[Review] Glen Marnoch - 1988 40%

Glen Marnoch? Is that a Scottish distillery? No it isn't. It is the name the German supermarket Aldi give its own single malt. And every year around Christmas time they release an older Glen Marnoch. The first one they released was a 28 year-old malt a couple of years ago and it created quite a stir in the new. Last year it was a 29 years old (which was not as good apparently) and this year they dropped the age statement and replaced it with a vintage year: 1988, making this single malt 30 years old. The price of these bottles is actually the main talking point as after charging around £40 for the previous bottles this 1988 is priced sub-£50. There is no disclosure of the original distillery, all we learn from the packaging is that it is a Speyside single malt with the following tasting notes: Aroma: "Rich and fruity with ripe red apple notes and a deep oakiness." "A rich and complex flavour layers of fresh fruits, vanilla spice and mellow oak." Finish "Long lasting oak." These notes do not shout huge complexity to me but what does it actually smell and taste according to me? Let's find out...

The bottle comes into a nice and simple wooden presentation box, it is bottled at 40% (shame for a 30 year-old whisky), probably chill-filtered and colour. I am not going to lie, when I opened the bottle and tried it straight away, I was rather disappointed as it reminded me a lot of Glen Moray Classic Elgin (that you can purchase in supermarkets for £18 a bottle). It has picked up with a little time and air. At the time of the review, the bottle has been opened about a week.

Nose: Quite fresh for a 30 year-old, citrus, some mineral notes, apple, cedar wood but also some honey, hints of dried fruits (raisins) barley sugar and wood. Not bad, just give it time to breath...

Palate: Sweet, toffee, malty, still some citrus notes and some bitterness too. Vanilla, a little treacle/brown sugar, and oak dryness

Finish: Malty, woody, a little spicyy/bitter, not very long (higher abv needed?)

With Water: The nose becomes a little sweeter with more vanilla. The palate also gets more sweetness wrapped in bitter spice notes. The finish is spicier and still with some bitterness.

Overall, I think you get what you pay for. But credit to Aldi for giving us a more affordable 30 year-old whisky! And for £50, it is a decent malt which has started to grow on me. The opening was not really a success but a bit of time and air have helped. Where is it from? I don't know, I am no Speyside expert, but as I mentioned above, it reminds me of Glen Moray, particularly when I compare these tasting notes to the one I have for my Classic Elgin. Is it Glen Moray then? Well try it and tell me what you think!


  1. Thanks for reviewing. I'd seen it in Aldi and wondered whether to give it a go. I wasn't a huge fan of last year's release and it sounds like this is much the same so probably won't rush out to buy it!


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