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Bushmills 1608 for St. Paddy’s Day

Another St Patrick’s Day shopping suggestion: Bushmills 1608 super-premium Irish whiskey is a bargain at only $100 a bottle.

If Jameson’s Rarest Vintage Reserve was a little too rich for your blood at

$250 a bottle

, how about Bushmills 1608, another super-premium Irish whiskey at less than half that price?

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The Bushmills people got their distilling license 400 years ago, so they are celebrating with a premium blend called Bushmills 1608 which will be available only during the anniversary year of 2008. No, it doesn’t have any 400 year old whiskey in the blend, but they claim it was made with some kind of special crystal malt.

The master distiller kindly sent me an itty-bitty sample bottle, which I drank for breakfast a few mornings ago with a fried egg and toast. The whiskey is aged in sherry barrels, like Black Bush, so it has a sweet aftertaste that kind of reminds me of butterscotch. It’s bottled at a full 46 percent alcohol, so the flavor is intense. The aroma reminds me of an aged Cognac – and so does the price.

It’s a lovely breakfast beverage on the whole, but personally, I’d rather have five bottles of regular Bushmills, which has always been my favorite Irish whiskey anyway. – Robb Walsh

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