Although the Scottish generally grabs the headlines with their famous single malt whisky, the Irish do produce an excellent if somewhat more concise range. What’s more, the laws that govern its production do not vary tremendously; it must be distilled in a batch process using only 100% malted barley, aged in Oak casks and be the invention of just a single distillery.
Irish whiskey as a whole is generally unpeated with the exception of Connemara, a single malt distilled by the Cooley distillery and Ireland’s only peated whiskey. It’s a common misconception that Irish whiskey is all triple filtered, whereas in actual fact only Bushmills create whiskey of this style. Speaking of Cooley, they are the distillery that produces the vast majority of Ireland’s single malt whiskey both under their own label (the previously mentioned Bushmills) and other brands like The Irishman and Clontarf.
Surprisingly, Midleton distillery does not produce any single malt, despite the fact that they are the people responsible for creating Jamesons, possibly the best selling Irish whiskey of all time! One can only assume that they are so busy creating masses of grain and single pot still whiskey for their multitude of blends that there are no resources left for the production of single malt.
Bushmills 16 Year Old is an Irish Single Malt whiskey that is matured in three different wood casks; Oloroso Sherry and bourbon casks are used for the first 16 years, before finishing in port wine barrels. The unusual maturation gives this whiskey its ruby red colour and robust personality.
Toffee and sweet spices are followed by praline, honey and toasted nut aromas and a deep finish with jammed berries and dark chocolate.