Irish whiskey brand Bushmills has kicked off the Rare Casks Series with the release of a 28-year-old single malt matured in ex-Cognac barrels.Distilled from a mashbill comprising 100% unpeated malted barley, Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask Whiskey was distilled in 1992 and aged for 11 years in Bourbon and oloroso Sherry barrels. The spirit was then transferred to ex-Cognac casks for a further 17 years of maturation. Bushmills master blender Helen Mulholland said: “At Bushmills, the foundation of our whiskey is the quality of ingredients and the experience and skill we have passed down through generations. "Throughout my almost 30-year career at Bushmills, I have nurtured this special whiskey from its distillate, experimenting with different taste profiles and finally resting it in some of the world's rarest and highest quality casks. “Maturing this precious malt in former Cognac casks has brought out unique notes and characteristics specific to Cognac, developing the whiskey into something new and distinct for Bushmills, with bold intensity and subtle sweetness. "Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask is a time capsule of my career at the distillery, and one of the most complex and layered whiskeys ever released by us.” On the nose the new whiskey has aromas of “sweet spicy wood” followed by flavours of dried fruit, pear, almond and “sweet vanilla and cinnamon undertones”. Bushmills will release less than 500 bottles of Bushmills 28 Year Old Single Malt Cognac Cask in the US, priced at US$500. Lander Otegui, senior vice president of marketing at Bushmills owner Proximo Spirits, said: “The new annual series, the Rare Casks, is a must for any collector looking to expand their whiskey repertoire, and discover the unique, smooth taste that sets Bushmills Irish whiskey single malts apart from any Scotch single malt."