Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, Bushmills launches new whiskey

@bushmillsusa tasting #redbush @swifthibernianlounge

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Irish whiskey is having a bit of a renaissance. Long the discount shot accompaniment to a cheap beer at a chain pub, Irish whiskey has begun to earn the respect of connoisseurs.

Now, just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, Irish Whiskey giant Bushmills has launched a new label they’re calling Red Bush in the U.S. Here is what you need to know:

Red Bush is a smooth, malty whiskey that’s strong on the nose, without too much bite on the tongue. It actually has the lowest alcohol content allowed by law.

It’s matured in bourbon casks, so there are subtle oak and vanilla notes in play that ought to appease bourbon drinkers. Compared to your Jameson shot, it’s a richer dram, with little in common with the crisp apple flavor many have come to associate with Irish whiskey.

That being said Red Bush isn’t the most sophisticated Irish spirit on the market. It’s a solid lower-middle tier spirit, comparable to say, Jonny Walker Red (sans peat smoke).

“While we’ve been innovating with our aged whiskeys for centuries, we’re excited to embark on a journey with the millennial drinker,” Colum Egan, Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery, said in a press release.

The key words here are “millennial drinker.” Red Bush is a fun whiskey to bring to a party or order at the pub, but you probably shouldn’t give a bottle to your father-in-law. After all, there is a 21-year-old for that.