Bushmills Single Malt Double Wood 10. 40%abv Diageo
Bushmills puts this in a bottle with a fancy green label bearing the motto "Matured In Two woods" - by which they mean bourbon and sherry cask. I'm all over secondary wood finishing (although apparently Bushmills does this "backwards" with a short sherry initial aging and then a long period in the ex bourbon cask (Woodford, i've heard). All this sounds wonderful. It's Diageo, so they'll chill filter and maybe add some color (not much - this stuff is pale) - but how can this go wrong, really?
Color: pale gold
Nose: It's very shy and retiring. It takes quite a bit of air and time to come out of it's shell - but is nice when it does, with notes of malt, vanilla, sherry, some old cloves and a hint of mint.
Entry is sweet and light with a malt mint and pink fruit medley (airs of grapefruit - without the citric acid). Midplate is gentle as milk with a thin grain body and the characteristic minty Bushmills flavor signature - just like you'll taste it in White and Black Bush - but without the grain alcohol. Indeed, in this young single malt expression I feel like we are at the root of this flavor profile. The mint turns a tad bitter at the finish - which is exceptionally brief. There's a hint of sherry sweetness at the end to offset it - but just a hint. The dominant word here is "gentle". Indeed, "meek" may be a better term. It's exactly the flavor signature of gentle Old Bushmills White, but with more malt in the midpalate - more malt grain foundation - and a richer mouth feel because it's free of the grain. It's perfectly pleasant. There's nothing wrong here. If you like the base Bushmills expressions you will feel right at home.
Ultimately, a snooze. Get the 16 - which has more vinous influence and wood or stick to White or Black and save a few bucks. The 10 hews too close to the blends; splitting hairs.