“Let other poets raise a fracas
“Bout vines, an’ wines, an’ drucken Bacchus,
An’ crabbit names an’stories wrack us,
An’ grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or jug.”
(Extract from ‘Scotch Drink’by Robbie Burns)
My blog started nearly a couple of years ago now and it was all about Sport. Sport, Sport and more Sport to be precise.
Then came the idea to expand – after all, the reality is that there’s less Sport on Freeview, and plenty of other topics I want to write about.
So, before Christmas, Aldi kindly sent me a Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old Whisky to review and the article was so popular – 1,237 views and counting!
Take a look at the article here – https://sportonfreeviewuk.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/whisky-review-glen-marnoch-28-year-aldi/
There’s been a review for Aldi’s Premium French Vodka too – take a look here at https://sportonfreeviewuk.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/saint-germont-premium-french-vodka-aldi/
Anyway, it’s great to see that these features are proving popular so with that in mind we move on to present day. Sunday January 29th 2017 – and a ride out to Astley near Manchester… And a party to celebrate my Dad’s 65th Birthday, well worth a drink… Which is a good job really as I had three fine whiskies to try, all courtesy of Aldi once again. Burns Night has just passed, and some people are still celebrating the occasion, and probably will do well into February!
Three completely different whiskies – all available at a very reasonable price. How would they fare in our ‘birthday’ taste test, with nine of us trying each of them? All of them under the same conditions… Which would come out on top?!
My thanks to the eight other Whisky Tasters who made this article possible – each of them with the contributions, and all of them just as welcome and as valid as my own, and all of them putting a brilliant effort into this tasting. Extended thanks to Pat, Phil and Charlie Benson, thanks also to Stephanie and David Whittaker, Frank Clarke, Tony Williams and Daniel Jubb (who arrived just before I ended the tasting!).
Whisky Number 1
Highland Black 8 Year Old Scotch Whisky, £13.49
Available in all Aldi stores.
Aldi advise that this eight year old Highland Black whisky is “…a rich blend of the finest grain and malt whiskies from Scotland” – and recommend it to be enjoyed with black pudding (I love black pudding, I think I’m in a minority to admit that, but always have done!).
My Mum, Pat, who would admit herself that she is not normally a whisky drinker, particularly enjoyed this sample. She said “…it’s smooth… going down nicely!” Our group tried this whisky on it’s own, and with a mixer (we used a tiny bit of cola to add to our sample). For me, I made a nicer drink with the cola, great value at £13.49 too.
Scores: Highland Black scored 60 out of 90, coming 2nd in our taste test overall.
Whisky Number 2
Glen Marnoch Islay Single Malt Whisky, £17.99
Available in all Aldi stores.
Aldi say the Islay Single Malt is “…peat-smoked, rich, sweet and nutty… it has a slight sea air and distinctive smoky-sweet malty notes”. My friend Daniel described this Islay as “well balanced” – and it was his favourite of the three we sampled – it was also my Dad Charlie’s favourite (anyone looking for a birthday present for my Dad next year – look no further!).
Some suggesting this Islay tasted like ‘Big Peat’, but when I told our group the price of this bottle, I think Big Peat will be staying on the shelf – Big Peat is approximately double the price of this Aldi offering!
Scores: The Glen Marnoch Islay scored 54 out of 90 on our group taste test, (it was my 2nd favourite, I gave it 8 out of 10).
Whisky Number 3
Glen Marnoch Speyside Single Malt Whisky, £17.99
Available in all Aldi stores
Aldi advise “…this single malt has rich toffee and vanilla notes, with flavours of distinctive oaky spice followed by a long and lingering finish.” I have to say, by far, that this was my favourite – I gave it a 9 out of 10. A drink that just keeps developing when your drinking it, it’s to full of flavour. It’s just a pleasurable drink – and that’s what whisky should be like. My cousin Stephanie went one further, giving the Speyside 10 out of 10! My brother Phil found this to be his favourite too – giving it 8 out of 10.
Scores: No surprise then, then out of a possible 90 on our taste test, the Speyside came out 1st with 65 out of 90 – a fantastic score.
Chris’s Summary: What a great selection from Aldi! The Speyside for me is a must have, and a bargain at £17.99. Perfect for these cold Winter evenings – but any of them will cure the January and February blues. I was also particularly impressed with the Highland Black 8 Year Old.
Thanks to Aldi for the complimentary samples, and if any of you have some product suggestions for us to sample please let me know, I’d love to hear from you.