Whiskey Review: Bushmills “The Rare Casks” 29-Year-Old Pedro Ximénez Cask

, | August 12, 2022

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Bushmills. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Not to put too fine a spin on it, but Bushmills has been and remains one of this taster’s most reliable producers. Known as the “world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery,” Bushmills consistently produces rich, complex Irish whiskeys, and their newest release is an outstanding addition to the name. The second installment in the Bushmills collectors’ series is The Rare Casks 29-Year-Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Single Malt Irish Whiskey.

Triple distilled in 1992, this Rare Cask selection was matured in hand-selected bourbon barrels for over a decade and has the delicate sweetness that comes from a long time spent in sherry casks. Master Blender Alex Thomas has stated in a prepared statement that this is “one of the finest whiskeys ever sealed under the Bushmills name,” and while I haven’t had the privilege of enjoying every Bushmills expression, this special selection is probably my favorite tasting of the year so far.

This expression was made from extremely rare stock, accounting for “less than .01% of the whiskey distilled at the Old Bushmills Distillery in 1992,” and is being released in only 500 coveted bottles. And in a time of new craft small batches being released from younger and younger distilleries looking to make their name, it is a bold but low-risk move for Bushmills to pull out such a well-aged series.

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The beauty of being nearly 400 years old is that Bushmills has a bountiful stock of rare casks with which this Irish distillery continues to charm its way onto the palates of the most discerning whiskey lovers. With both this Rare Cask 29-Year-Old expression and the first in the series, the 28-Year-Old Single Malt Cognac Cask, Bushmills continues its run as a formidable distillery that will, hopefully, continue to flourish another 400 years.

Bushmills Rare Cask 29 Year review

Bushmills Rare Cask 29 Year (image via Bushmills)

Tasting Notes: Bushmills “The Rare Casks” 29-Year-Old Pedro Ximénez Cask

Vital Stats: Mashbill of 100% Irish malted barley. Began in copper pot stills in 1992, matured for more than a decade in hand-selected ex-bourbon barrels, followed by an additional 17 years in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. 53% ABV. SRP $750/750ml.

Appearance: The whiskey is the spitting image of organic maple syrup.

Nose: The Ximénez cask really comes through on the nose, along with sugar cane and a bit of spice.

Palate: This decadent whiskey is syrupy, with an oily mouthfeel that distributes the heat beautifully. I tasted anise, orange peel, and a nuttiness met well with the traditional sweetness of classic Bushmills and enjoyed a lingering finish.

5

Summary

I must say that this whiskey is pretty perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it and am happy to report that the whiskey is well worth the pretty penny it will cost if you’re lucky to acquire it. There is a well-earned balance to the whiskey, with a richness that tastes natural and finely aged.

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Jerry Jenae Sampson

Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.