bread or hard rye bread, which we enjoy here in Finland very much. Hints of fruits and nice dark roast coffee deeply buried on the back. Time and water makes it sweet with hints of sugary marzipan, with a spiced sherry twist.
Taste: Amazing right from the start – fruit candy and small hints of sweet marzipan (not overly sweet but nicely sweet). Develops into fresh peppermint drops. Time and water adds creamy toffee and caramel. And believe me, water just makes it better in every area, just add few drops.
Finish: Very smooth and nicely bitter. Velvety oil, cactus and grape notes come with time and water. Tobacco is present as well.
Balance: Great whisky, amazing right from start to the very end. In great balance and very versatile and rich. The best Irish whiskey, I’ve tasted so far. Unfortunately, the price is big too – too bad that it’s been the trend with every whisk(e)y on the market.


Distillery: The Old Bushmills Distillery Region: Bushmills, Northern Ireland ABV: 40%

Bushmills 21yo Rare review


Bushmills marketing texts of the 21 year old whisky

Review from the “Toshan Man”:

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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