Most liquor enthusiasts are well aware of the pride that Scotch distillers have in the longevity of their batches. Irish whiskey, on the other hand, has not enjoyed the same level of provenance. With an industry that almost went caput in the 1970s, with only two distilleries left by that point, there wasn’t much focus at the time on preserving barrels for the future so much as it was on sheer survival. Since the ‘90s, however, Irish whiskey has seen a big uptick, and those of us who’ve waited patiently are finally starting to reap the benefits.
Although Bushmills is the world’s oldest licensed distillery, founded in 1784 and surviving both Prohibition and the near extinction of Irish whiskey, it has just unveiled its first-ever ever whiskey aged over 30 years. As part of the 2022 Causeway Collection — the third in the annual series named after the legendary Giant’s Causeway in Ireland — the distillery is debuting a 33-year-old single malt that was finished in a port wine cask. Previously, the oldest whiskey from Bushmills was the 29-Year that debuted back in May as the second release from its Rare Cask series.
The latest Causeway Collection features 10 expressions in total, each with a unique secondary maturation of its own right. Highlights include a 30-year and 25-year whiskey, both finished in Madeira wine casks, and two 11-year-old whiskeys, finished in Cognac and Banyuls casks, respectively. The youngest whiskey is the pair of 9-years, one finished in a Pomerol barrel and the other in a Burgundy. Other expressions in the series are aged again in either vermouth, rum, or tequila casks.
For now, this collection is only available overseas but may arrive on the secondary markets in the U.S. soon. The bottles range from €90 (~$92) to €1200 (~$1,221), with the top price naturally assigned to the 33-year.
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