Tag Archives: Aldi

Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol in Ireland

MUP – Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol became a ‘thing’ in Ireland on 4th January 2022.

Pegged at 10 cent per gram of alcohol it has effectively wiped out the sub €20 bottle of spirits I enjoyed reviewing.

Lidl & Aldi before MUP

Photographing the shelves of Lidl & Aldi beforehand – all stores have to comply – displays a range going from €14.49 for Samuel Joe’s & Western Gold Bourbon to €20 for Bushmills & Jameson Original.

Lidl & Aldi after MUP

Afterwards all these offerings are at the new minimum price of €22.09.

How the market for those previously sub €20 brands will fare out is hard to predict – I did however purchase a few before the price increase – as is the impact of MUP pricing in reducing the harmful effects of excess alcohol on Irish society.

One thing’s for certain though – The Time’s They Are A Changin’ 🎶

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Púca Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, 40%

The mischievous spirits of Púca Irish Whiskey made a welcome return to the shelves of Aldi.

In addition to the original blend, a single pot still variety has appeared.

Light golden brown in colour, I found a sweet malt biscuity aroma greeting me.

Soft & smooth mouthfeel leading to a flourish of signature single pot still spice livening up the finish.

Very pleasant.

You’ll have to move fast to catch these elusive spirits however.

Only 2 were left on the shelf of my local Aldi!

Sláinte

All images taken by Whiskey Nut in the local Aldi.

Kyasuku Cask Reserve, 40%, World Whisky

Japanese Whisky is in the news.

Primarily for the massive growth & increasing popularity experienced internationally.

Secondly for labelling.

Every dog on the street knows Japanese Whisky can contain whisky distilled in some other country.

This has never put me off.

I enjoy whisky – wherever it’s from – and look forward to tasting the results of Japanese blending & maturation.

Kyasuku Cask Reserve – available in yer local Aldi – is clearly labelled as ‘ World Whisky Matured & Blended In Japan’.

No issues there then!

It also says it’s finished in Mizunara Casks – which makes it very exciting!

I couldn’t wait to try it!

Reassuringly pale in colour.

Getting a sweet, intense floral bouquet with a touch of woody depth on the nose.

Very soft & smooth on the palate – much like many malts.

A gentle oaky spice – Mizunara is Japanese Oak – slowly grows along with a lip smacking juiciness on a luscious long lasting finish.

Kyasuku is a very engaging & highly entertaining blend packed full of fascinating & enticing flavours.

Top marks to Aldi for sourcing this easily affordable & eminently approachable slice of Japanese blending & maturation prowess.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Symphonia, Irish Apple Rum, 40%

It’s great to welcome new innovation into the spirits category.

Irish Apple Rum c/othewhiskeynut

The Woodlab Distillery in Co Tyrone have released this Caribbean Rum infused with Irish Jonagold Apples grown in Co Armagh to create Symphonia Irish Apple Rum.

I picked one up in my local Aldi for appraisal.

Technically I suppose it’s a spiced rum – which as the fastest growing rum category is no bad thing.

Info c/othewhiskeynut

Initial nosing is full of sweet nutmeg & assorted spices – much like a liqueur – with a hint of apple purée.

Smooth on the palate. A lovely mixture of golden apples & a warming spiciness which grows to dominate the finish leaving a soft tingling caressed with baked apple.

I may not be the target audience – but it’s certainly an entertaining tipple.

Personally I’d have preferred experiencing the apple influence on it’s own – but as the spiced category is booming it’s fabulous to see a new Irish player on the scene.

Congratulations to The Woodland Lab & their Symphonia Irish Apple Rum.

Sláinte

Blind Tasting Whisky – A Failed Marriage, Supermarket Special & Setting Sun.

Sometimes it’s the unexpected whisky selection that gets you.

A trio of samples were sent for my enjoyment.

They were tasted blind & the notes in italics were written before the reveal.

In order of preference they were:

Happy Marriage?

A Bell’s Decanter, HRH Prince Andrew & Miss Sarah Ferguson’s Wedding, 1986, Blend, 43%

The nose had a bit of fustiness – damp old leather – suggesting signs of decay. Nice & easy body with some warmth & an attractive bite. Leaves a touch of sweet spice & juiciness.

Aldi finest?

B Glen Marnoch Speyside Single Malt 12 Year Old, 40%

Soft clean & fresh. Sherry influence? Found this one sweeter with less body. Faded quickly.

Setting sun?

C Suntory Old Whisky, Blend, 43%

Not much on the nose or body – but livened up with a long finish & touch of spice.

Thoughts

I can’t say any grabbed me. All were enjoyable & relatively easy on the palate – but just lacked character & oomph.

Post Reveal

Well that was a bit of a surprise!

Is the decay within the Bell’s Decanter an allegory for Prince Andrew’s paedophilia scandal?

Celebrity whisky pairings are always fraught with the rise & fall of the individuals involved & despite coming out best in the tasting – this one has fallen pretty far.

Glen Marnoch just pipped 2nd for the initial freshness which left Suntory trailing with it’s just too soft & easy approach.

If you want to get involved in some blind tasting fun – get in touch – you never know what you may find!

Sláinte

Many thanks to Sean for the samples & images.

