The Old Bushmills Irish Whiskey Distillery late last month announced the release of The Causeway Collection, a series of unique and cask-finished single malt whiskeys. These initial releases – the 2008 Muscatel Cask and the 1995 Malaga Cask – are cask-strength and will only be exclusively available in Ireland.
The first cask-strength single malt whiskeys to be introduced by The Old Bushmills Distillery in over 15 years, they are distilled, finished and bottled on the Co Antrim coastline. Founded on that same coastline, the distillery is a short distance from The Giant’s Causeway, a landmark made up of natural steps in stone formed from hexagonal columns. Noted as being “an inspiration to the Bushmill whiskey makers for centuries, the Causeway steps “mirror the steps of ripple wood maturation used in the Causeway Collection.”
Bushmills The Causeway Collection (image via Bushmills)
The 2008 Muscatel Cask is aged for 12 years, first in oloroso sherry butts and bourbon barrels, and then finished in rare muscatel casks. The 1994 Malaga Cask, meanwhile, is aged for 24 years, 10 in oloroso sherry butts and bourbon barrels and 14 in Malaga casks.
Helen Mulholland, Bushmills’ master blender, commented in a prepared statement, “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’s forged. We are excited to reintroduce cask strength Bushmills single malt whiskeys to our loyal whiskey fans across the island of Ireland.
“With these two new exclusive releases, we celebrate our passion for single malt, showcase our rare and unique casks and honour our 400-year north coast provenance.”
The Causeway Collection releases, both of which are non-chill filtered, became available late last month. With 1,454 bottles produced, the 2008 Muscatel Cask (56.4% ABV) is priced at €100 (around $120 USD), while the 1995 Malaga Cask (53.5% ABV), with 2,491 bottles produced, is available at €400 (around $475 USD).
Official tasting notes are below.
The 2008 Muscatel Cask
Colour: Rose gold Nose: Velvety smooth sweetness, caramelised toffee sugars with a note of orange flower Taste: Sweet dried fruit producing a warming mouthfeel, a hint of citrus leads into a rich vanilla floral smoothness Finish: A burst of sweet raisin
The 1995 Malaga Cask
Colour: Antique gold Nose: Rich black coffee and nuts with sweet wood roundness Taste: Deep rich honey character, sweet spiced plum and vanilla undertones are evident Finish: Distinct nuttiness with a long lingering finish