Beginning with a mash comprised of 100 percent unpeated malted barley and spring water from the nearby River Bush in Northern Ireland, the whiskey was triple distilled in copper stills to achieve the characteristic smoothness of Bushmills Original.
Aging began with an 11-year-stint in former bourbon and Oloroso sherry barrels before a 17-year finish in ultra-rare Cognac casks that were hand-chosen by Bushmills's longtime master blender Helen Mulholland, who happens to be the first female in the Irish whiskey industry to hold that venerable position.
Tasting notes describe rounded, sweet-spicy wood aromas on the nose, a deep dried fruity character with hints of pear and almond balanced with warm vanilla and cinnamon undertones on the palate, and lingering flavors of wood over a long finish.
“Maturing this precious malt in former Cognac casks has brought out unique notes and characteristics specific to Cognac, developing the whiskey into something new and distinct for Bushmills, with bold intensity and subtle sweetness," Mullholland said of her creation. "Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask is a time capsule of my career at the distillery, and one of the most complex and layered whiskeys ever released by us."
Fewer than 500 bottles of Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask will be exclusively available in the United States at retailers and online at Flaviar.com for $500 beginning October 1.