Bought: ASDA Supermarket, 18th October 2016
79.75/100 – Whiskybase (average from 4 member votes)
‘Tasgall’ (meaning ‘cauldron of the Gods’ in Norse) is a brand name that ASDA Stores Ltd decided to use for this blended Scotch whisky. They released a 25yo and 30yo in late 2014 for £50 and £60 respectively. This may seem a good price for the age until you consider what Aldi and Lidl bring out for Christmas. It took 2 years before ASDA reduced the prices to £40 (25yo) and £50 (30yo). This tempted me into getting the 25yo mainly because of the You Tube review below. Comments online suggest there’s no clear winner between the 25yo and 30yo in terms of taste so the price of the 25yo won it for me. But at £40 would this blend tempt a single malt drinker away from the likes of the Ardbeg 10yo or cheaper options like the Highland Park 12yo or Glenmorangie 10yo? Probably not. I suspect the Tasgall is aimed at the occasional blend drinker (or as a gift to one) where seeing a significant age statement means ‘better’.
On the tube of the 25yo it says “oak-aged blend combining the spicy, floral flavours of Highland malts, the sweetness of Speyside malts and the purity and strength of Lowland grain whisky”. Clearly a load of marketing waffle but at least it tells us the regions that contribute to the mix. The official tasting notes say “vibrant, full bodied and sweet with creamy vanilla notes, slowly revealing a rich, elegant finish with lingering hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and baked fruits”. It certainly sounds nice enough and reviews online tend to agree with the consensus being that the Tasgall 25yo is very drinkable.
A slight annoyance about the Tasgall 25yo is seeing “very rare” printed on it. No it’s not! Anything that’s been available in a supermarket for over 2 years isn’t rare. One review online says the Tasgall is collectable. Clearly this wasn’t written by a collector and is probably part of the marketing guff. In the present market a non-rare blended whisky isn’t a good investment (even a 25yo or 30yo) but who is to say that the current collecting criteria wont change. Perhaps in 2050 old supermarket blends will be all the rage and Scotland will win the World Cup! The future is in the lap of the Gods, having jumped out of the cauldron.
‘Tasting Britain’ review on You Tube (January 2015):