Low cost whisky can sometimes be a lottery, but there are some good value drams if you are prepared to have a look beyond the big brands.
The 8 year old Ben Bracken normally retailed for £18, but it appears that it was being replaced by the new trio of Ben Bracken expressions which were launched for World Whisky Day in 2017.
The result of this was that the old stock was being cleared and I was able to pick up a bottle for £9.99(!).
So we have a Speyside Single Malt, matured in American White Oak Bourbon Casks and bottled at 40% – for under a tenner – let’s see how it tastes.
Light honey sweetness, baked apples and pears. Hints of citrus sharpness, floral and a slight malty biscuity note can also be detected.
Toffee apple and oaty sweetness; like a subtle apple crumble. It’s a bit one-dimensional, but the flavours are very pleasant.
There’s a little peppery bite just before the finish which is consistent with the main flavours of apple sweetness.
A pop of vanilla before the short, slightly dry fruit finish.
Paying £9.99 for a full-sized bottle of whisky does not come with high expectations and I was quite prepared for this to be put in the ‘hot toddy’ corner for medicinal use.
That said however, the Ben Bracken 8 Year Old Speyside is a decent dram with very pleasant flavours. It doesn’t have any great complexity but is nicely balanced with no unpleasant edges, making it a good choice for drinking neat or with your favourite mixer.
Another tick for Lidl and budget whiskies!