Category Archives: Tasgall (ASDA)

Tasgall 30-year-old

Bought: ASDA, 4th January 2017

Ratings:
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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Tasgall 25-year-old

Bought: ASDA Supermarket, 18th October 2016

Ratings:
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):

tasgall-25yo-70c-asda