This week the battle of the budget supermarkets continues with a look at Aldi’s 5 year old blended malt, Glen Orrin. It comes in a standard unremarkable bottle, with little information concerning origin or composition and a label that looks like it might have been designed by one of the teams from The Apprentice, but it is definitely bottled for Aldi at 40% ABV. And it’s only £13.29, so what do you get for your money?
Well, on first impression, there’s lots going on. It’s pleasingly sweet with a nice hint of peat on the nose. In fact, I’m not too proud to say I was mightily impressed – not all the notes are perfect, but it was surprisingly good for the price, and I was even moved to Whatsapp my mate Phil about my first impressions. He even went out and bought his own, and shared my opinion, calling it a find.
But then something weird happened, and each time I revisited it, I seemed to enjoy it less and less, until finally I was left wondering what had seemed so impressive about it in the first place. And I can’t answer that. There must have been something impressive about it, something different and intriguing… but now it’s gone.
All my experience so far has suggested whisky should open up - for several months - after pouring that first glass, but here was something to challenge that supposition. This could be an anomaly among whiskies, and you can be sure I’ll keep you updated as I draw further conclusions, but as for the Glen Orrin 5, I’m afraid it means I can’t score it very highly: 5/10.
And that brings Aldi’s average score over all spirits and liqueurs I’ve tried to 6.25 out of 10. You can check the first instalment of this contest here.
Lidl, this battle’s other competitor (currently sitting on a poor -2 out of 10), do their own vatted malt that is ripe for comparison with this. Phil was actually motivated to pick that one up, and suggested it is better than the Glen Orrin, so I’ll have to follow suit at some point to find out who is the real king of cheap vatted malts… out of Aldi and Lidl. So much to do, so little time…
Anyways, that's all I got for this week. Sorry to've kept you waiting and that. I'll try to be more prompt next week.