At Miami New Times HQ, the newspaper’s editorial staff convened in a conference room to conduct some serious investigative journalism. For 400 years, the region of Bushmills in Ireland has been distilling Irish whiskey for the masses to enjoy. So to celebrate King James 1608 decree granting the company a license to distill the sweetest amber-colored spirit to touch this reporter’s lips, Bushmills Irish Whiskey sent Distilling Operations Manager Darryl McNally across the pond to drop some knowledge about the six different types of whiskey the company manufactures.
A jovial chap with jet black hair and a thick Irish accent, McNally poured samples of Bushmills Original, Black Bush, 10-year-reserve, 16-year-reserve, 21-year-reserve, and the 1608 commemorative whiskeys for the 10 writers and art directors in the room. He described the flavor, the texture, and the distilling of each whiskey brand as if he were reciting poems by William Butler Yeats. Of Bushmills 21-year-reserve, McNally said: “We like to call it the ‘Rare Beast.’ At first you taste a mellow maltiness with a touch of sweetness. And then you savor its spicy dark chocolatey sweetness. It’s a wonderfully complex whiskey.”
Indeed, eight of the ten tasters agreed, picking the $120 21-year-reserve bottle as the blend they would most likely add to their mini-bar for those special holiday occasions. Although a $35 bottle of the Black Bush whiskey, everyone agreed, is good to have on hand for house parties so whiskey loving guests can imbibe other than the conevtional bottle of Johhny Walker Red or Jamesons.