Bushmills, a small village near Coleraine and Portrush, on the County Antrim coast of Northern Ireland is famous for its export of whiskey (notice the e, this distinguishes it from whisky/scotch).
The distillery is the oldest licensed distillery in the world, licensed in 1608, and visitors have the opportunity to tour the distillery.
Bushmills produces four whiskeys:
- Bushmills - An 80-proof blend of single malt and single grain whiskeys, a smoother alternative to finer blended scotches. It has a light amber colour.
- Black Bush - A rich, dark, 80-proof blend is comprised almost entirely of single malt whiskey, which is aged up to 11 years in selected sherry-seasoned oak casks before being blended with a small portion of a special single grain whiskey. It has a dark brown colour.
- 10 year Malt - An 80 proof single malt whiskey. It ages for a minimum of 10 years in select bourbon oak casks and a select number of Oloroso sherry casks. It has a golden amber colour.
- 16 year Malt - Only available outside Ireland and the United Kingdom this whiskey is prepared as the 10 year old malt, then vatted and married for many months in large old port wine pipes.
Around 250 barrels of malt were laid down in 1979 and sold as millenium whiskey by the barrel. Despite the fact that buyers would have to pay bottling fees and tax on top of their initial price, they sold out very quickly.
To say that Bushmills has Protestant roots whereas Jameson has Catholic origins, whilst correct is rather lacking in explanation. Bushmills is situated in a 95% Protestant area, whereas Jameson is situated in a 97% Catholic area, which would of course make employing people of the opposite religon rather difficult.
This shouldn't matter of course, just take a glass, sit down and slowly drink ...