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Published on June 28, 2023.

Granted a license to distil in 1608. 

Bushmills is home to the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery with official records dating back to 1608, when the area was granted its license to distil. Over 400 years later, whiskey is still being made in Bushmills, thanks to experience and craft passed down from generation to generation. 


Bushmills is more than just a whiskey, they believe it is a village, where family, friends and neighbours work side by side at the distillery. The team often say, “without the village there would be no whiskey, and without the whiskey there would be no village”. Therefore, Bushmills is named for the mills that dotted the town all along the River Bush where they get the water that flows over beds of basalt rock for their whiskys.  

We're not good because we're old, we're old because we're good.


The Crown imposed a tax on those distilling in Ireland through a tax on barley. Even then, malted barley was known throughout the world to make the finest whiskey, known as “pure malt” whiskey. When only malted barley is used in distillation, and made at a single distillery, you have the very definition of “single malt” whiskey. That tax, however, forever changed Irish whiskey, as almost every Irish whiskey distillery began substituting corn or other inferior grains for barley. However, not Bushmills. To this day, Bushmills continues to distil single malt whiskey at the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.



A disastrous fire destroyed The Old Bushmills Distillery but they pulled together and soon rebuilt the distillery and went back in full production to meet soaring US demand. 


Bushmills’ celebrated malt whiskey won numerous prizes in international spirits competitions, including the only gold medal for whiskey at the Paris 1889 Expo.



When Prohibition hit, it brought US shipments to a screeching halt. Hundreds of distilleries were reduced to a mere handful. They had a feeling this dry spell wouldn’t last forever, and, like the fires, famines or wars that came before, so they kept the whiskey flowing. 


With the repeal of prohibition, Bushmills reportedly set sail for Chicago with the biggest shipment of whiskey ever to leave an Irish port.


Bushmills’ fame grew, making it a fixture in popular culture, appearing in classic films and memorable advertising campaigns. This success has continued into today. 

This unique recipe means Black Bush has rich, fruity notes and a deep intense character, balanced by an incredibly unique smoothness. It’s best enjoyed neat, or over ice.

A blend of triple distilled single malt whiskey with a lighter irish grain whiskey. Leaving a rich‚ warming taste of fresh fruit and vanilla.

The distinctive Bushmills light fruity aroma travels over the lip of your tumbler to deliver 10 years of maturation mostly in bourbon seasoned barrels.

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About the author

Chloe Lewis

Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine. 

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