Glen Marnoch – This is Aldi’s Islay Single Malt available for £17.99 July 2016. Which Legend does it hail from? Well if they told us, we could be paying not far from double this price possibly. There’s no such distillery as Glen Marnoch on Islay of course, this is just a name that Aldi use for some of their whisky products. They also have a Glen Marnoch single highland malt on offer at the same price as well just now.
After a nose and a couple of wee drams we thought it could possibly be a Laphroaig, similar smoky, peaty bouquet but with a slightly less antiseptic nose.
GIven its large volume production, it’s more likely it hails from a batch of Caol Ila which is sold to supermarkets for their own branding.
Most supermarkets have their own offerings on Islay, Highland and Speyside whiskies, at a much reduced price. Some can be a very fine dram for a much cheaper price, well-fitting with stereotyping of ‘Scotch’ drinkers! Seriously though, this is a good value whisky for this price and well worth checking out while in stock.
We came across a similar version from Asda last year, advertised as an Islay Single Malt which had a Laphroaig style nose with a nice lingering after taste. As it turns out it’s not distilled on Islay at all, but somewhere in the Highland region.
The fun of these supermarket offerings is trying to guess the original distillery they come from, the more drams you have, the more fun it gets, and the wilder the guesses become!
Altogether we found this whisky a very nice wee dram and quite more-ish!, worth buying a couple of bottles at this price if you can get them.
Alternatively, have a look at our shop for branded whiskies at some of the best prices available.
********* Update December 2017 ********
After taking my own advice from last year, I bought two bottles for this festive period. On opening the first bottle, the nose is decidedly unpleasant and off to my taste. On the palate, not so bad, drinkable definitely but not the same whisky as last year with its fragrant medicinal notes and peaty flavour.
I was very disappointed and immediately returned the second bottle to the store. I decided to change it for a Glen Marnoch Speyside to give that a try. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the Speyside was very tasty. Much better than the Islay. Light fruity flavours with vanilla and some smokiness, very palatable at £17.45. See review here.