Classics with character: Three recipes given greater heft with Bushmills Irish whiskey

This month in the Threeway, we’re looking at Irish whiskey, and what makes it so versatile when it comes to mixing drinks.

We’re not just using any Irish whiskey though, we’ve pulled a couple of standouts to action: Black Bush from the Bushmills Distillery, and Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey. And what is it they’ve got in common? These two whiskeys — one a blended whiskey, and one a single malt — offer up the depth and palate texture you’d expect from generous malt whiskey. 

It’s why Andrew Ratcliff, whisky specialist for Proximo Spirits, picked the Black Bush for the hero drink here, the Gloom Lifter.

“I use Black Bush in it because it’s really versatile,” he says. “It probably should be a single malt, because it’s got a really high percentage of malt to grain whiskey, so it’s got a really strong back bone. And of that single malt that is in the whiskey is all oloroso sherry aged, so it’s got a lovely sweet texture to it.” 

Andrew Ratcliff, whisky specialist for Proximo Spirits.

And, explains Ratcliff, it’s a blend that is unique.

“We use an exceptionally high proportion of
malt to grain. We believe it has one of the highest percentage malt to grain rations of any blend, anywhere in the world,” he says.

This Gloom Lifter is a great example of the Mr Potato Head theory of drink-making — switching in one ingredient for another. If you look closely at the spec, you can see it is similar to the Clover Club. The difference? You sub out the gin in the Clover Club, and with the addition of Bushmills Black Bush, you get a whole new perspective; the drink becomes more sumptuous, with a richer back bone, and that sherry cask ageing that Ratcliff talks about really comes through.

“I’d recommend this drink to anyone, it’s just balanced, it’s sweet and it’s dry — it’s super accessible,” says Ratcliff. 

The smoothness of these two whiskeys also means that they play nice when mixing with other ingredients — they don’t have the rough edges that a Scottish single malt sometimes has, which means you’re getting a rich and flavoursome Mint Julep, and a Penicillin with a little more heft. 

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Tasting Notes

Bushmills Black Bush
Bushmills Black Bush, from the world’s oldest licensed distillery, is a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys, triple distilled and aged in sherry casks. You’ll find spicy and fruity aromas on the nose, a nuttiness on the soft, gentle palate along with rich fruit cake characters, and an exceptionally long, satisfying finish.

Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey
Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey is triple distilled from 100% malted barley and matured for at least 10 years in bourbon season barrels which give it its honey, vanilla and milk chocolate aroma.

For more information contact your Proximo Spirits representative.