I’ll take Aldi Whisky you have… 


Just a quick wee post to recommend another superb Glen Marnoch single malt. This time the 12 year old speyside.

Lovely dark golden syrup colour contrasts with pleasant labelling in this expression (the bottle matters).

Warm, spicy, vanilla and dark stewed fruits on the nose with a hint of rum Christmas cake on the nose. 

On the palate a real richness of flavour, notes of currants, vanilla pods, woody esters and spices.

The finish is long and smooth with those fruity spice notes lingering on the tongue. 

My money would put this as being from the Mortlach distillery, but again just a guess. A wonderful single malt scotch that is punching well above its weight. For less than £20 from Aldi I would highly recommend it.
P.S. Christmas has brought some lovely new additions to the cabinet which I shall be reviewing soon. Keep a look out and have a great New Year! Bliadne mhath ur! 

Down to Deanston

Deanston distillery in the southern region of the Highland range of whisky production is quite a unique distillery. It prides itself on its hand crafted spirit and locally sourced ingredients that go into producing a delicate, honeyed and fruity malt.

The Deanston virgin oak whisky is the main player in Deanston’s malt range that provides a gorgeous array of fruity aromas and flavours. This edition has a light golden straw colour that errs towards the shade of a quality apple juice.

Apple orchards, apricots and vanilla make a gorgeous aroma on the nose. Filling this out there is a malty oaky aroma that spreads out the initial acidic green apple smell.

The apple flavours on the palate are encompassed with a spicy warmness as though the apple has been stewed with cinnamon and enveloped in a vanilla crumble. Those lovely oak aromas linger on the palate and a sweet maltiness draws through to the finish. 

On the finish those apple flavours linger and then contrast into a more citrus style flavour. A hint of ginger and delicate spices smooth out the finish which is long and warming; the colour doesn’t match the richness of this whisky, I’d expect a slightly darker malt.

A natural colour, un-chill filtered whisky that has a lot of complex flavours going on and makes sparkling taste notes on the tongue. Hugely enjoyable, a malt that sits towards the citrusy, light, honeyed area of the whisky spectrum.

This whisky sits around the middle of our £100 budget at around £45. Lots of flavours for not a huge sum, this whisky is a lovely and unique addition to a collection.

Slainte 

Whisky Aldi Long

Glen Marnoch is Aldi’s limited release editions of single malt scotch whisky. Whilst this is not the name of a distillery,  or even a Glen for that matter, it does brand a new line of affordable single malt scotch whiskies from across different whisky making areas in Scotland. 

This year the Speyside single malt Glen Marnoch was awarded gold in international whisky awards and sparked somewhat of a revolution in the scotch whisky production industry. Quality single malt didn’t have to cost the earth, in fact, it cost about the same as a cheap blend. For the steal price of <£18 you can purchase a bottle of Highland, Speyside or Islay single malt whisky in the Glen Marnoch range.

Here we will have a taste of the Glen Marnoch Islay Limited Release. 

Whilst the origin distillery of the whisky is secret, this Islay is very typical of a classic Islay; peated, sweet, salty, smokey gold.

The colour of this Islay is quite light, with an orange liqueur vibe through it. Think old style incandescent light bulb and that glow is what you get from this whisky. 

On the nose there is a smooth whiff of the peat that doesn’t overpower but makes its presence known by letting off a smokey sweetness. Quite a gentle spirit on the nose and doesn’t feel like it’s prickling.

The palate is smooth and smokey. Quite a charred fruity sweetness like grilled caramelised pears. Layers of spice, brandy snaps, candied peel and a wisp of peat ash. A delicate but forthright malt that has laps of flavour.

The finish is a little sharp to begin with but mellows out and leaves a light smokey citrus flavour; think christingle that’s caught on fire and that would perfectly describe the finish (maybe not a pretty picture but the flavour is spot on). 

