Tesco Finest Aged 12 Years Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

40% ABV, £20 for 70cl

Score: 83/100

Tesco12yoSpeyside

What they say:

Expertly crafted by master blender, Richard Paterson, using the finest speyside malt and aged in oak casks for a minimum of 12 years, this single malt Scotch whisky has a classic elegant complexity, with hints of fragrant lemon and currants and a gentle depth of peat smoke enhanced by maturation.

Tesco12yoSpeyside

What I say:

I have to confess I purchased this for 2 main reasons. 1, I thought it came in a very pretty bottle compared to the old Tesco’s own brand whiskies which look quite dated in packaging terms. 2, The new range of Tesco regional expressions not only carry an age statement but also the signature of Richard Paterson. I have had the pleasure of meeting Richard and hearing him speak at the Meet The Blenders evening at the Scotch Whisky Experience. An event that capitalises on the fact that many of the major noses and blenders within the industry meet to judge the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) – of which the 2014 silver medal adorns this whisky. Needless to say the guessing game of what whisky is in the bottle is the most fun game to play with these supermarket own brands. Many jumped on the fact that Richard is also master distiller at Dalmore (part of the Whyte & Mackay group) and so the rumour mill has the Highland version of this whisky pegged as Dalmore. So deduction should be simple right – this must be W&M’s speyside distillery Tamnavulin – case closed, goodnight.

Colour:

Refractive light amber gold (9/20), Oily with thick/heavy tears

Nose:

Light and fresh, apple and citrus fruits, cereal barley grist, some sweet icing sugar and vanilla frosting follows

Taste:

Mouth-coating but light, sweet apple pie and vanilla custard initially, then a tiny hint of cinnamon spice before masses of cereal barley grist and some heathery honey

Finish:

Medium, sweet and sour, toffee oak persists

Overall:

A very pleasant Speyside dram, lots of cereal and sweet fruits. There are some slightly oily and over-oaked elements but if anything that prevents this from becoming cloying. Again for the price the supermarkets brands have smashed it! Easily as good as any distillery official bottling of 12 year old Speyside malt (perhaps with the exception of a notable few – Balvenie, Aberlour, Macallan and I suspect Mortlach if they ever made one). I actually love the bottle design – which means even after the whisky has gone I get to keep something pretty! Well done Richard and Tesco!