I had to order a bottle of Bushmills 21 years old, as there is reason to wonder if the importer has been in the sun too long or something. The price in Norway is 599,90 NOK (around 60 GBP) – which is cheap for a 21-year old in any case, but seems like the sale of the century compared to prices in the UK where the RRP is 137 GBP. But is it worth it? That, obviously, is the salient point, because if it’s undrinkable it’s money out the window whatever the price.
Nose: Clear bourbony notes, oak and vanilla. Plums in Madeira, lemon peel, toffee and spice; curry, in fact. Water brings out more fresh fruits.
Palate: Oak and vanilla. A somewhat bitter oakiness. I was hoping water would open it up and bring out more flavours, but was disappointed.
Comments: Very lovely nose, pretty bland taste. Nothing wrong with it, though, and certainly worth the 60 pounds, but not the 137, I don’t think.
Nose: A lot of oak, clear sherry note, but dry sherry and oak rather than dried fruits, very little sweetness. With water I get dried cranberries, candied orange peel and milk chocolate, but it’s still on the dry side.
Palate: Dried cranberries and raisins, but also a lot of oaky dryness. Vanilla. With water I get both oaky bitterness and sherry sweetness, vanilla and oak chips, floor varnish.
Comments: Even though there’s not even a whiff of burnt rubber, my main impression is “over oaked”. It tastes of oak chips. The nose is beautiful, but can’t make up for the taste. It’s not a bad dram, but it’s no where near worth the asking price (2495 NOK at Vinmonopolet, I paid 200-something NOK for 2 cl at The Whisky Bar in Oslo).
Nose: Newly struck matches, dried red berries. Water adds tartness to the nose, I get lemon but also a little sulfur and a hint of liquorice.
Palate: The malt is obvious, even through the fairly heavy cask influence. Newly struck matches, oak and dry sherry. Water opens for bitter chocolate and dry forest. Dry cocoa and barley dust on the finish.
Comments: I’m rather more impressed this evening than when I had it as part of a tasting the other day, I found it a bit too bitter then. I still miss a compensating sweet note, or at least I think I do. There is something not entirely “complete” about the sherry character. Still, a nice dram, I’ll have another if you’re offering.