Irish By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / October 2, 2020 The Bushmills Irish Whiskey brand is one long steeped in tradition and history, having more than 400 years of whiskey crafting under its belt that’s been passed down through generations of distillers. It’s not too often, however, you see it drift into the super premium category, but now with the debut of its first bottling from its new Rare Casks series, that is set to change. The new Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask, according to those behind it, was first matured in former bourbon and Oloroso sherry barrels for 11 years and then finished in ultra-rare Cognac casks for 17 years, each cask having “been carefully sourced under the expert direction” of Helen Mulholland, Irish whiskey’s first female Master Blender. This expression made use of 100% unseated malted barley and spring water from the nearby River Bush, having then been triple distilled in small batches in traditional copper pot stills back in 1992. Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask (image via Bushmills Irish Whiskey) “At Bushmills, the foundation of our whiskey is the quality of ingredients and the experience and skill we have passed down through generations,” said Mulholland in a prepared statement. “Throughout my almost 30-year career at Bushmills, I have nurtured this special whiskey from its distillate, experimenting with different taste profiles and finally resting it in some of the world’s rarest and highest quality casks. “Maturing this precious malt in former Cognac casks has brought out unique notes and characteristics specific to Cognac, developing the whiskey into something new and distinct for Bushmills, with bold intensity and subtle sweetness. Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask is a time capsule of my career at the distillery, and one of the most complex and layered whiskeys ever released by us.” Plans call for this release to hit the United States with less than 500 bottles available, bottled at 46.7% ABV and pricing around $500 per 750 ml bottle. It will be available starting now at select retailers. As for the Rare Casks series, it will ben an annual offering that, according to the brand, features “premium Irish single malt whiskey aged some of the world’s rarest casks finished across a variety of years and released in small quantities.” You’ll find official tasting notes below for your consideration. Nose: Rich, expansive and aromatic, the whiskey first offers fresh notes of citrus oil and almonds, followed by roasted caramel, fresh prunes, and warm baking spices imparted by the cognac cask. Palate: Bursting with flavors of dried apricot, orange marmalade and roasted almonds, the whiskey is exquisitely long with a warming vanilla and cinnamon finish.