When Bushmills Irish Whiskey quietly launched The Causeway Collection last year, the whiskey world took note. A full-scale revitalisation of Irish single malt, the stunning collection of limited-run releases set a new course for the category, bringing over 400 years of distilling legacy to the forefront in one all-encompassing lineup. Flash-forward to 2021 and the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery is back at it again with the 2011 Banyuls Cask.
Available exclusively through The Whisky Club, the new Bushmills 2011 Banyuls Cask is a rich and bold take on Irish whiskey, bottled at a stunning decadent 53.6% natural cask strength. For the uninitiated, The Whisky Club describes Banyuls as “Port’s French cousin”, meaning any ageing will lead to robust fruity flavours of fresh raspberries and blackcurrants. From there, you can expect luscious strawberry jam, juicy stewed plums and baked peaches with a warm lingering finish of spiced old oak.
Remarkably, the new 2011 Banyuls Cask is a play on the fan-favourite Bushmills 10-year-old. After six and a half years in ex-Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks, Bushmills master blender Helen Mulholland then finishes the spirit in ex-Banyuls casks for a further three and a half years. The result is a rich auburn drop that has strong notes of mandarin and sherbet with a hint of anise on the nose, with a sweet citrus palate and lingering fruit spice on the finish.
“Banyuls is a French dessert wine with big fruity flavours which really matches the Bushmills spirit. The (Bushmills) Banyuls has a lovely profile, and each time you go back to it you find something different again,” master blender Helen Mulholland said. “It’s approachable, it’s rounded, it has big flavours, but in a completely rounded way that anybody can enjoy. The finish is comforting with lovely warmth and roundness. It gives you that lovely feeling of a really nice whisky that you just want to share with friends. The Banyuls is something really special.”
The 2011 Banyuls Cask is just one component of Bushmills Causeway Collection release for 2021, which is comprised of 12 new bottlings to be launched across eight markets. Whiskey fans across the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Nordics and the Global Travel Retail channel are set to score the new releases, however, a spokesperson for Bushmills confirmed to Man of Many there will be some region-exclusives.
“All the whiskeys used in The Causeway Collection have been expertly created and cared for by craftsmen steeped in a unique whiskey-making tradition passed from generation to generation for more than 400 years here at The Old Bushmills Distillery,” Colum Egan, Bushmills master distiller said.
“The Causeway Collection celebrates our extremely rare and unique cask finishes, our passion for single malts and honours our rich heritage. It’s a privilege to work with such rare liquid, these special cask- finished whiskeys really are our greatest treasures. We were delighted with how the Bushmills Causeway Collection was received globally in 2020, with some even selling out in minutes – and we can’t wait to share this year’s Collection with the world.”
The new Bushmills 2011 Banyuls Cask is priced at AUD$130 and is available exclusively in Australia through the subscription platform, The Whisky Club. You can sign up to check out the new release from The Causeway Collection via the link below.