Tasgall 30-year-old

Bought: ASDA, 4th January 2017

76/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)
4/5 Stars – ASDA Website (average from 3 reviews)

‘Tasgall’ was the name ASDA superstore gave to its own brand of blended whisky, which appeared on the shelves in 2014. I was one of the first to mention Tasgall on whisky forums, where it soon became apparent that there was very little interest in this new blend. Priced at £60 for the 30yo and £50 for the 25yo, the Tasgall was more expensive than similar bottlings by Aldi and Lidl, which may explain the lack of interest. Towards the end of 2016 the inevitable happened and ASDA labelled the Tasgall ‘reduced to clear’, first by £10, then by half. The Tasgall is no longer listed on the ASDA website. Discontinued? It looks very like it.

The official tasting notes for the Tasgall 30yo say “full bodied and velvety smooth with rich fruitcake, honey and oak tannin flavours enveloped in a vanilla sweetness with delicate spice and floral notes”. The blend is formed from a combination of Highland and Speyside malts mixed with Lowland grain.

Scoring 76/100 on Whiskybase is a reasonable score for the Tasgall 30yo but as a point of reference, all 6 versions of Lidl’s Glenalba blend score 81/100 or more. That’s the sort of competition the Tasgall had. Nevertheless, comments on the ASDA website were quite favourable including “very rich and complex” and “this is a sensibly considered product which will give a strong sense of luxury to anyone who usually enjoys a regular blended whisky.” Curiously one reviewer mentions “rich peaty undertones”, which aren’t in the tasting notes. A later review says “no hint of peat”. Perhaps batch variations sometimes included a peat flavour from the Highland malt element. Or maybe someone’s taste buds were playing tricks on them.

On the tube and label of the Tasgall 30yo it says “exceptionally rare”. Nothing that sits on a supermarket shelf for 2 years is exceptionally rare but now that it’s gone bottles will be getting rarer. As an obscure blend it is unlikely to make a good investment but if you were fortunate enough to buy one of the last bottles for £25 it should soon double its money at auction. But after commission, postage, etc., you’d be better off drinking it or giving it as a present to a blend lover. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

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