The “Advent Calendar” at day 2 gives us Bushmills 16 yo, an Irish single malt aged in a combination of ex sherry and ex bourbon barrels, and then further aged for several months in ex Port barrels. This is our review: keep in mind that we tasted it blind, and its identity was revealed to us only this morning, a few moments before publishing this post. Have mercy on us.
The nose is really full, very pleasant, and appears quite complex: round and chiselled, it has a slightly oily note (olive oil, of course). It is rather floral, on the crest of the violet; and it also has a balsamic/fresh/menthol side. These suggestions are then grafted onto a very clear ‘sweetness’, fruity (almost tropical) and caramelized, which suggests a choice of active barrels. On the palate the intensity pushes stays on the throttle despite an ABV probably low, with a concentration of flavors still tropical and floral: sweetened violets, mixed tropical juice (papaya/mango). The finish closes on fresh grass and still mixed fruit.
Risking the public pillory, let’s say that – tasting it blind – we would have bet on an Irish, very chiseled and in a certain way “engineered”, maybe even “commercial” – but that doesn’t refrain from freshness, ease of drinking, exuberance of flowers and fruit. Bottled at 40 degrees, it still has a nice presence and intensity. Anyone offering more?, we are optimistic and say 87/100.