The Old Bushmills
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Most of us know that silver
marks a 25th anniversary and gold is for 50
years. But here's one that doesn't come up very
often: how do you celebrate your 400th anniversary?
The Old Bushmills Distillery
If you're Bushmills Irish
Whiskey, you not only create a limited-edition
release for your enthusiasts, but you get yourself
a twin city in the United States.
In 1608 England's King
James I first granted a license to distill in
the region of Bushmill, Northern Ireland. Now,
the town is conducting a nationwide search for
a city or town on which to confer the title
"Twin City of Bushmills in America." In addition
to being toasted by the master distiller of
Bushmills, the winning city will receive a $20,000
grant for preservation and advancement of the
municipality's time-honored traditions and culture.
Also, the first 10 towns to apply for the distinction
will receive $1,000 for the same purpose. Applicants
should visit Bushmills.com for further information.
The deadline for applications is December 21,
Of course, such a birthday
celebration would be wanting without a commemorative
bottling. Accordingly, the distiller will release
Bushmills 1608 in the United States from February
to December in 2008. The new whiskey blends
the standard Bushmills triple-distilled malt
and a small portion of grain whiskey with what
the distiller calls "crystal malt." In the case
of the latter malt, the barley is germinated
while it is still moist to create a crystallized
appearance. The result is a sweeter, fuller
flavored whiskey than the standard expressions.
While Bushmill can claim
four centuries of spirits heritage, distilling
was probably practiced in the town at least
another two centuries before it was officially
licensed there. The original spirits were called
uisce beatha, Gaelic for water of life.
From that term the modern word whiskey
is derived. The Old Bushmills Distillery, itself,
was registered in 1784 and is the only survivor
of a once thriving Irish whiskey market that
still contains all steps of production -- distilling,
blending and bottling -- under one roof.
While its whiskey is steeped
in the centuries of tradition, innovation has
also informed the product throughout the years.
Hence the use of crystal malt whiskey. "It's
also a tribute to the unique spirit of this
place," says Colum Egan, the master distiller.
"Bushmills 1608 is just another step in a long
history of innovation, a natural expression
of our constant dedication to make the smoothest
Bushmills 1608, which
is bottled at 92 proof, will be available for
$100 in the United States.
1608 46% ABV0
The color is amber with slight olive, and darker
than other Bushmills expressions. The legs are
aroma is typical of Bushmills -- rosy and fruity
-- but is joined with a core of olive oil, meaty
fruit and honey.
out with big dabs of honey and goes to fruity
hard candy. Then sharp cheese shoots to the
roof of the mouth before the whiskey settles
back with a woody, toffee, bourbon notes.
long flavors of wood and honey.
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