One of the many myths behind Irish Whiskey is that Jameson is Catholic and Bushmills is Protestant whiskey. Apparently so many people find that myth to be true, that even David Simon had Detective Jimmy McNutty, one of my all time favorite TV characters from The Wire, state that fact, when offered a pour of Bushmills.
I believe the myth started because Bushmills is located in predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland, and Jameson is produced in the heavily Catholic Republic of Ireland.
Since master distiller Colum Egan at Bushmills is Catholic, and John Jameson himself was likely Protestant and Scottish, for that matter, and neither of the distilleries is in Irish hands anymore - Jameson is owned by Pernod Ricard, and Bushmills now belongs to family owned Jose Cuervo, producers of the best selling tequila brand in the world - I think we can all agree to put a pin in that myth.
The Old Bushmills Distillery is dated back to 1784, although 1608 is printed on Bushmills bottles. Bushmills thereby claim the title, to be Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery, but the year 1608 refers to the license that was granted to Sir Thomas Philips by king James 1 to distill whisky in the area where Bushmills are located.
The distillery was established by Hugh Anderson, an even though the records are defective from the first period of time, we do know that the distillery had numerous periods where it wasn’t operational. In 1860 Jame McColgan and Patrick Corrigan bought the distillery. In 1885 The Old Bushmills Distillery burned down to the ground, and had to be rebuild. Five years later, Bushmills sets sail with their SS Bushmills steamship, which made its voyage to deliver Bushmills to America and Singapore. Last year Bushmills released its limited edition Steamship Collection to mark the 125th anniversary of its maiden voyage.
The Bushmills Original is made out of grain whiskey, said to have been matured for five years, before blended with malt whisky.
Blended Irish Whiskey
DK Price: $29/200dkk
Floral and grainy with apricot.
Very straight forward. Mineralic and creamy with vanilla ice cream, and a tiny hint of black pepper.
Short, lightheaded with a taste of oat bread.
Photo & Review By: Hasse Berg