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Glen Marnoch 18 Yr old Cask Reserve

Brand or bland?

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@tjbReview by @tjb

17th Feb 2014

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
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  • Brand: Glen Marnoch
  • ABV: 40%

I picked up a bottle of this in summer 13. It was the new release of the Aldi (budget supermarket) Cask Reserve "limited Edition" 18 yr old Highland Single Malt. For those that know Aldi you may appreciate that it is the low end budget supermarket which pulls occaisional rabbits out of hats when it comes to wines and spirits. On a blind taste test (run by a broadsheet national newspaper including some of European top wine experts) in 2012 one of their Temporillo wines won a place in the top 10 bottles for under Euro$50. The irony was that it only cost £3.99. They also have sold 1973 Napoleon brandy for £29.99 when it retailed elsewhere for £107.

The reason for this background info is to show that they do have some cracking offers and so when they sell an 18 year old Scotch it is worth investigating.

The colour is caramel gold and looks oily in the glass.

The nose gives you sweet fudge and vanilla. Slightly smokey and dusty. Lots of cherries and raisins. The nose develops with a bit of time and a drop of water. Oak, spices and pepper develop with orange peel.

It develops well as when I first nosed it I thought it was quite closed, a bit like a blend but over time it opened up fairly well.

On the palate you get a hit of Oranges initially. Mellow and smooth. It's only 40% which excuses the slightly watery feel. It would do a lot better at 43% or 46%. After the orange peel comes dark fruits, vanilla, toffee, light oak. And spices.

The finish is woody, smooth, on the short side of medium. The finish is still silky and there is a tingle of spice and pepper. There is a light fruit which eventually fades into slightly bitter tannins.

Overall this is a nice, accessible dram. Smooth and silky, good flavours, a level of complexity but not overly challenging. It could do with being stronger which would give it a bit more intensity.

For an 18 yr old sherried Single Malt the price (£25) is a bargain. I do like it but it's not a Whisky that's going to change your world.

2 comments

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium commented

Aldi here has a 18yo single malt called Blackstone, it comes at a great price, it tastes OK, but really nothing impressive, certainly not for a 18yo whisky

7 years ago 0

@tjb
tjb commented

@Pandemonium I think that's a good point. For an 18 yo it is not great when you compare to other 18's. For the money it offers good value and is nice/pleasant/accessible. There lies the crunch! I bought it out of interest but would rather buy a bottle of Bowmore 12 or Auchentoshan 12 for the same kind of money.

7 years ago 0

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