Friday, October 7, 2011

Bushmills 16 year


Color: brilliant and deep coppers and oranges with gold aspirations.

Nose: caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Apricot, mandarin, and plums. Tickle of sweet sticky spicy heat in the back. Homemade cranberry sauce with just a touch of sugar for sweetness. Caramel flambé. Orange oils in the back. Floral esters whisper of rolling green fields covered in blossom and petal. Red licorice.

Body: swirls oily with thick tears that linger just long enough. Mouth-coating and sticky in the middle with a surprisingly short finish. Medium weight bordering on medium-light.

Palate: orange and cranberry. Rosewater and lavender. Salt water taffy and gooey melted toffee – Werthers original comes to mind. More orange is met with fresh grapes ala grape juices. Candied jellies. Chocolate is a shadow of a whisper in the back – liquid, malted, and truffled.

Finish: plums, kiwi, and rose. Lips are coated in silken sweet spicy heat that tickles just a bit. berries and jam.

Whisky or whiskey - a centuries old debate that isn’t looking to be settled anytime soon and really, who cares about stupid semantics when the whiskey is so damn good. For this round I shall utilize the “e” for tis not Scotland we are abiding by but Ireland and her own “water of life”, specifically the Bushmills distillery and their 16 year spirit. Aged in Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon casks, she is then aged further in Port Wine barrels for months before finally being judged suitable for bottling and subsequently my enjoyment.

As for your enjoyment, get your own damn bottle because you’re not laying one grubby paw on mine. From pour to nose to palate I was completely floored by how much I frickin’ loved this whiskey. Did my single-malts finally have a regular contender? The debate still goes on but for now I shall simply savor the beauty of her ruby and garnet hues, luxurious palate worthy of the most sophisticated gentry, and history better taught appreciatively in schools than bastardized in sleazy booze halls. OMG! Am I worthy? Why yes, I think I am.

If there is ever a rare millisecond when I doubt the endless beauteous bounty of this burgundian journey I have embarked on, it is unexpected gems such as the Bushmills 16 year that brings me right back to flavorvana, dash those milliseconds of doubt, and provoke the euphoria of sensorial stimulation for which I am a happy captive. A tip of the hat to the fine distillers who for centuries past and present continue to honor the fine art of Irish distillation, triple that is, and I’ll take mine neat with a smidge of water. 

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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