Tag Archives: Aldi

3 Whiskeys For Under €20

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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El Bandido, Tequila Flavoured Beer, 5.9%

In the absence of finding any beers aged in actual tequila barrels – I’m reduced to trying this tequila flavoured offering from Aldi.

It has similar packaging & a similar style to my previous encounter with Desperado.

Will it taste the same?

Not really.

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El Bandido c/othewhiskeynut

If anything it’s less characterful, not as sugary sweet, blander flavoured & ultimately – a less offensive drinking experience.

At 5.9%  – it’ll get you drunk relatively easily – which is probably it’s main selling point.

It didn’t win me over.

Sláinte

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3 White Rums for Under €20

There’s some tasty bargains to be had for under €20 – if you’re prepared to explore.

Contrary to popular myths these supermarket offerings certainly don’t all taste the same – and nor are they short on flavour either!

Today’s comparison are 3 White Rums currently available from 3 large multiples across Ireland.

All are presented at 37.5% ABV with minimal information as regards distillery of origin or processes used.

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Old Hopking from Aldi, ‘Bottled In Germany’, failed to excite me.

A floral nose – reminiscent of gin – put me off & the taste was rather bland too.

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JG Kinsey from Dunnes, ‘Bottled In The UK’ with ‘Imported Caribbean Rum’ impressed.

A soft funky aroma followed through on the palate with a pleasing peppery finish.

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Liberté from Lidl & ‘The Réunion’ proved enticing.

An impressive fruity funk flowed through both the nose & palate finishing of with a joyful prickliness.

For elegantly displaying the essence of rum, Liberté is my winner – with JG Kinsey a close 2nd.

I’d happily buy both again.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a tasty rum!

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Old Hopking, Premium White Rum, 37.5%

After having a run of underrated bargain basement beauties with Lidl’s Liberté Rum & Dunnes’ JG Kinsey Whisky – I suppose a disappointment was inevitable.

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Old Hopking White Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Aldi’s Old Hopking White Rum is presented with a rather plain white label that gives little away.

‘Bottled In Germany’ it says. A common practice using ‘Imported Rum’ from undisclosed sources. Where the sugarcane or molasses came from is not stated – nor method of distillation. At this price point  – that information is a bonus.

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‘Perfect for mixing’ c/othewhiskeynut

So onto a taster.

Oh dear!

A perfumed floral aroma greeted me.

More reminiscent of my wife’s gin rather than a rum!

This followed through in the palate – which was smooth & mellow – with a mild heat to keep it real – but otherwise no defining character.

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‘Imported Rum’ c/othewhiskeynut

Old Hopking is a simple easy sipper – but I wasn’t expecting a rose garden in my rum!

Sláinte

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Crossbones Premium Dark Rum, 40%

Ahoy mateys!

Shiver me timbers & splice the mainsail.

The Jolly Roger is back with this strikingly designed bottle of rum.

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Shiver me timbers! c/othewhiskeynut

I couldn’t resist.

A rich ruby red glow lured me in.

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Ruby ruby ruby! c/othewhiskeynut

A smoky funk on the nose.

Blended Jamaican Rum from both pot and column stills

Dark sweet caramel – almost treacly liqourice to begin with.

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Set sail for Aldi! c/othewhiskeynut

Softly smooth mid palate.

A warming oaky spice on the long finish.

Yo ho ho an’ blow the man down.

A gem of a rum to raise the sails!

Slàinte

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Irish Reserve 12 Year Old, Single Malt, 40%

Aldi continue their well received own label Irish Reserve series with a 12 year old single malt.

Tastefully packaged in a light green bottle with a thick neck & cork stopper – Irish Reserve 12 uses the same attractive label design as previous 26yo and similar 4yo offerings.

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Irish Reserve 12yo c/thewhiskeynut

At only €25 – I couldn’t resist.

A golden brown hue in the glass.

Sweet honeyed nose – delicate & restrained.

The palate was soft & warm. No real flavour explosion – just pleasant easy drinking with a gentle drying prickliness at the end.

After the richness & depth of the 26yo – or the fresh graininess of the 4yo – this 12yo left me a tad disappointed.

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Basic info, basic single malt. c/othewhiskeynut

Like a decent Speyside – it was smooth & easy.  Just lacking a certain sparkle or character to engage me.

Having said that – it’s obviously a popular style.  My bottle was the last on the shelf.

Get it while you can!

Slàinte

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Old Hopking, Dark Rum, 37.5%

Welcome to the dark side.

Of rum at least.

Dark Rums are characterised by their – well – darker colouring.

This can come about through the use of heavily charred casks & longer maturation times – although as in whiskey, added caramel is not unknown.

Dark rums are also usually stronger flavoured than their lighter colleagues – and it was for this reason I picked up a bottle of Old Hopking in my local Aldi.

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Funkin’ For Jamaica c/othewhiskeynut

‘Imported from Trinidad and Jamaica’ also piqued my interest.

Jamaican rums are generally made from molasses, distilled in pot stills & are considered full bodied with strong flavours. Suits me!

So how was Old Hopking Dark Rum?

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Old Hopking back label c/othewhiskeynut

The nose certainly offered a lot more than the clearer rums I’ve tried. Soft, funky & sweet with some burning rubber going on.

An easy delivery slowly developed through a burnt caramel sweetness into a touch of warm woodiness & gentle spice.

A long lasting hug of warmth.

I really enjoyed this one.

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Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby! c/othewhiskeynut

I think I’ve just been touched by the dark side!

Sláinte

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Ardfallen, Premium Blend Irish Whiskey, 40%

Aldi had a surprise in store for me with this recently released Irish Whiskey.

Sporting an attractively embossed label, Ardfallen Irish Whiskey proclaims to be a premium blend – but at only €19 this seems unlikely.

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Premium label for sure! c/othewhiskeynut

I bought it anyway – always keen to try out something new.

The label gives little information; triple distilled, non chill filtered, blend #8 (whatever happened to the other 7?) & ‘Distilled and matured in Cork, Ireland’.

That narrows it down to 2 distilleries – you can choose either East or West Cork – my money is on West.

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Ardfallen back label. c/othewhiskeynut

So what’s it like?

A lovely golden hue.

Has that added caramel nose of an entry level blend – but with a hint of maltiness in the background.

Soft & easy on the palate.

Slowly growing gentle heat builds with a bit of character leaving an engaging prickly tingle.

No real complexity or depth.

Just a pleasant easy going sipper of a whiskey.

Aldi continue to deliver attractively priced enjoyable whiskey.

Sláinte

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