History: The Bushmills Old Distillery Company itself was not established until 1784 by Hugh Anderson. Bushmills suffered many lean years with numerous periods of closure with no record of the distillery being in operation in the official records both in 1802 and in 1822. In 1860 a Belfast spirit merchant named Jame McColgan and Patrick Corrigan bought the distillery; in 1880 they formed a limited company. In 1885, the original Bushmills buildings were destroyed by fire but the distillery was swiftly rebuilt. In 1890, a steamship owned and operated by the distillery, SS Bushmills, made its maiden voyage across the Atlantic to deliver Bushmills whiskey to America. It called at Philadelphia and New York before heading on to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Yokohama.
In the early 20th century, the U.S. was a very important market for Bushmills (and other Irish Whiskey producers). American Prohibition in 1920 came as a large blow to the Irish Whiskey industry, but Bushmills managed to survive. Wilson Boyd, Bushmills’ director at the time, predicted the end of prohibition and had large stores of whiskey ready to export. After the Second World War, the distillery was bought by Isaac Wolfson, and, in 1972, it was taken over by Irish Distillers, meaning that Irish Distillers controlled the production of all Irish whiskey at the time. In June 1988, Irish Distillers was bought by French liquor group Pernod Ricard.
In June 2005, the distillery was bought by Diageo for £200 million. Diageo have also announced a large advertising campaign in order to regain a market share for Bushmills. In May 2008, the Bank of Ireland issued a new series of sterling banknotes in Northern Ireland which all feature an illustration of the Old Bushmills Distillery on the obverse side, replacing the previous notes series which depicted Queen’s University of Belfast. In November 2014 it was announced that Diageo was to trade the Bushmills brand with Jose Cuervo in exchange for the 50% of the Don Julio brand of tequila that Diageo did not already own. The deal was expected to be completed in early 2015.
The Whiskyphiles tasting notes
- Bushmills 10 Years Old (2015) - Bushmills 10 Years Old (40%, OB, 2015) Category: Single malt Irish whiskey Origin: Bushmills Distillery Bottling: Official ABV: 40% Cost: £27.84 Score: 83/100 What they say: So‚ the first of the single […]
- Bushmills 10 Years Old (2021) - Bushmills 10 Years Old (40%, OB, 2020) ABV: 40% Age: 10 Years Old Bottling: OB Category: Single Malt Irish Whiskey Cost: £29.95 Origin: Bushmills distillery Vintage: Undeclared What they say Bushmills 10 […]
- Bushmills 12 Years Old Distillery Reserve (2015) - My favourite of the whole tasting, and not just due to its exclusivity. This one really appealed to my inner chocoholic and love of sherry maturation done well! Definitely one to savour.
- Bushmills 16 Years Old (2015) - Bushmills 16 Years Old (40%, OB, 2015) Category: Irish single malt whiskey Origin: Bushmills Distillery Bottling: Official ABV: 40% Cost: £54.83 Score: 86/100 What they say: Well‚ it takes a special dedication […]
- Bushmills 2001 Feuillette Cask (2021) - 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.
- Bushmills Black Bush (2015) - Bushmills Black Bush (40%, OB, 2015) Category: Blended, triple-distilled Irish whiskey Origin: Bushmills Distillery Bottling: Official ABV: 40% Cost: £22.90 Score: 82/100 What they say: An intriguing name and an intriguing flavour. […]
- Bushmills Original (2015) - Bushmills Original (40%, OB, 2015) Category: Blended, triple-distilled Irish whiskey Origin: Bushmills Distillery Bottling: Official ABV: 40% Cost: £19.22 Score: 80/100 What they say: Bushmills‚ the golden member of the family. It’s […]