The Spirits Of The Game: Bushmills Black Bush

A ten minute coastal drive from the front gates of the Royal Portrush Golf Club, the home of the 148th Open this week, will bring you to another revered Northern Ireland landmark.

Less than 1500 people live in village of Bushmills but, in some circles, the name carries the weight of a city 1000 times that size.

It is in Bushmills that you will find the nectar of choice for many golfers in this part of the world. No, not Guinness beer, although it is a popular choice in local watering holes, but the whiskey that has carried the town’s name around the world, since 1784. Its roots delve even deeper than that, to 1608 when King James 1 granted Sir Thomas Phillips a license to distil. That makes it the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.

Bushmills Black Bush is one of the many varieties of whiskies offered by the Old Bushmills Distillery. Some of their selections can only be found within the village itself (making it worth the trip for aficionados) and has become a standard fare on bar shelves around the globe.

The blended whiskey carries sherry and caramel flavours making it a good choice for novices and popular with regular partakers as a staple.

It also makes it easily drinkable neat or suitable enough as a cocktail base.

With more than 200,000 golf fans in attendance this week down the road for The Open, the distillery will also be very busy. For good reason.

Fortunately, even if you are watching from home, Black Bush is available in shops around the word.

For those just dipping their toe into Irish Whiskey, maybe even for a post round beverage, its not a bad place to start.