Púca Irish Whiskey, 40%, Blend

Púca in Irish mythology are mischievous spirits that appear in a variety of disguises – often horses – & can shape shift to confuse their quarry.

Púca Irish Whiskey c/o@WhiskeyPundit

Whiskey is also a bit of a shape shifter.

Starting off as raw grains – barley & corn in this instance – grown in fields. Adding water & yeast, brewing, distilling & maturing. The solid grains are transformed into an aromatic brown alcoholic liquid.

The aromas emanating from Púca Irish Whiskey were particularly attractive.

Reflecting both the raw ingredients – a fresh sweet lightness from the corn – plus the cask influence – a lovely rich rummy nose full of dark caramels from the ex-rum & stout barrels used.

Last one on the shelf! c/othewhiskeynut

The palate is silky smooth with a wholesome mouthfeel. A touch of spice breaking through. The peppery spice slowly grows in strength giving a gorgeously prickly experience to the long lasting finish.

A lively & characterful blend!

There’s another similarity with the elusive púca spirits.

Aldi ad c/oAldi

Despite being available in Aldi for the excellent price of €25 – Púca Irish Whiskey didn’t appear on the date advertised. By the time I was informed they’d arrived – none were left on the shelves!

Luckily a sample swap was procured!

If you’re after Púca Irish Whiskey you’d better be quick – it’s a joyous encounter when you do!

Sláinte

Headline image courtesy Blackwater Distillery

Asda, Superior White Rum, 37.5%

It’s funny how much the world has changed.

Instead of physically going down to the shops & picking our whiskey off the shelves – it’s computer clicks & courier calls.

That’s why I got excited about Aldi’s Púca Whiskey.

Not in Athlone! c/oAldi

Alas there was no show in my local store!

Usually I’d turn the quest to find a bottle into a blockbuster of The Hunt For Red October proportions – RIP Sean Connery – but due to COVID restrictions – travel beyond 5km was out.

Sean drinking whiskey. c/oSuntory

So on to Plan B.

Supermarket Rum.

Asda Superior White Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Purchased traveling South through the North during the heady days of summer when we were free to roam around the Emerald Isle.

A relatively plain & simple yet pleasing bottle.

A very attractive price – £11 – yet on tasting – superb!

This is everything I expect from a white rum.

Pleasing aromas of sweet funk on the nose.

A deliciously oily mouthfeel that coats the palate with sweet, heavy funky fruit.

All wrapped up with a characterful prickly peppery spice.

Tried it, Loved it! c/othewhiskeynut

The Púca may have alluded me – but Asda’s White Rum is seriously pukka!

Sláinte

3 Whiskeys For Under €20

Update!!! On January 4th 2022 Ireland implemented a Minimum Unit Pricing – MUP – policy on alcohol with all 40% whiskey in 700ml bottles now costing a minimum of €22.09.

With whiskey prices inevitably spiraling northwards & putting many punters out of the buying game – it’s still possible to find a selection of whiskeys for under €20.

At this price point you can hardly expect non chill filtering, natural colour, fanciful back stories, the strain of barley used nor the name of the field it grew in – what you get is plain simple unpretentious whiskey.

Here’s a few I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Clontarf Trinity c/othewhiskeynut

Clontarf Classic Blend, 40%, Aldi

I found Clontarf to be a robust little number.

‘It’d put hairs on yer chest’ some would say – but I say it possesses a proud character all of it’s own.

Plain simple & straightforward ex-bourbon cask matured.

It hits the mark.

Nice! c/othewhiskeynut

Old Samuel Bourbon, 40%, Tesco

It’s cheap, it’s cheerful & it’s more enjoyable than some well established brands.

Nice!

Tasty! c/othewhiskeynut

JG Kinsey Special Reserve, 40%, Dunnes

This one took me by surprise.

It had flavour, depth & a bit of a pedigree too.

I polished it off in a week – which is highly unusual.

Very pleasant.

Under €20

Being under €20 is no barrier to good taste or flavour. The above 3 demonstrate the variety that is available. Something to suit all palates. You may have to try a few to get the one that satisfies – but at the price point – that’s part of the adventure!

Happy hunting!

Sláinte

Bacoo, 4 Year Old Rum, 40%, Dominican Republic

Aldi are upping their spirits game.

Established brands are now hitting the shelves in addition to Aldi’s own offerings.

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Benchmark No 8 c/othewhiskeynut

Benchmark No 8 – a decent high rye bourbon from the Buffalo Trace stable in Kentucky – represents the whiskey category.

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Bacoo in a Tuath glass. c/othewhiskeynut

Bacoo 4yo does the honours for rum.

Presented in an attractively embossed bottle – common throughout the range – Bacoo offers  ‘Made with Fresh Cane Juice’  &  ‘Aged in Ex-Bourbon Barrels’  as temptation.

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Yummy! c/othewhiskeynut

Fresh & fruity notes greeted me, touches of sugarcane grassiness, slight funk & dollops of demerara too.

Vanillas & caramel dominated the palate over that sweet sugarcane base.

A flourish of welcoming spice wrapped up this smooth – if rather sugar heavy offering.

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Bacoo back label c/othewhiskeynut

A fun, easy going rum vying for sweet dessert status.

Sláinte

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