Well, this whisky certainly does more than what it says on the tin (bottle). A malt that has a lot of flavour and very character specific flavours to a typical Islay (my hunch is that this is from Caol Ila distillery but you’d just have to taste it find out, your guess is as good as mine). For the price this is definitely a dram worth every penny. Rich, smokey peat flavours with a sweet citrus finish, this is a whisky that deserves going in anyone’s collection. 

Fair to say supermarket malts can stand up to some of the most prolific distillery releases, if bottled right; Aldi’s Glen Marnoch have hit the nail on the head with this one. 

Whisky Winner 

Grabbing the lovely Bowmore No. 1 in time for Christmas is @whiskeynut from westmeathwhiskeyworld.wordpress.com

Here is the winning comment that beautifully presents your favourite single malt whiskey (its not scotch, but superbly well said and a whiskey that surely has made its mark):

“Trying to pick out a favourite bottle from the myriad of marvelous malts that have been released this year is no easy task.I’ve gone for one that breaks the barriers.. This expression breaks the barriers of accessibility. Specialist spirit shops nor niche internet sites are shunned in favour of the High Street and shopping centres. This expression broke the barrier of affordability. Such aged bottles normally attract a triple digit price tag. Not so this cheeky little number. This expression broke the barriers of boundaries. From Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, Belfast to Ballincollig, eager fans lit up the internet with their tales of trials and tribulations in obtaining a bottle. From distillery owners to everyday shoppers this bottle quickly became a must have item. It was from a country many had not yet sampled as it had been absent from that particular marketplace before. And then the reviews came in; ‘Fabulous fruit, dry oaky tannins,deep spices, complex and long lasting’ The whiskey sensation of the year for me has to be……. Aldi 26yo Irish Reserve. Quality malt for the masses. Or at least those that were lucky enough to bag one!”

Well done sir. I will be in touch shortly with details to get your prize!

A huge thank you to all of you who entered, I’ve heard some very good recommendations and it was tough deciding upon a winner! Thank you! 

Slainte 

3 days for Islay

So folks, just 3 more days to get your answers in with what your favourite single malt whisky is and why! Get your whisky write ups in via email or Instagram (details in about page)! 

My favourite answer will win a lovely bottle of Bowmore No. 1 single malt scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery on Islay. This particular malt is full of rich peat smoke flavours and nutty spiced sweetness; a really good dram! Your favourite whisky may well be an Islay so this could be a great whisky for you! 

I hasten to add this wee competition is open to those further abroad than Scotland. USA, Europe and Asia, you’re more than welcome to get your answers in (you may just have to wait a little longer for postage); scotch whisky unites us! 

Slainte

Onto Arran

The Isle of Arran distillery has released some lovely single malts and some that spark a lot of interest are the range of peated malts, Machrie Moor.

These limited bottlings provide some interesting characteristics, nothing that I can compare to anything else. The edition that I have is the third edition, one of 9000 bottles that are at cask strength; this one released in 2016 is at a healthy 58.5%.

This bottle can be bought for just under £50 so is a reasonably priced whisky that sits at the half way point in our £100 limit. It is one which is quite unique and makes for in interesting tasting experience. 

The colour is a very light, wispy wheat colour. Very similar to a French dessert wine, but with a lovely light creme brulee hue.

On the nose this is a very sweet, smoky peat aroma with background notes of orange and grapefruit. Quite a tart,  peppery scent gets the nose and the cask strength spirit content makes for a whiff of alcohol that tingles the nasal cavity.

The aromas of peppery peatiness move into the palate and a smoky rich oakyness makes its appearance. The earlier citrus aromas continue to linger on the palate and an oiliness moves into the finish. 

A peach parfait and charred lemon tart leave a lasting flavour on the tongue. The finish is a little sharp but lots of flavour lingers with notes of malt dotted in at the end. 

