Black Gate: BG005

Black Gate BG005

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Nose:  Burnt golden syrup and honey jumbles make up the bulk of the nose.  Crepes with brown sugar and lemon juice are also present.  Quite a strong nose; both sweet and sour.  The longer you let it breath, the more the crepes show up. Palate:  The golden syrup from the nose comes through thick and heavy, without being burnt this time.  The crepes with brown sugar and lemon juice are also still lurking in the back, although with much less lemon juice, and now with a trace of dark honey and a dollop of rich orange marmalade.  Also the lightest…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

Glenfiddich: Rich Oak 14

Glenfiddich Rich Oak 14

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Nose:  Vanilla, canned fruit salad, sweet spices - cloves and a bit of cinnamon, sultanas,  and fresh wood.  Quite spicy and vapoury on the nose. Palate:  Dried fruits, oak spices, fresh vanilla pods, malt, and notes of old wood.  Quite mellow - too mellow really.  Tiny traces of something really sweet and dark such as golden syrup. Mouthfeel:  Really light, almost watery thin.  Extremely smooth, and absolutely no burn. Finish:  Not a particularly long finish.  Lots of wood notes, with traces of vanilla.  A little bit spicy, but just a little bit. I can't say I'm a big fan of…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

Bushmills: Black Bush

Bushmills Black Bush

Nose:  Stewed apples and berries, sultanas, fruitcake, and golden syrup.

Palate:  Smooth, sweet, nut-laden Christmas cake, red fruits, and sweet spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Some of the malt comes through nice and rich, along with some punchy sweetness from the grain.

Mouthfeel:  Mid-weight, slightly oily, slightly creamy, almost juicy, very smooth – no burn at all.

Finish:  Lingering for a short time, sweet red fruits, even more sweet spices.

 



Punchier than most blended-malt scotches, but smoother and richer than most mixed blends; Black Bush is an extremely easy drinking whiskey – one that you could just as easy drink in summer out on the balcony, or watching the footy, or at the pub whilst hanging out with a group of mates.

I’m generally a big fan of whiskies from the Old Bushmills distillery, and although it doesn’t have the weight or complexity of the 16, or 21 year olds; the Black Bush is still an excellent dram.  Black Bush was one of my first whiskies, and definitely the first ‘regular’ in my collection; and still resides there all these years later despite many many bottles of more expensive whiskies – I don’t know whether it’s my half-Irish ancestry, or Black Bush’s rich flavours yet easy accessibility that keeps it there.

The distillery is located in the beautiful township that shares the same name, up north near Giant’s Causeway, and for a very long time has been the only commercial distillery in Northern Ireland.  The Old Bushmills distillery reputedly got its license to distil in 1608 – making it the oldest whisky distillery still in existence.  The company that originally built the current distillery was founded in 1784, and after several closures and a devastating fire has been in continuous operation since 1885.  According to some historians, evidence of distillation at or near Bushmills dates back to 1276 – clearly whisky is in the blood around those parts!  It is the only currently operating distillery in Ireland that was in existence prior to 1975, and one of only two distilleries currently operating in Northern Ireland – with the Echlinville Distillery opening in 2013 (the first new distillery to be licensed in Northern Ireland in 125 years).

Although Black Bush won’t knock anybody’s socks off for any one reason, it is a superb easy-going all-rounder whiskey, and one that will likely always remain as a regular in my cupboard.

Nose:  Stewed apples and berries, sultanas, fruitcake, and golden syrup. Palate:  Smooth, sweet, nut-laden Christmas cake, red fruits, and sweet spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Some of the malt comes through nice and rich, along with some punchy sweetness from the grain. Mouthfeel:  Mid-weight, slightly oily, slightly creamy, almost juicy, very smooth - no burn at all. Finish:  Lingering for a short time, sweet red fruits, even more sweet spices.   Punchier than most blended-malt scotches, but smoother and richer than most mixed blends; Black Bush is an extremely easy drinking whiskey - one that you could just as…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish