The Old Bushmills has been distilling whiskey from that date onwards, and the Old Bushmills Company was officially established in 1784. It is today part of the Diageo Spirits Group. The distillery is located in Bushmills, in Antrim County, North Ireland, a few miles away from the Giant’s Causeway, and the last operating distillery in North Ireland.
A dozen of distilleries were still opened in the region in the early 20th century. Only three remained in the 1950’s. The Comber distillery closed in 1953 and the Coleraine closed in 1978. Bushmills’ history is chaotic: its origins hark back to 1608 but the region had been distilling whiskey since the 12th century.
In 1276, Sir Robert Savage, owner of the Bushmills town is said to have fortified his troops with "a mighty drop of acqua vitae". In 1490, the Book of Leinster mentions a local alcohol served in Bushmills town.
The distillery starts growing from 1860’s onwards, and is bought for a mere 500 Sterling Pounds. In 1855, a fire destroys partly the distillery, which is then rebuilt in the Scottish style of that time, with pagoda roofs typical of Scottish distilleries. At the same time, Bushmills stops the production of Irish pot still and manufactures Single Malts.
In 1923, The Old Bushmills is purchased by a Belfast merchant, Samuel Boyd. In 1972 the distillery enters the Irish distillers Spirit Group. In 2008, Bushmills celebrate 400 years of whiskey making with its limited edition: Bushmills 1608. Old Bushmills then produces blends and single malts, with 4 wash stills, 5 spirit stills with 3 million litres of alcohol produced every year.
The Bushmills range draws its identity and spicy, fruity character from the single malt Bushmills whiskey, forming the heart of its blended whiskeys. Obtained from a triple distillation, Bushmills malt whiskey is elaborated from non peated barley. The malt is then peat-smoke free and offers a rich, malty style with subtle fruity notes.