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Bushmills The Original vs Tullamore D.E.W.: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Bushmills vs Tullamore D.E.W. in this head to head 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: Powers


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 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 Original 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.

Tullamore D.E.W.

  • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, ginger, orange peel
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, citrus, sherry, baking spice, oak
  • Finish: Baking spice, red fruit
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Proper 12


The nose is sweet and smooth, with hints of caramel, ripe fruit and just a tad of ethanol.

On the palate, the Tullamore feels somewhat thin with not much body to it. Flavor brings vanilla and caramel notes up-front, followed by a peppery note.

The finish is short-lived, bringing some warmth, along a bitter note and a touch of caramel.

Is it good?

Not the best sipping whiskey, due to those peppery notes on the palate and the bitter note on the finish, but becomes serviceable when looking for an affordable option to make cocktails or Irish Coffee.

Adding ice tunes down the pepper but does nothing for the bitter note, so definitely this is something to use primarily as a mixer.

Tullamore D.E.W. is one of Ireland’s most traditional whiskeys, established in 1829 and is named after Daniel Edmund Williams who started working for the distillery at the age of 15 as a stable boy to later become the owner.

The company is now owned by Williams Grant & Sons, headquartered in Scotland, who holds a bunch of brands including Glenfiddich, Balvenie and the Monkey Shoulder.

Tullamore DEW facts:

  • This whiskey has no age statement.
  • Is triple-distilled as most Irish whiskeys.
  • The D.E.W. is a blend of three different whiskeys: single malt, grain and pot still whiskey.
  • It is aged in refill barrels, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

Bushmills The Original vs Tullamore D.E.W.: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Bushmills The Original$27
Tullamore D.E.W.$2*

Bushmills vs Tullamore D.E.W.: Which is better?

Bushmills is a smoother whiskey than the Tullamore

WhiskeyBushmills Tullamore D.E.W.
  • Bushmills is not the smoothest sipper but is bearable. It gets better on the rocks and shines in cocktails where its bitterness gets lost in cocktails.
  • Tullamore D.E.W. is a harsher whiskey, it’s just too peppery and bitter but when mixed with ginger ale becomes approachable.

If you are hunting for affordable Irish whiskeys look into my comparison between Conor McGregor’s Proper 12 vs Jameson. Those two are better than the aforementioned.

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