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Whisky Reviews

Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish, 40.0 %, OB



Note: We have assigned every bottle we review to one of five Flavour Camps, based on the most dominant flavours found. The Flavour Camps are : (1) Fragrant and Floral, (2) Fruity and Spicy, (3) Malty and Dry, (4) Rich and Round and (5) Smokey and Peaty. To learn more about each Flavour Camp, please click here.


What’s going on Pandas! Today, we have with us here another mainstay of the Irish whiskey industry: Bushmills.

This Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish edition is delightfully fragrant, floral, mellow and effortless to drink. No kidding – a toddler would enjoy this if it was legal. Grab a dram from our store here to try this for yourself!


The Bottle




A classic Irish whiskey with a smooth triple-distilled character with a Caribbean rum twist!


Bottle Stats

Distillery: Bushmills Distillery, New Midleton Distillery

Brand: Bushmills

Region: Ireland

Status: Active

Distributor: Original Bottling (OB)

Classification: Irish Whiskey

Style: Blended Irish Whiskey

Cask: Ex-Bourbon, Finishing in Caribbean Rum Casks

Age: NAS

Abv: 40.0%


Behind the Label

How was this expression conceived? The cornerstone of the Bushmills family is the Bushmills Original core expression- a blended whiskey of which 55% is made up of single malt produced at the old Bushmills Distillery itself and 45% is made up of triple-distilled grain whiskey distilled at the famous Midleton Distillery.

Our bottle today is a tasty tropical twist of the Original Bushmills. Instead of a pure bourbon maturation, the Bushmills single malt has been matured for about 5 to 7 years, then finished in hand-selected Caribbean rum casks. Just like the good ol’ Original Bushmills, this is then mixed up with the smooth triple-distilled Irish grain whiskey. The bottle comes in Bushmill’s distinctive rectangular bottle and a label evocative of a tropical island paradise.




So what difference does the rum finishing make to the taste? To find out, grab a dram here to jump aboard this Caribbean cruise!


Tasting Notes

In the glass, the whiskey is a golden pineapple juice colour.

On the nose, very aromatic, estery and incredibly floral. This leads with a very fresh and clean note with a Riesling wine-like quality. Taking centre stage are waves of honey and light caramel, accompanied by a galore of tropical fruits: pineapples, mango and dragonfruit.

Allowing this to sit for a bit longer, the fruity aromas lead on to more floral notes. Light perfumed floral notes with mainly jasmine flowers. The combination of light sweetness and jasmine flowers is reminiscent of the signature profile of Pokka Jasmine Green Tea. Specifically Pokka? Yes, specifically Pokka. My nose and palate can distinguish between this and other brands of jasmine green tea. I don’t want none of that Yeo’s or Heaven and Earth shiz.


Yeo’s and Heaven and Earth couldn’t replicate Pokka’s signature taste after all.


At the back is a minor sheen of some mentholic herbs- freshly mashed peppermint leaves and rosemary.  

On the palate, refreshingly crisp, sweet and light bodied and silky in texture. As you swallow the first siip, the opening flavours are sugary, bright and estery in a distinctively Irish whiskey way that gently permeates your nose canal. This is a very similar descriptor I used for the Redbreast Lusteau, because many of them really do have this effect on my nose (do note that Redbreast and at least 45% of Busmills are made in the same Midleton Distillery). My mate described this effect of Irish whiskey as being very “bouncy” and that the experience is “as if their whiskies are just jumping at you right out of the bottle”. This is a weird picture in my mind but after trying so many Irish whiskey, I have to say I agree!

A very subtle touch of wood tannins- perhaps from the rum cask, but this bitterness opens up a lot of depth and character. The sugary sweetness develops to darker notes of caramelised brown sugar and toffee fudge. Once again, this bitterness is so subtle, some people might barely notice any bitterness at all.

The flavours are also remarkably smooth and makes  for an effortless drinking experience. Nothing pricks your tongue or palate. This friendly spirit really just rolls down your throat (perhaps in the context of an Asian horror film this isn’t a good thing).

To be sure, the palate is much more floral than fruity. The notes of fruits on the nose don’t quite come through on the palate, apart from the sweetness of pineapples.

The finish, is quite long with vanilla custard and a slight effervescent tartness of fizzy soda. Actually, the sweetness and fizzy tartness is a little similar experience as sipping a Peel Fresh yuzu juice.


(Image Source: Miss Tamchiak)


Right towards the end, there is a little bit of spice zing spice and growing peppery warmth.


My take

We liked this so much- after our first tasting, we went right back to purchase 4 more bottles of the same thing. With its smoothness and friendliness, I really think everyone should own a bottle in their personal bar. If you’d like a sample before you get an entire bottle, check out our store here.

Now, this isn’t one of those very complex whiskies that require a lot of thought and experience to unpack and understand it. This is easy to drink and easy to understand. Not every expression has to be highly complex to be enjoyable, and I enjoyed the simplicity and accessibility of this.


Our Rating


Very bouncy, very light, very crisp - I award this whiskey three balloons and some confetti. This would be another one of my go to whiskies whenever I am craving some Irish.



The fragrant and light character of this Bushmills would compliment lightly savoury Japanese dishes. You do not need to be at an izakaya in Shinjuku: make a take-away order for a steaming pan-seared okonomiyaki and pour yourself a rum-cask Bushmills highball.





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