The history of Bushmills whiskey dates back to 1608 when King James granted a distilling license to Sir Thomas Phillips.
Sir Thomas Phillips was the Governor of Co. Antrim and a prominent landowner.
The Old Bushmills Distillery was registered in 1784 by Hugh Anderson and trademarked with a Pot Still insignia.This same insignia is used by the brand to this day.
In 1850 Bushmills set in place their quality malt barley recipe which remains unchanged. However it was not all plain sailing, Bushmills faced adversity when in 1885 a fire destroyed the distillery. The distillery was rebuilt and production resumed, the distillery even becomes a stronger brand and attains international recognition over the proceeding years even achieving ‘only gold medal for whiskey’ at the Paris 1889 Expo.
Samuel Wilson acquired the distillery believing in the full potential of the Old Bushmills Distillery and in 1933 his faith was rewarded when prohibition ended in 1933 opening the American market up to Bushmills.
The distillery closed from 1939 to 1945 and allowed Allied troops to Billet at the premises.
A bomb also struck the Dublin head office and destroyed the Bushmills archives.
After the war Bushmill went back into full production. The post war American economy was booming and Bushmills had become a very popular whiskey for consumers in the US.
in 2008, four hundred years after its beginning Bushmills was honored by the Bank of Ireland who placed the Old Bushmills Distillery on its bank note.
Bushmills has gone from strength to strength and is now amongst the world's most recognizable whiskeys.
I have personally visited the Bushmills distillery in Antrim and achieved my whiskey tasting certificate :) The distillery is a huge tourist attraction and I would recommend a visit.
An old sign for Bushmills on the side of an Irish pub.