Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Marcus Foster, The Staves, General Fiasco and David C Clements Join the Line Up for ‘Bushmills Live’

Bushmills Irish Whiskey has announced that Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Marcus Foster, The Staves, General Fiasco and David C Clements will join Snow Patrol, Foy Vance, Iain Archer and Elijah Wood on the bill for ‘Bushmills Live’, the handcrafted whiskey and music festival taking place at the Old Bushmills Distillery on 20th and 21st June.

The exciting line up brings together some of the best emerging talent from the UK, Ireland and America to play at the whiskey distillery located on Ireland’s north coast.   

Singer-songwriters Marcus Foster and Benjamin Francis Leftwich are two of the most exciting UK based performers today. The Staves are a sisterly trio, who have received huge critical acclaim for their unique song-writing and mesmerising harmonies. They and Northern Irish rock acts General Fiasco and David C Clements complete the impressive line-up.

 “I'm delighted with how the line up has come together for the event”, commented Festival Curator for ‘Bushmills Live’, Graham Brown.

“Both ticket winners and the artists are in for a special few days”, said Brown. “Not only will they get to experience world class whiskey and discover how it has been handcrafted in the Bushmills area for centuries, but they'll be privileged enough to see some of the best live music possible within the intimacy of the old distillery buildings - whiskey and music, it doesn't get much better than that!"

‘Bushmills Live’ will be a handcrafted festival of whiskey and music and will be the first such event of its kind ever staged in an Irish Whiskey distillery.

More than six thousand people entered the competition to win tickets to ‘Bushmills Live’ via the Bushmills Facebook page - Up to ten pairs of friends in each participating country have been shortlisted to go through to the next stage of the competition – a public vote on Facebook.

The pair of friends in each country that gets the most votes will make it to Bushmills Live. Voting closes on 25th May 2012.

As well as listening to great music, those fortunate to win a ticket to the festival will also have the opportunity to make their own blend of BUSHMILLS Irish Whiskey. 

Colum Egan, Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery said: “The list of artists that will be performing at ‘Bushmills Live’ is amazing. We already have the world-renowned Snow Patrol playing right here at the distillery. Now we have also have a brilliant line-up of critically acclaimed artists from Ireland, the UK and America that will make ‘Bushmills Live’ a truly landmark event. 

“The festival will be a unique occasion and will bring the best of handmade music and the best of handmade Irish whiskey together under one roof – it’s going to be brilliant!”

Snow Patrol’s performance at ‘Bushmills Live’ will go some way to help establish a legacy for new music in Northern Ireland with their fee being donated in full to the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, which was co-founded by lead singer Gary Lightbody to help to support up-and-coming local musicians. 

To find out more about ‘Bushmills Live’, visit Voting closes at 23:59 on 25th May 2012. Terms and conditions apply.

Broadsided by the Spirit of Adnams!

If your not yet aware Admans Brewery in Southwold recently installed a decent sized distilling set up from Germany's oldest still manufactures Christian CARL. Sited at the brewery in an old brewhouse, which was aptly titled the "Copper House", they now have the capcity to distill 1000litres of beer an hour!

Adnams have a great range of spirits, which included casks of young malt spirit laid down in their Brewing Museum to be released as English single malt whisky in the near future. However, they haven't stopped there and in May plan to release the Spirit of Broadside.

A mini whisky production recap

For those of you who might not be too familiar with whisky production (be it Scotch, American, Japanese, etc...) the basic premise is that you take a un-hopped beer at 7-9%abv and you heat it up in a large copper kettle (called a pot still) for a normal minimum of two times until you have ethanol at around 60-70%abv. This is then aged in oak casks for at least 3 year.

So I'm sure you've guessed what head distiller John McArthur at Adnams done?

Adnams basically make a great beer called Broadside which John has distilled. Now, because of the hops present this could never be called whisky, it's an eau de vie of sorts.

Back last year I tried the unaged spirit and it was great straight off the still, the depth of flavour was amazing and I keenly awaited another oportunity to try the spirit once aged.

John said recently "It's amazing what you can do with wood as a distiller, we're testing spirit in new french oak and have introduced American oak hogsheads too...". I personally have to agree and the Spirit of Broadside is testement to that! It's due into the shops in May and would recommend it to anyone looking for a spirit that challanges the misconseption that hop spirits would never distill well.

Tasting notes

Product: Spirit of Broadside

Distillation: Date: January 2011

Spirit Type: Eau de Vie

Cask type: New European Oak

ABV: 43%


The nose has a healthy amount of ginger and Asian spice (cinnamon, cloves, star anise). This progress to hot salted butter, custard apples and fresh cut sandal wood. Pine sap, eucalyptus and menthol linger in there too, however, this seems to always end on a light bready metallic note with slightest whiff of fennel seeds and liquorice root.


The initial sip is akin to drinking a mildly spicy ginger beer! That spice element is on the palate from the outset shifting to the back and sides as a fizzy tingle. 

There is a slight meaty edge of Sunday lunch, but the wood from the new oak is present and at first seems to dominate the flavour. However, once you have a couple of sips that sappy wood element subdues and digestive biscuit coated in butter comes out to play. The flavours that follow are herbacious and chewy.

A tin cup element hides in the back, but can see it mixing as a sours cocktail.

The finish is medium in length and enjoyable. Would recommend drinking with friends in a convivial atmosphere and a pint in hand.

Product Launch - Top Gun with The Famous Goose (Man)

The first day of April sees the launch of our brand new product, The Famous Goose.

It's a product which has caused excitement for all of us at The Famous Grouse, as we welcome a new breed into our Famous Family. 

The Famous Goose gets its name from the celebrated Canada Goose, a migrant that ousts the Red Grouse as Scotland's favourite game bird, once a year in early April.  Its smooth taste comes from the blend of fine malt whiskies - including The McGonagall and Highland Snark - and sweet grain whiskies. 

We're sure it will become another one of Scotland's Favourite Whiskies, if only for a day. So why not open a bottle with a  gaggle of friends and see what all the fuss is about? Just be careful. The Goose can be an even more difficult breed to find than The Grouse.