Every bottle of Bushmills begins life with malted barley grains, using an un-peated malted barley which means its dried with hot air rather than over a peat fire. This is why the whiskey is free of a smokey flavor you sometimes find in other whiskeys. The grains are grinded to a course flour or “grist”. That is then mixed with hot water in a large mixing vessel, or a mash tun, to produce a sweet liquid to produce a sweet liquid called “wort”. The sugars in the wort are essential in obtaining alcohol in the next stage.

Yeast is added to the sweet, malty liquid, which triggers alcohoicl fermentation. Thats when the worts sugars turn into alcohol. Fermentaion takes place in washbacks, the large fementation vessels, and produces an alcoholic liquid simila to the malty ale called “wash”, with a strength of around 8% alcohol by volume.  The next stage is where the whiskey obtains its first spirit. It is one of the most delicate operations in the process, bringing the wash to the boil to seperate alcohol and othe flavors from the water. Traditionally this happens in copper pot stills whose size and shape influence the character of the whiskey. Bushmills is triple distilled, which is typical of Irish whiskey. The new made spirit needs to mature in oak casks for at least 3 years.

Maturation in oak casks in critical to the Bushmills taste. A poor cask will turn a good spirit into a below average whiskey. Bushmills uses Spanish Sherry casks. After waiting 5, 10, 0r even 15 years the whiskey is still not ready. Perfect blending is need to create the perfect recipe for each whiskey. The blending stage involves combining different casks of whiskey to find consistent flavor. Different casks of malt whiskey are blended to find the right flavor, while malt and grain spirits are mixed for a blended whiskey. Bushmills makes both blends and malts which is unusual for a single distillery.

 All stages of the whiskey making process are carried out at the Old Bushmills Distillery. This includes the final stage of bottling. Bushmills is the only “grain to glass” distillery in Ireland and one of a handful in the world. This ensures unique quaility control and attention to the finest detail in every drop.

Advertisements