I so enjoy Burns Night - so looking intensely at single malts and it occurred to me that a more affordable scotch must be around somewhere. Mustn't it? Suitably armed with drammie glass, pen and paper I set myself the task of sampling supermarket own brands. Not all in one day and absolutely not all in one sitting but still pretty deliciously dangerous.
The results however were extremely pleasing. Co Operative's 12 year old Highland Single Malt - a mere snip - at 21.99 was as good as - dare I say it - Glenmorangie, my all time very favourite single malt which is never a mere snip, currently retailing at £35.99. You still get that super smooth, well rounded, mellow taste, hold it in your mouth for 5 seconds and even more flavoursome notes are released on that swallow. Terrific. Definitely crushed almonds and some marzipan, hmm maybe not quite as much honey as 'The Great G' but there's warmth and exotic spices in there. Sometimes it's difficult to vocalise 'tastes' - I do hope my descriptions give an inkling of what I'm trying to say. On my regular Best Smooth Wines slot at London's Best Smooth Jazz I often end up babbling on about 'notes' and 'body' much to host Rod's amusement or confusion. Thing is you can't just say 'Yummy' or 'hmmmn' all the time.
Tesco's own brand 12 year old single malt also gives the higher price range a good run for it's money - literally. Aberlour has real competition with the bright pure clear offering from this supermarket. There remain purists among us who would never compromise their favourite scotch whisky but at least we have a decent choice. Thanks guys, I for one appreciate it.
Back to wines, the best in malbecs at the moment have to come from Argentina and Chile, haven't sampled one single dud recently, that pretty much goes for the merlots too. Affordable and widely available in most supermarkets - Famatina Valley Malbec is one great example - it's wholesome, full bodiedly delicious and bursting with cherry/plums.