An own brand supermarket whisky used to strike fear into most whisky snobs but over the last couple of years it’s safe to say that Lidl and Aldi have changed all that with their superb offerings. Whether it be the entry level stuff or the frankly staggering Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old Single Malt which blew me away over Christmas the other supermarkets have been left miles behind in the own brand quality whisky stakes.
Now, whilst Waitrose have and do offer very good whiskies at reasonable rates it’s safe to assume that most of us don’t have a Waitrose to hand and they are expensive when compared like for like and they don’t offer the older expressions either.
And so to Asda, now Tasgall is obviously marketed at the higher end of the market where Asda are concerned, Tasgall is the name given by Asda to two blends, I think, there might be more but I’ve not seen them, a 25 Year Old and a 30 Year Old, both are bottled at 40% and are normally forty and fifty pounds respectively, until now.
Because boys and girls Asda have slashed the price by 50%, at the time of writing, and must be doing a roaring trade because I have struggled to get hold of the 25 Year Old but did bag the 30.
I’ve looked at these whiskies a lot over the last couple of years but fifty pounds is a fair amount for a whisky I’ve never found any reviews of so I’ve always stayed clear but at these prices it would be insulting not to try it.
First of all let me make something crystal clear, this is god awful if you add water, I have never tasted a whisky drop off so dramatically as this when adding ice or water so I’d advise against it, oh and I like the bottle, it’s really rather lovely which isn’t something I ever really comment on but this I like a lot.
Nose. This reminds me of a decent bourbon, the grain is noticeable for a start but there are nice butterscotch and toffee brittle notes, vanilla and then if left in the glass for a few minutes some leather and a some decent oak notes.
Palate. The butterscotch and toffee brittle have turned into rich caramel, almost treacle, lots of warm spiced fruit, American cream soda and at times the touch of leather turns to charcoal, roast hazelnut and some bitter chocolate.
Finish. Bourbon, it just turns into bourbon, weird, but nice enough.
So aye, for under thirty pounds this is excellent but for its full price it’s pretty expensive. I’m trying not to be too harsh because I think there has been a fair amount of effort put into creating a decent dram but frankly if the supermarket giants want us to spend decent money on their own brand whiskies then they’re going to have to raise their game or pack it in because Aldi and Lidl just have them beat.
All that said, I’d get this if you see it cheap because I have a feeling that Asda might be discontinuing the line and at the end of the day how many of us get to drink thirty year old whisky on a daily basis?