Ireland

Bushmills 2001 Feuillette Cask

Bushmills 2001 Feuillette Cask (49%, OB, 2020)

  • ABV: 49%
  • Age: 19 Years Old
  • Bottling: OB, The Causeway Collection
  • Category: Single Malt Irish Whiskey
  • Cost: £200 exclusive to The Whisky Shop
  • Origin: Bushmills distillery
  • Vintage: 2001
bushmills_2001_causewaycollection_feuillettecask

What they say

The Causeway Collection has been expertly crafted and cared for by Bushmills Master Blender, Helen Mulholland, through her near 30 year career at The Old Bushmills Distillery. Indeed, several of the whiskeys were laid down by Helen during her internship at the distillery in the early 1990s.

The 2001 Feuillette Cask marks the first cask strength release and first red wine cask-matured whiskey ever to be made available by Bushmills in Great Britain. This rare single malt was aged for over 17 years in Oloroso sherry butts and Bourbon barrels before final maturation for over two years in a rare Burgundy feuillette cask. This is one of just four feuillette casks at the Bushmills distillery and is the smallest that Helen Mulholland has ever worked with, holding just 168 bottles. This imparts a great intensity of flavour, resulting in a concentrated palate with notes of smooth plum and cherry fruits.

Helen comments: “This launch represents a bold new step for Bushmills, one that not only honours the giants and generations before us but also the incomparable natural landscape in which it was forged. The whiskeys in this collection, all non-chill filtered and some of the first cask strength whiskeys to be released by us in over 15 years, are among Bushmills’ greatest treasures. We can’t wait to share them with the world. With these new exclusive releases, we celebrate our passion for single malt, showcase our rare and unique casks, and honour our 400 year heritage.”

“The Bushmills 2001 Feuillette Cask also marks two firsts for Great Britain –the first red-wine finished whiskey and the first cask-strength release from Bushmills for this market. Both aspects represent exciting developments in Irish Whiskey, which sums up everything we had hoped the new Causeway Collection would be.”

The Causeway Collection launches globally in 2020 and includes expressions finished in new American oak, Cognac, wine and fortified wine casks. Recent releases in Ireland (Malaga 1995, Muscatel 2008), and Australia (Marsala 2006) have been received with critical acclaim. Bushmills have allowed these uncommon casks unprecedented years of rest, decades in some cases, creating unique waves of flavour, every bit as dramatic as the Northern Irish coastline.

This rare and sensational whiskey will be on sale in the UK from early December 2020 exclusively from The Whisky Shop. Only 168 bottles of the 2001 Feuillette Cask are available, bottled at cask strength 49% ABV, non chill-filtered and priced at £200 for 700ml.

Official tasting notes:

Colour: Rich bright gold

Nose: A subtle blackcurrant aroma leads into further rich red fruit notes with a hint of oak

Palate: Smooth plum and cherry fruits mingle with ripe tannins as the velvety smooth richness of this exceptional single malt allows ripe fruit flavours to dance on the tongue

Finish: Strong with a richness of fruit that lingers long in the aftertaste

What I say

Sampled during the press launch of Bushmills 2001 Feuillette Cask as part of their Causeway Collection. This expression is constructed similar to the 10 year old using both ex Bourbon and Oloroso sherry oak initially, distilled in 2001 and subjected to a finish in ex Burgundy wine feuillette cask for around 2 years.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Old Madeira (13/20), large tears and thick legs.
  • Nose: Subtle, red fruits, brambles, raspberries, cherries polished oak wood, honey and apple, with water mor orchard fruit and a little raisin appear.
  • Taste: warming, medium-bodied, oily and mouthcoating, red and black berry fruits, cherry, black pepper, woody oak, dark chocolate, a little green and leafy, tea leaf, honey and vanilla, again with a drop of water, much smoother, more apples, apple strudel and a hint of vanilla custard but still plenty of red berry compote.
  • Finish: Long, spiced and woody, slightly herbal with clove oil.

Overall

An interesting twist on Bushmills, perhaps I expected much more wood influence here using the slightly smaller cask for finishing and I wasn’t quite expecting such a strong influence of the Burgundy red wine. As the first ‘cask strength’ and red wine finished versions for the UK this does present something a little different from Bushmills.

Score 85/100

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