This is a pleasant dram but if I’m honest it is a whisky that needed to have been allowed to mature for a little longer. It’s a sweet and smoky citrus whisky that packs a punch of flavour that I think would best be enjoyed as an aperitif rather than a digestif. Altogether it’s a very complex dram that has intense flavour ballast but lacks the darker, fruity flavours that I personally like in a whisky; I would recommend it if you like peaty citrus malts or fancy something a wee bit different. 

Free Whisky, Gospel Truth

Hi folks just a reminder to get your opinions in on your favourite whisky. You could have a lovely bottle of single malt in time for Christmas. 

To make it that little bit easier, I’ll tell you that the bottle I have to giveaway is from a well known Islay distillery. This could be your cup of tea (whisky) or maybe that will put you off, in any case it could be a lovely dram for you or a Christmas present sorted! 

10th December will be when the winner is announced. Again, you can contact me via email or comment on a blog post or an Instagram message even, details in the about page!

Slainte mhath

A 32 Year Old Cheat


This review is quite a special one and not of a whisky I would take a dram of too often. I have been told that this Aberfeldy 32 year retails at around the £500 price point; maybe a Christmas present for the next 10 years? Nevertheless the Scotsman in me couldn’t pass up a free dram and so I will give it its due deserve and walk through the flavours with you.

The colour is a beautiful golden straw colour that reminds me of freshly harvested bales. A lovely honey gleam makes this whisky enticing; surprisingly though, the colour doesn’t suggest a whisky of this age and isn’t world’s apart from the 12 year old Aberfeldy.

The nose is an intense honeyed flavour much to the same richness as a mead. The charred oak is subtle and delicate retaining the character of an Aberfeldy being a light honeyed malt. This aged whisky has a deeper and richer nose compared to that of its younger sibling. Suggestions of orange peel and vanilla flower surround the honeyed flavour.

On the palate this whisky is bursting with rich honey and heather notes. Floral and sweet it is very pleasant and makes me think of walking past gorse bushes on summer days.

A warming marmalade and honey on toast flavour carries through to the finish which is long, smooth and warming.

A fantastic whisky that can be appreciated as the old gentleman it is. All of the characteristics of an Aberfeldy but with those flavours all matured and intensified into a close knit array of taste.

If you ever get the chance to try it at the Dewar’s distillery in Aberfeldy, it is only a £7.50 upgrade from the standard tour and you get to keep the tasting glass; totally justifiable.

Moran taing



Just a reminder to let you know you’ve got just over a week to tell me about your favourite whisky, and why, and you could win a free single malt whisky in time for Christmas. Details on an  earlier blog post titled “Write for your Whisky”. 

Sherry Oh Baby


The GlenDronach 12 year old with a sherry finish is a well reviewed whisky from the Highland region that has been dubbed for being a whisky that is “punching” above its price point. The distillery itself has only recently been producing whisky again after a short stint of 6 years in a period of lay off.

The sherry finish of this whisky gives the malt a distinguished taste and colour. It is also a very well priced single malt at around the £35 mark. This particular edition sits at the cheaper end of the GlenDronach range with others including: peated, port finish, eight year and eighteen year old variations.

This whisky has a complex nose of caramelised, dark fruits and, contrastingly, a scent of orange and lemon zest with spices. A background aroma of raisins suggests the history of the sherry cask.

On the palate it is quite sweet with those toffee, caramel flavours sitting on the tongue. There is a slight acidity, almost like green apples, that presents itself after a few sips that again is encompassed with spiced sultanas.

The finish is long and smooth and it’s here that the sherry cask makes its final appearance; vanilla, charred wood and dark aged fruit cake lingers on the tongue.

Altogether not a bad whisky, I think it is perhaps slightly overrated though as it isn’t as complex as others in the same price range and I think the sherry finish is what adds the most depth. There is some character noticeable though and the areas of flavour are pleasant with distinguishable layers. A whisky that I would recommend if fruity, spicy sweetness is what you’re looking for in a dram.

Slainte mhath