The launch of Bushmills 36 Year Old Hill Street Edition in Belfast

PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

I was invited across to Belfast for the launch of the new Bushmills 36 Year Old Hill Street Edition which is released alongside whiskey shop and museum The Friend at Hand. This whiskey is the oldest and rarest expressions to be released in Europe from The Old Bushmills Distillery and the launch event, of course, took place at The Friend at Hand here in the Northern Irish capital.

Ahead of the event

As I arrived in Belfast fairly early I also had time for a Taste & Tour walking tour around Belfast – which I’ve written separately about here. It was such a fun way to see more of Belfast, learn about the history and of course discover some hidden gems recommended by the locals where we tried both food and drink. Why have I never done a walking tour like this before, it was so good!?

After the tour I got settled in my hotel room at the beautiful Merchant Hotel to refresh ahead of the event. A little dram of Bushmills Black Bush was waiting on my bedside table, which had definitely not been there when I checked in so a happy little surprise to come back to. Bushmills Black Bush is such a nice casual sipper, which brings both sweetness and barley notes.

When it was time to head out we were first taken to Hem for dinner, where we started off with Bushmills whiskey sours that were a brilliant pre-dinner drink. I opted for the sirloin steak with mushrooms and fries which was really tasty and a good preparation ahead of an evening of whiskey. For the second time today I also had an Irish coffee after dinner – you know when in Rome… – before then heading over to The Friend at Hand.

The launch at The Friend at Hand

This was actually my second time visiting The Friend at Hand as we had a tasting here on my press trip with Invest Northern Ireland – which you can read more about here. To kick off the event we were welcomed with canapés and some delightfully refreshing apricot highballs, before heading out in the rain, armed with umbrellas, for a little tour around the block to learn more about the whiskey history that seeps into the neighbourhood all around The Friend at Hand. Back inside we had the opportunity to have a tasting led by master blender Alex Thomas where we tried four different drams, spanning from a 5 year old (which was one of the highlights of the tasting) to a 24 year old cask sample which will go into the 21 year old core range whiskey, which was beautifully vibrant and bursting with that classic aged Bushmills stone fruit flavour. It was a fairly quick tasting as a little showcase of the spirit before we headed back into the main room for a presentation of the new whiskey, and another little tasting. If the 24 year old we tried earlier was a vibrant and fairly wild whiskey still, the 36 year old was calm and dignified whilst still full of character. The Hill Street Edition has been exclusively matured in sherry wood and was drawn from one single hogshead cask. It was also the last available stock of 1986 single malt from Bushmills. There’s something quite magical about aged Bushmills, starting from the 16 year old, these whiskeys get so well-rounded and that stone fruit character really shines which makes for such delightful whiskies. If you haven’t tried any Bushmills aged 16 years or above, I’d highly recommend it as it’s gorgeous whisky.

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Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

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Moa Nilsson

Äventyrlig svenska med en förkärlek för slott, snö och vintageaktiga upplevelser.

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