Bushmills Irish whiskey unveils first TR exclusivesBy Amy Hopkins
Irish whiskey brand Bushmills has released its first line of travel retail exclusive expressions, called The Steamship Collection.
The collection is inspired by the historical SS Bushmills steamship and celebrates its maiden voyage in the 1890s.
After being commissioned by then owner the Boyd Brothers, it sailed to America, travelling as far as Philadelphia and Yokohama, and returning with refilled casks of rum, fortfied wine and Bourbon.
Marking Bushmills’ first ever travel retail exclusive, The Steamship Collection, will consist of three permanent “special cask matured” variants plus regular limited edition releases.
The first release in the range is the Sherry Cask Reserve, a no-age-statement single malt Irish whiskey exclusively matured in Oloroso Sherry butts and featuring maritime-inspired packaging.
In November 2014, Jose Cuervo acquired the Bushmills brand and distillery from Diageo, giving the UK drinks giant full ownership of Don Julio Tequila in return.
One year after acquiring the whiskey, Jose Cuervo submitted a planning application embark on a £30m expansion of the County Antrim-based Old Bushmills Distillery distillery, doubling production capacity.
“The launch marks an exciting phase for Bushmills and demonstrates Jose Cuervo’s commitment to unlocking the potential of this legendary whiskey in the high profile travel retail channel,” said David Phelan, director of Jose Cuervo Global Travel Retail.
“The Steamship Collection is available now in Belfast, Dublin and London Heathrow, and while it can’t be purchased elsewhere, we hope distribution will extend across the world, just like the voyages of SS Bushmills to the USA, Asia and beyond.”
Busmills Sherry Cask Reserve, bottled at 40% abv and priced £65, is said to have a flavour of spiced honey, dark chocolate, and rich dried fruit.
Colum Egan, master distiller at The Old Bushmills Distillery, said: “For centuries distillers have experimented with different barrels so naturally I was inspired by the adventures of the ship and the opportunities it opened to experiment with various casks from around the world.
“So, together with master blender Helen Mulholland, we created a whiskey with a rich, complex flavour and a smooth finish – a characteristic synonymous with our range of triple distilled whiskeys.”