Maker: Old Bushmills Distillery, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK (Cuervo)
Style: Bourbon barrel aged, triple distilled Irish blend.
Michigan state minimum: $25
Appearance: Medium-light copper.
Nose: Blackberry jam, grape juice, Cognac, bubble gum.
Palate: Full-bodied and mellow. Grape soda, oak, sweet bourbon.
Finish: Fruity and long with a little burn.
Mixed: Did well with coffee and with classic cocktails with sweet vermouth. Clashed with dry vermouth and similar mixers.
Parting words: Red Bush is intended to be a gateway Irish whiskey for bourbon drinkers. Unlike the standard “white bush” expression and the more expensive Black Bush that both use a mix of bourbon and sherry casks, Red Bush is made using first (re)fill bourbon barrels exclusively. That gives it a fruity sweetness that makes it an easy drinker and mixer for American palates that aren’t accoustomed to sherry flavors.
Along with stablemate Black Bush and Scotch blend Highland Queen, Red Bush’s name lends itself to cheap, vulgar puns. I’m not the sort of person to engage in such things, but I will say that Red Bush is a fun change of pace for St. Patrick’s day with a good mouthfeel and pleasant aroma. Red Bush is recommended.