Highland Black 8 Years Old

Highland Black 8 Years Old (40%, Aldi, 2016)

  • Category: Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Bottling: Aldi
  • ABV: 40%
  • Cost: £12.99


What they say

Highland Black is an award winning Blend having secured Gold Medals at both the IWSC and ISC industry awards over recent years. The blend is created using a range of the finest Speyside and Highland Malt whiskies blended expertly together with the Grain whisky from Girvan in the Lowlands of Scotland. Each oak cask used in creating Highland Black is matured for the very minimum of 8 years before being selected by our master blender to create the final award winning blend. Boasting rich malt flavours, our Highland Black Scotch Whisky’s smooth flow leads into a long, fruit-filled finish.

Food Match

Try with a smokey Cheddar to compliment this whisky’s full-bodied flavour.

What I say

Another supermarket special. This time it is Aldi’s 8 Year Old blended scotch whisky ‘Special Reserve’. I am just thankful that Aldi are proud to declare an age-statement on this blend and a perfectly respectable one too. Having previously sampled Aldi’s Highland Earl and found it to be a little young in places we have higher hopes for this blend.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Full ‘caramel’ amber gold (9/20), slow medium-sized tears leave fine legs
  • Nose: Banana (esters) and polish, acetone/nail polish remover, toffee, slightly and mildly spiced, cinnamon and white pepper, toffee-coated popcorn, a little sharp and abrasive on the nose
  • Taste: Toffee apple, sticky toffee pudding, polished oak wood, a touch of rich malt and dark chocolate, fudge, caramel, butterscotch and vanilla essence
  • Finish: Medium-short, toffee and woody oak, quite sweet


Unfortunately a little weird and raw chemicals (esters/acetone) on the nose but once you get past this the palate and finish really are quite solid and good for a blend. There is a depth of flavour which strongly hints at quite a rich bourbon-cask maturation which does this blend a lot of favours. Perhaps leave this one to breath a little before drinking or more than solid enough to use it with mixers if that is your preferred serve.

Score 79/100

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Categories: Blends

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6 replies »

  1. The supermarkets always seem to have a decent stock of standard entry level own brand whiskies.
    Most are perfectly palatable – if a bit uninspiring.
    For the budget price point – I’d say they were a bargain for an everyday dram.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to date a beautician (yes – I accept real people) and I can’t smell any nail polish remover. I agree with jacknjagger. Stop being pretentious and just drink it. The bottle given to me was a birthday gift, I am grateful for the the thought and would recommend this to any “real person”. It hits the spot. That’s all you need. Critics are unhappy people who have chosen to lead a life of unhappiness. Don’t be like them. They are empty flacid vacuous people. You are better than them. “Don’t look at the critic, look at the crowd”.


    • Thanks for the comments. I work in a lab with pure solvents like acetone (the base solvent in nail polish remover) it has an unusual sweetness most people may never have experienced, apologies if this seemed pretentious as I’m just trying to describe what I sense in terms understandable to everyone. We all sense things differently and describe them based on previous experience or connection with memories – one of the major criticisms levelled at any whisky tasting note, despite us all drinking the same stuff!


  3. Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


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