Old Bushmills Distillery has strengthened its global reputation for original whiskeys with the launch of two more products which showcases the strength of its commitment to Northern Ireland’s renowned Causeway Coast.
The Co Antrim company, now Northern Ireland’s best-known and among the world’s most respected and successful distilleries, has added a further two original whiskeys to its highly regarded Causeway Collection of products which are widely sought by whiskey lovers throughout the world - especially in GB and the US. Bushmills, in addition, is among Northern Ireland’s leading exporters.
The ground-breaking collection is a carefully chosen selection of extremely rare and unique aged and cask finished Irish single malt whiskeys from what is recognised as the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. They reinforce the distillery’s sharp focus on innovation and especially its ability to source unique casks.
This year’s collection features new releases to be launched worldwide across eight markets, and includes two exclusively released for the island of Ireland, the 2011 Sauternes Cask, a first for Bushmills, and a 1995 Marsala Cask aged in rare Marsala casks for an unprecedented 15 years.
The 2011 Sauternes Cask was first aged for over seven years in oloroso sherry butts and bourbon barrels and then in rare Sauternes wine casks for two years. The French casks that have housed this sweet white wine from the Sauternais region of Bordeaux, the company says, bring ‘an abundance of delicate summer fruit flavours and fresh grapes’.
Bushmills says the 1995 Marsala Cask has matured for over 10 years in oloroso sherry butts and bourbon barrels, before being aged in rare Marsala casks sourced from the island of Sicily for 15 years: ‘having been soaked deeply into the oak grain, this dark sweet Italian wine imparts succulent spiced fruit notes and a brown sugar sweetness’.
The releases demonstrate that Bushmills is continuing to set the pace globally in terms of original whiskey finished in rare casks which add distinctive flavours to the unique spirit distilled under the expert guidance of master distillers Colum Egan and Helen Mulholland.
Colum explains: “All the whiskeys used in the Causeway Collection have been expertly crafted and cared for in a unique whiskey-making tradition passed from generation to generation for more than 400 years here at Old Bushmills.
“This immensely important collection for the distillery celebrates our extremely rare and unique cask finishes, our passion for single malts and honours our rich heritage. It’s a privilege to work with such rare liquid, these special cask-finished whiskeys really are our greatest treasures.
“Both the 2011 Sauternes Cask and the 1995 Marsala Casks are sensational whiskeys that stand with the best of Irish single malts, giants in their own right. We are delighted to bring these exclusive releases to our fans across the island of Ireland.”
The new whiskeys are released soon after one of the distillery’s best-known premium blends, Black Bush, was named by a major US magazine as among the world’s top 50. They also follow the launch, earlier in the year, of the novel American Oak Cask Finish for the huge US market that was inspired by a partnership spanning decades between the distillery and legendary barrel makers Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky.
The company’s pride in its heritage and passion for the Causeway region is reflected in its admission that the Giant’s Causeway has been ‘a source of inspiration to Bushmills’ master distillers for centuries’.
The company describes the rocks as ‘an elemental and enigmatic place of wonder, legend and geology, its extraordinary hexagonal basalt columns, shaped over millennia, form a unique interlocking series of steps found nowhere else in the world. Like the columns, Bushmills Causeway Collection is forged in salt-laden air and mineral-rich water. It is the legacy of giants before and giants to come, with each layer building on the last.’
And to celebrate this special release and its rich Irish heritage, Bushmills collaborated with three renowned Irish artists to craft a short film that brings together words, music and images to reflect its home on the Causeway Collection.
Irish spoken word artist, Stephen James Smith, used his poetry to bring to life the story of Bushmills accompanied by photography from Ruth Medjber and music by Kormac.
The film, inspired by the heritage and craft of Bushmills, celebrates connections between people, the whiskey and the land, as well as ‘the creative connections that happen when people here come together’.
The world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, Bushmills has a whiskey-making heritage dating back to 1608. The brand’s award-winning triple distilled single malt whiskey is among the world’s most prized. Whiskey from the distillery, now owned by Jose Cuervo of Mexico, is now distributed globally by Proximo in New York, an international innovator in brand marketing.
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