Ahh the rolling hills and deep loch that make Glen Marnoch such a special place in everyone’s heart, except it’s not, it’s a made up name by Aldi because calling their Aldi Islay Single Malt, well calling it that doesn’t sound quite as romantic, a bit like Haig Club painting a picture of Highland Glens and castles and stuff when in fact it’s made in a massive factory in Fife.
I like the Aldi range, I’ve said this before I know, it offers a Single Malt from the Highlands, Speyside and Islay as well as two aged blends a non aged statement blend and a Single Grain, more on some of these another time.
I’ve opted for the Islay Single Malt because I want to learn to love Islay whiskies more. although I love the hard hitting Talikser 10 year old I’ve always kind of stayed away from the peated whiskies Islay is famous for, well maybe not stayed away but certainly never really investigated fully.
On the Nose I get hammered with peat and heat, a little glue and pinch of spice, it’s best to leave this in the glass for twenty minutes and I have to say it’s getting better now that the bottle is a third of the way down opening up a little sweetness.
Taste wise I’ll be honest and because I’m used to full on peaty whisky I found the first week of tasting this a little hard work to find anything other than smoke. One of the things Aldi is clearly doing is saying “this is our Islay whisky, Islay whiskies taste of smoke and heat and so we’re going to smash you in the face with it”. After a week or so though and the bottle is coming along nicely, I’m now getting chilli jam with a little fruit, strawberry and plum, and a hint of those spiced nuts you get in pubs, a drop or two of water helps bring this out.
Finish wise it’s a spicy affair, lots of heat and chilli and with water added it becomes a lot smoother.
So there you go, a sub twenty quid Single Malt which is pretty straight forward and a decent dram with its only real downsides is the adding of colour, which I think has been added, and the fact they put it out at 40%, if this was 43% or even 46% it would be brilliant but I understand that supermarkets are not aiming their whisky at diehards so I’ll give them their due.
I’ve also recently been getting my way through Bowmore’s small batch reserve and let’s just say if it came to buying the Bowmore again or buying two of the Aldi I know where I’d be heading.
Just a quick to say I’ll be trying to review the rest of the range over the next couple of months but thanks to a massive household repair job whisky is at the bottom of my shopping list.