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2016 release of Bushmills 21 and 16 YO

Jose Cuervo-owned Bushmills Irish Whiskey has revealed the 2016 release of two small-batch, 16 and 21 year old single malts, which have been matured and finished in three different cask types.

Only a small select number of casks of Bushmills small-batch, triple-distilled malt whiskey are matured to this age for release in these annual limited editions.

Colum Egan, master distiller at Bushmills Irish Whiskey, says: “To craft malts of this age and quality calls for all our expertise and knowledge. By carefully nurturing a small number of casks in our warehouses so that they age in the optimal conditions, we can draw layers of exquisite flavours from the wood, ensuring they are perfectly balanced with the unique distillery character of the unique Bushmills spirit made from 100% malted Irish barley.”

The Bushmills 16 Year Old single malt has been aged for at least 16 years in a combination of bourbon casks and oloroso sherry butts, before being vatted and married for nine months in large old port pipes.

Even rarer is Bushmills 21 Year Old single malt. Matured in American oak bourbon and old oloroso sherry casks for at least 19 years, it spends two further years marrying in Madeira wine casks.

Colum Egan adds: “With a heritage of more than 400 years of whiskey making in Bushmills, we know that only a combination of patience and great dedication to our craft makes such great whiskey possible.

“There is strong demand for Irish single malts, so we’re delighted to release these rare expressions for the ultra-premium end of the Irish whiskey category. Bottled at 40% ABV, they are both limited editions and will be available only from specialist independent retailers and on-trade outlets.

15 January 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant