By Richard Thomas
Bushmills, the storied Northern Irish distillery that Diageo recently traded to the Mexicans, took some of their massive stock a few years back and used it to get into the trendy sector of flavored whiskeys and honey-whiskey liqueurs. Since honey is one of the flavors that can appear in whiskey, especially those based on malted and unmalted barley, making a honey liqueur would seem to be a natural step. After all, one should just building on something that is already there, shouldn’t they?
Basically what you have here is Bushmills with honey blended in, lowering the abv of the liquid from 40 to 35%. In my experience the best of the whiskey and honey liqueurs is Wild Turkey’s, with the others placing far behind. Bushmills Irish Honey is okay, but still far behind Wild Turkey American Honey.
The character on the nose and palate is light and simple, grassy and honeyed. There just isn’t much to it beyond that, making the experience a flat one. Even the finish isn’t much to speak of, delivering only faint warmth and lasting only a short while.
I was left wondering if the whiskey used in making the liqueur wasn’t missing something that is found in Bushmills White Label. I could see it going down well as a summertime drink, taken on a generous helping of ice, but not much more.
In the UK, Bushmills Irish Honey goes for between £18 and £22. In the United States, the price is usually between $18 and $20.