Tag Archives: Aldi

Glen Marnoch 29-year-old (Aldi)

Bought: Aldi, 14th November 2017

81/100 – Ralfy (of www.ralfy.com)
81.5/100 – Whiskybase (from 4 member votes)

If your local Aldi store is anything like mine then going there is never a pleasant experience. Like most men I’m not a fan of queuing but that seems to be a prerequisit hobby for those who shop at Aldi. There are no self-service or ‘basket only’ checkouts so I always find myself stuck behind several people with trolleys overflowing with shopping as if they were preparing for a holocaust. But each year, just before Christmas, Aldi release a mystery single malt under the guise of ‘Glen Marnoch’, which is very old but for very little money. The 2016 release of Glen Marnoch 28yo had a beautiful deep sherry colour, which I believe was natural, and received critical acclaim. Sadly I missed it but I didn’t want to lose out for another year!

There were 11,000 bottles released of the Glen Marnoch 29yo. This got me wondering – how many barrels would you need for that sort of output? The most commonly used barrel in the whisky industry is a butt, which contains between 475 and 500ltrs. After a minimum of 29 years the angels would have their share so let’s be generous and say each barrel contained 475 litres. 11,000 bottles at 70cl is 7,700 litres, which is just over 16 barrels. That doesn’t sound like a lot but how many distilleries have 16 barrels of 29yo whisky kicking about that they could make a profit from if Aldi want to sell it at £40 a bottle? In truth I don’t know but you have to think there aren’t many candidates. At that price it’s likely that the source distillery is known more for quantity than quality. Someone suggests on Whiskybase that it’s Glen Moray, which is certainly a possibility.

Tasting notes:

Nose: candied orchard fruits, honey, grassy-yeast, bourbon cask influences
Taste: honeyed cereal notes, vanilla, warming sweet lemon
Finish: quite short

The Glen Marnoch 28yo released in 2016 scores 88/100 on Whiskybase from 7 member reviews so the 29yo is lagging behind with 81.5/100. What the 29yo has in its favour over the 28yo is a review from the legendary Ralfy. Either he didn’t taste the 28yo or it scored less than 80/100 so unworthy of a review in his opinion. He gives the 29yo a respectable 81/100. Here is Ralfy with his thoughts about the Glen Marnoch 29yo on YouTube (Dec 2017):


Glen Orrin 5-year-old (Aldi)

Bought – Aldi, 1st November 2013

This is the first time I’ve bought whisky from Aldi, so I was keen to see if I could find any reliable reviews of this 5yo. Unfortunately not. I’m no expert on the Aldi range but it seems this 5yo version of the Glen Orrin is quite new. Google results are more fixated with a 30yo release rather than this younger, and more commonly available relative.

I tend to think of Lidl and Aldi as much the same, so it doesn’t surprise me that Lidl have also got a 5yo whisky in the Glen Orchy. It’s clearly a tit for tat thing between these two companies. I will have to do a taste comparison to see which one of these 5yos I prefer.

I was curious as to the location of Glen Orrin, which I discover is in the Highlands, west of Beauly and beside the Orrin Reservoir, which was opened in 1961 as part of the Conon Hydro-Electric Scheme. For those of you interested in geneology, according to my clan map of Scotland, Glen Orrin is in the Mackenzie territory. Closest whisky distillery looks like Glen Ord but that’s not to say any of the malt in this blend comes from there, or anywhere close by.

Update (25th November 2013). Tasted it and it’s very good. You can tell it’s a young dram from the nose, where there’s plenty of spirit floating about that hasn’t had a chance to suck the juice out of the sherry, bourbon, etc., casks its component parts were resting in before being blended together. But there’s plenty of fruit perfume there to create a good distraction. I felt the finish was as short as you’d expect for that age and didn’t detract from the overall charm of the drink. After a few sips I added lemonade, which is my mixer of choice with a blend, and that worked well (which isn’t always the case with a blend). Definitely a whisky I’ll take out of the cupboard again!

Glen Orrin 5yo 70cl