The discount supermarket giant Aldi are at it again with another special release whisky this time they are mixing things up with their Rum cask finish offering.
Now, I know that when I do a write up of a single malt from an actual distillery or maybe an independent bottling I get between a couple of hundred up to about five hundred hits which is lovely but when I look at a supermarket own brand whisky I can get thousands of hits and I notice I get hits months if not years later so I have come to realise that the people who are looking at these reviews are people perhaps not into whisky the same way I am, not whisky geeks, and are far more likely to be looking for guidance on picking up a cheap bottle from a supermarket and I sincerely hope I give that advice and that people who do buy a bottle because of something they’ve read here enjoy those purchases.
I think that’s why I feel it’s really important to be honest when I’m reviewing something.
Now those that know a bit about whisky can probably skip the next paragraph because you’ll already know all this, okay? Okay. and
Sometimes when a whisky is matured for however long, a minimum of three years, a distillery will taste the whisky and decide that the whisky might need something else, I’ve recently tasted a young spirit that was matured in tiny wee sherry casks and was proper overpowering, I actually liked it but the distillery understandably did not and so shoved the spirit into much larger barrels which will hopefully allow the spirit inside to relax a bit. Anyway, sometimes a whisky maybe isn’t so great or a bit flat or whatever so the distillery being the canny Scots they are will throw the whisky into another barrel to try and pep it up, basically the reverse of what I mentioned earlier. You’ll see this a lot, whisky “finished”, “double matured” or whatever in something else to add new flavours or perhaps smooth out a few rough edges and this offering from Aldi uses a reasonably rare rum cask finish.
Sometimes a whisky will be finished off for a few months others a few years, all depends on how the whisky turns out I guess.
I’m well aware that this is a bit cynical and that I’m sure there many whiskies out there where they always intended to double mature or finish their whisky in another barrel.
Another Rum cask finished whisky you can take a look at is the Balvenie Caribbean Cask Finish whisky but a word of warning and that’s that the Balvenie is 14 years old and costs more than twice the Aldi version so please check out the review to get a feel for another rum cask but it’s not really fair to compare the two side by side.
Okay so this is bottled at 40% as most supermarket whiskies are, will come with a colouring although to be fair a rum cask will probably add a fair old hue in itself it costs one penny under twenty pounds and does actually seem quite hard to come by, I think, and if Aldi wish to correct me they know my email address, that each store got one case of six bottles.
Oh and this dies on its arse if you add water but works okay with ice as long as the ice doesn’t melt, it’s wasted as a mixer.
Nose. Toffee and popcorn and lots of strawberry flavoured icing sugar, it’s obviously a young whisky but that’s okay. Cinnamon and rum soaked raisins come out if you leave it in the glass for ten minutes.
Palate. Not as good as the nose, the younger whisky comes out more but it’s not unpleasant by any means but the nose is really good. The taste is a little spirity, oranges and chestnut paste. I get a little bit of rum, as you’d expect, but not loads, the use of an ice ball takes away the spirit and brings out those rum and orange flavours more.
Finish. A little bit of heat and burn and some orange rind, cinnamon and rum again, over far too soon though.
So that’s that, it’s a very decent offering and part of the Glen Marnoch range Aldi offer.
As a wee note to Aldi I have a little bit of advice for you, I would keep offering the cheap blends you currently sell, especially the excellent Highland Black and I’d not bother with the older 30 year old Christmas specials and instead I’d invest a little more time in maturing the Glen Marnoch range, the NAS Higland, Islay and bourbon cask whiskies are excellent but if these came with say an 8 or 10 year age statement they’d fly off the shelves and I think people would happily pay the extra fiver they’d need too to get a hold of them, just a thought.