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In 2008 Bushmills Distillery celebrated 400th Anniversary of the license granted to Sir Thomas Phillipps to distill aqua vitae in County Antrim. The commemorative edition is a blend of three different whiskeys: traditional triple distilled Bushmills, light Irish grain whiskey and Bushmills malt whiskey distilled from crystal malt. The latter is obtained by increasing the temperature during malting process from 140ºC to 500ºC to create a thin crystal layer. Such malt is sweeter but yields about 60% less than the standard one. The content of grain whiskey in the original batch was a meager 5%, lowest reported in any blend. The Anniversary edition was available for several years, it was named the best Irish non age statement blended whiskey in 2012.
Nose: malty and fruity, bananas, peaches, honey, caramel, marshmallows, walnuts, pine needles, hints of cardamom and nutmeg.
Palate: sweet and fruity, ripe peaches, tangerines, grapefruits, honey, toffee, milk chocolate, nougat, touches of coconut and aniseed.
Finish: fairly long and sweet, honey, candied orange peel and hints of aniseed.