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New Releases: The Busker and Bushmills

In the run-up to St Patrick’s Day, numerous Irish whiskey releases have been making their way onto the market. This week, a small batch pot still whiskey from The Busker, and two rare releases from Bushmills. 

Royal Oak Distillery The Busker Small Batch Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 

Royal Oak Distillery has launched a new small-batch offering of The Busker single pot still whiskey. This limited-edition Irish whiskey, retailing at $50, showcases a new look and a slightly higher ABV of 46.3%, compared to the original 44.3% ABV of its $30 expression.

The whiskey was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and finished in European oak sherry butts, promising a unique flavor profile.

This release is part of the resurgence of single pot still whiskey in Ireland.

Royal Oak Distillery, formerly known as Walsh Whiskey Distillery, opened in 2016 in Co. Carlow. The distillery produces single malt, single pot still, and grain whiskey.

Bushmills 36 Year Old Hill Street 

Bushmills, one of the oldest whiskey distilleries in Ireland, has announced the release of its Hill Street Edition 36-Year-Old Irish Whiskey.

The whiskey is the oldest expression to be released by the brand. Only 208 bottles are available exclusively from The Friend At Hand, a whiskey retailer located in Belfast. The bottle’s name, Hill Street, pays tribute to “the hard-working people of Hill Street” says The Friend At Hand owner, Willie Jack.

Distilled in 1986 and then re-racked into a sherry cask in 2001, the whiskey promises to be deep and complex with notes of caramelized fruit and honey.

This exclusive whiskey has an RRP of $6,311.

Bushmills 31 Year Old 

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Bushmills Irish Whiskey has unveiled a rare 31-Year-Old single malt as part of its limited small batch creations. 

The 31-Year-Old single malt has been matured for 13 years in Oloroso sherry butts and bourbon barrels at The Old Bushmills Distillery and then finished in first and second-fill Madeira casks for an additional 18 years. The Madeira wine casks, prepared and hand-built by Tacopal Cooperage in Portugal, add unique flavors of deep fruit, roasted nuts, and warm honey to the whiskey.

Master Blender at Bushmills, Alex Thomas, describes the single malt as reminiscent of a summer orchard walk, with “creamy notes of orange and peach”, and a “nutty praline creaminess that delivers an exquisite mouthfeel.”

This rare expression, bottled at 46% ABV, is priced at $2,789 for 700ml. Only 12 bottles are available in the UK, exclusively via The Whisky Shop.

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