AD // this blog post is in collaboration with Bushmills Irish Whiskey. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do a collaboration with Bushmills as I really opened my eyes to this lovely Irish Whiskey just earlier this year. When I was in Sweden for the Cinderella Whisky Cruise I took part in a masterclass hosted by a Bushmills ambassador who paired the different expressions with various cheeses. It was absolutely brilliant and if there’s something that I think goes so well with whiskey – it’s cheese.
Bushmills 21 Year Old
When I lived back in Sweden our dear friends used to invite us over for pre-Christmas festivities with mulled wine and gingerbread and they always served the gingerbread cookies with cheese. The combination of creamy cheese and spicy gingerbread is one of the most Christmassy flavours I know so it’s become a tradition. This Christmas I can also add a dram of the Bushmills 21 Year old to this combination. As the whiskey have some lovely notes of tropical spice and apricot sweetness, most likely imparted by the two year finishing time in ex-Madeira casks, I’m thinking it will go perfectly with a blue cheese and a touch of apricot jam.
As we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve in Sweden I always feel little homesick and left out when I’m home in Edinburgh for the holidays so we try to plan a really cosy day so it feels festive. Our new tradition is waking up and making ourselves a Christmas breakfast with rice porridge, lingonberry jam and butter before going for a crisp walk through the Botanics. Once the cold starts nipping at toes and fingers we head back in, light candles and make an afternoon fika. This is when I love putting together a little cheeseboard, with some chutneys or jam, fruits like pears and pomegranate and gingerbread instead of crackers. And I will pour myself a dram of the Bushmills 21 and just enjoy the calm.
It’s one of my absolute favourite times of the year.
Bushmills 21 Year Old is a blend of single malts matured for at least 12 years in Oloroso sherry butts and bourbon barrels, before being finished for two additional years in Madeira casks. On my whisky shelves I also have the Bushmills 10 Year Old and the Bushmills 16 Year Old. I find it fascinating to be able to compare these three as they all have a familiar spirit character of sweet malt and green apples, which is showcased differently in each expression through age and cask variety.
Bushmills 21 Year Old – Tasting Notes
A sweet malty aroma is present on the nose along with the sweetness of peaches and a hint of warm toddy spices. The palate opens up with a sweet mix of pineapple, grapes and apricot which balanced nicely against a touch of grassy bitterness. The finish is the highlight and an absolutely stunning combination of sweetness, fruits and wood in harmony.
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