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Bushmills vs Jameson: Head to Head!

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

Bushmills The Original

  • Nose: Apple, grape, alcohol
  • Palate: Apple, toasted cereal, sugar, vanilla, oak
  • Finish: Short, oak spice, caramel
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Sexton, Proper 12


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.

Is it good?

Not a lot going on here, there is nothing wrong with this budget Irish 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 something affordable to make cocktails.

Bushmills facts:

  • Aged five years in American oak casks before blending with Irish Single Malt.
  • 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.


  • Nose: Floral, marmalade, caramel
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, vanilla
  • Finish: Medium, caramel, spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Tullamore DEW, Roe & Co

Jameson is the best-selling Irish whiskey across the globe for two reasons:

It is smooth and affordable offering good value for the money; solid option for casual drinking or something not too pricey and still decent.


Nose is floral with sweet notes of orange marmalade and caramel with a bit of alcohol coming behind but nothing too severe.

On the palate the Jameson shows a good body, is sweet and fruity, with a high vanilla note. There is a pesky metallic note coming late to the party, not something terrible but weird.

The finish has a medium length, mostly sweet with a dash of black pepper on the tail.

is it good?

It is a smooth and versatile whiskey that mixes nicely in any cocktail with no bad bite, well rounded and gets better when adding a splash of water, ginger ale or ice.

In fact, Jameson might well be the best whiskey for cocktails as it mixes incredibly well with everything; even with Coke!

A few drops of water are enough to tune down alcoholic, peppery notes and that annoying metallic note.

Jameson facts:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • This whisky is triple-distilled which is the norm in the Irish whiskey industry. Most spirits in are double-distilled but the Irish add a distillation as they like smooth liquors.

Bushmills vs Jameson: Price & Rating Comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Bushmills The Original62$27

Bushmills vs Jameson: Which is better?

Jameson is a more versatile whiskey

  • Jameson makes a decent sipper, but where really shines is in cocktails. I can’t think of a better whiskey to make cocktails than the Jameson as its profile let’s cocktails shine.
  • Bushmills doesn’t drink nicely neat, although it becomes marginally better on the rocks but its best use is in cocktails.

Jameson and Bushmills are triple-distilled

  • Both Bushmills and Jameson are triple-distilled whiskeys. Most spirits are double-distilled but the Irish industry add a third distillation to the process ensuring smoothness.
  • The Irish might be rough but they like their spirits to be smooth.

Jameson and Bushmills are blends

  • Bushmills is a blend of grain whiskeys matured for 5 years in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks before blending with malt whiskeys.
  • Jameson Whiskey is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-sherry casks from Kentucky and ex-bourbon casks from Spain.

The high use of grains in the blend is what makes Bushmills rougher than Jameson, as in general, unmalted barley tends to deliver smoother drams.

The use of these type of casks to craft these whiskeys provide sweet notes to the spirits.

Jameson is from Ireland and Bushmills from Northern Ireland

Jameson is crafted in Dublin, while Bushmills near Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Irish whiskey

The Irish claim to be the inventors of whiskey as they cite records from 1405, around 90 years before it was it was first recorded by the Scots.

Regardless of who was first Irish whiskey is a solid option for new drinkers due to the smoothness that characterizes this whiskey.

The third distillation removes rough edges from spirits making them easier to drink. Therefore, if you are a newbie in liquors, Irish whiskey offers you a good entry-point and the attractive prices in which it is offered also make my point.

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