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Bushmills Original vs Bushmills Black Bush: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Bushmills Original vs Bushmills Black Bush in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Bushmills The Original

Bushmills-Original
NoseApple, grape, alcohol
Palate Apple, cereal, sugar, vanilla
Finish Short, oak spice, caramel
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toJameson, Powers Gold

The nose brings an apple note, followed by a hint of grapes and a bit of alcohol coming behind, but nothing too severe.

On the palate, the Bushmills feels thin lacking in body. The first sip brings an apple juice flavor, with hints of toasted cereal, sugar, vanilla and oak.

The finish is short-lived, with oak spice bitterness, yet balanced against a charred caramel note that saves the day.

Not a lot going on here, there is nothing wrong with this budget whiskey as it does not have any offensive tasting notes nor anything to write home about.

Definitely not something to sip neat, although it gets somewhat better on the rocks and becomes serviceable when looking for an affordable whiskey to make cocktails.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Bushmills:

  • Aged five years in American oak casks before blending with Irish Single Malt.
  • Triple-distilled.
  • Bushmills is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, when in 1608, King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips, a local land owner, the license to craft spirits. Although The Old Bushmills Distillery Company was established until 1784.
  • The company is owned by Jose Cuervo from Mexico, the largest producer of tequila in the world. When Cuervo sold Don Julio Tequila to Diageo it received cash and Bushmills in exchange.

Bushmills Black Bush

bushmills-black-bush
NoseSherry, dried fruit, oak
PalateVanilla, ripe fruit, baking spice
FinishLong, ripe fruit, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toJameson Black Barrel

The nose hits with a bit of alcohol at first, but it quickly fades out into a rich sherry aroma, followed by dried fruit and a tad of oak.

On the palate, the Black Bush feels just a bit thin lacking in body. Flavor is mostly sweet and smooth with hints of ripe fruit and vanilla, followed by a cinnamon note adding a nice spicy touch.

The finish lingers more than expected for a whiskey at this price, bringing a sweet ripe fruit note along a bit of oak spice, but nothing severe.

The Black Bush is aged for 7 to 11 years, using a combination Oloroso Sherry Wine casks and ex-bourbon barrels.

This is a nice and easy drinking whiskey, not particularly complex or deep, yet way better than what you expect at this price point.

In fact, the Black Bush drinks more like a decent Scotch Whisky, making an affordable alternative to whiskies like Glenlivet or Macallan.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Bushmills Black Bush:

  • Triple-distilled ensuring smoothness.
  • The Black Bush is a blend of 80% malt whiskey and 20% grain whiskey.

Bushmills vs Black Bush: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Bushmills Original$21
Bushmills Black Bush$30

Bushmills Original vs Bushmills Black Bush: Which is better?

The Black Bush is a step-up over the Original

WhiskeyOriginalBlack Bush
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Black Bush is a huge upgrade over the Bushmills Original as the bitter notes of the latter have vanished striking a much more enjoyable whiskey.
  • Surprisingly good for a whiskey at this price, with sweet and smooth tasting notes and a lingering finish, with no burn providing good value for the money.

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