Close Menu

Bushmills reveals its oldest whiskey

Irish whiskey brand Bushmills has released a 44-year-old single malt to celebrate Dubai Duty Free’s 40th birthday.

Alex Thomas created the 44-year-old whiskey, said to be the brand’s oldest expression to date

The expression is the distillery’s oldest whiskey to date.

The liquid was distilled in 1978 and aged solely in oloroso Sherry casks for the following four decades, for what is described as a ‘exquisitely complex’ profile. It has an ABV of 48%.

To keep in the 40th birthday theme, only 40 bottles of the whiskey are available, and it goes on sale today (11 December), exclusively from Dubai Duty Free for an RRP of US$12,000 per 700ml bottle.

Bushmills master blender Alex Thomas, who was appointed to the role in 2021, said: “To be master blender is a profound honour, but to be the master blender to release such an exquisite and rare 44-year-old single malt for Bushmills is what dreams are made of.”

Sherry casks from Antonio Paez Lobato Cooperage were used for the maturation, and Thomas said of those: “The craftsmanship and quality of the casks from Antonio Paez Lobato Cooperage, and the dedication to perfection of Bushmills spirit, have stood the test of time in the maturation of this outstanding single malt through over four decades resulting in an outstanding union of oak, Sherry and spirit to create a once in a lifetime delight for the senses.”

The whiskey’s notes are said to draw out aromas of rich dried fruit, honeyed malt and warm spice. Caramel, chocolate and liquorice then emerge in due course, while to taste, plums, cherries, rains, figs, toasted almonds and walnuts can all be identified on the palate.

“As the cask breathes in and out, the spirit draws out the wonderful mild oak notes, the seasoning and tannins of the wood, gradually taking on its colour and flavour rich with the oloroso Sherry previously stored in the cask,” added Thomas.

Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said the release of the whiskey was a “testament to the strong partnership we share with Proximo [Bushmills’ parent company] in bringing unique and exceptional-quality products that are both exclusive and limited edition to our customers”.

Bushmills has had an eventful year, having passed one million cases sold for the first time (making it one of the 10 best-selling world whisky brands), and opening its £37 (US$46m) Causeway Distillery, which more than doubled its production capacity.

Previously, the brand’s oldest release was a 33-year-old single malt aged in port casks.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No