Yes. That's what they decided to go with: Black Bush. "Make it big on the side of the bottle so it catches the eye," They must have said. "With a name this snappy, everyone is going to remember our product!" Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.

I mean, I've been there. Nobody wants to be the guy with the dirty mind who tells his co-workers that their Powerpoint presentation icons look a little like condom wrappers. It's hard to be the guy that bites his lip when the final design of the curved ruler is up for approval. And probably nobody at the Bushmills Distillery wanted to put their neck on the chopping block to inform the top brass that Black Bush is a double-entendre. Maybe only a single entendre.

There is no reason to buy regular Bushmills when the Black Bush is an option.

So, what's actually on offer here? To me, the Black Bush is a much better product than the standard Bushmills at only a marginally higher price. For a whopping $3, you take a step away from the harsh grain whiskey astringency of the white label and get a very palpable upgrade in the form of sherry finishing. Apparently what they're doing is taking single-malt, oloroso-matured whiskey that's about 8 or 10 years old and combining it with grain whiskey. The figure I keep reading is that Black Bush is 80% single malt.

And frankly, it tastes like it. The sherry finish adds a decent level of interest and complexity to the underlying spirit, and is far from being overkill. This is a very fruit-forward Irish whiskey, and drinking it now I'd go so far as to say it'd appeal as a crossover beverage to Cognac drinkers. The malt tames the sweetness from the grain, and I suspect it's the reason why the finish here, while still a little rough, is miles better than rack-grade Bushmills in its warmth and complexity.  

I'll be as honest as I can be in closing: I might not love the whiskey, but I certainly like it, and I like it all the more because of the extremely fair asking price. There is no reason to buy regular Bushmills with this as an option. As another "give no shits" bottle for company or movie watching, the Black Bush is extremely comfortable, and it was better than it had any right to be as an impulse buy.

In case you were curious, I stopped consciously thinking about the name after about the third pour. It's probably how I imagine the residents of Shitterton, England feel whenever they write their return address on outgoing mail. Intellectually, I'm sure they still know it's funny, but it's hard to laugh at the same joke indefinitely.

Nose: Plums, mint, tarragon, and sweet grain. Overall quite nice.
Taste: A pleasing combination of cherries, juicy red grapes, and nutmeg layered over the banana sweetness of the usual Bushmills profile.
Finish: A little rough, but dismissible at the price point. Balanced somewhat by a nice fruit cocktail linger.
Misc: 40% ABV, Oloroso sherry-matured single malt is aged for 8-10 years and combined with Irish grain whiskey.
Price: $22
Overall Rating