Aerstone 10 Years old Single Malt Whisky: Sea Cask

Been a while since I’ve “reviewed” a whisky, odd coincidence about a year ago! Some things never change, £10 off (£30-£20) in supermarket, so treated myself. Well, not really much of a treat sadly. “Smooth and easy” is code for bland boring unfortunately😞 yes, it is smooth, and doesn’t have much going for it, I think I can taste the salt amongst the spices, but that could just be because the label mentions it!

There’s sadly not much I can say to describe this whisky, it’s drinkable neat, but there’s just not much too it, no real flavour, just sort of tastes like whisky. for £20 you could do worse, but for £30 you could do much better.

Maybe it’s just not sweet, or fruity enough for my liking, but I’m really not sure who this would appeal to.

Aerstone 10 Years old Single Malt Whisky: Sea Cask

The Woodsman

The Woodsman

I decided to give another blend a go, this was a bit more expensive than Johnnie Walker Red, but was reduced in the supermarket from £28 to £18. It’s another case of a quite nice whisky, very drinkable but doesn’t do anything to set the world alight unfortunately. Worth trying at £18, not worth £28, I think it’s another of those whiskies that is often on special offer somewhere.

Not too much burn, very mellow, smooth, quite sweet, quite drinkable, hints of vanilla, pear, and well, not much else.

I tried it with a mixer, and there’s no distinguishable flavour to really come out, so just a bit of a waste, better off neat.

So, in short, another NAS (no age statement) run of the mill blended whisky.

The Woodsman

Johnnie Walker Red Label

Johnnie Walker Red

Not that I’m a snob, or an expert, but I usually drink/buy single malts. Johnnie Walker was on special offer in the supermarket (there’s a surprise, me buying whisky that was on offer 😉 ) and I thought I’d give it a go, I’ve bought it in a pub a couple of times and liked it.

I guess it’s the Glenfiddich of blended whiskies, as it’s probably the most famous blend, and I’d guess like Glenfiddich a household name when it comes to whisky. They say it’s the most popular, and like Glenfiddich I guess that may be true because, well, it’s nice.

That’s it, it’s nice neat, or with a mixer. There’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s nothing special about it, it’s safe. I’d drink it again, but I doubt I’d buy a bottle again, it’s just a nice whisky. It’s smooth, there’s next to no burn, it tastes of vanilla, spice, sort of like whisky should I guess. You can add a mixer to it, that’s fine, tastes like whisky and lemonade “should”.

If it’s on special offer, it may be worth having in the house for when you fancy a drink, or have guests, but if you want to experiment with blends then shops like Lidl or Aldi do more interesting/better value for money bottles.

Johnnie Walker Red Label

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple Liqueur


Wouldn’t be my normal choice of drink, but it was on special offer, it sounded interesting, I remember enjoying apple schnapps (Apfelkorn) in Germany many years ago, so decided to give this a go, even though I’m not a massive fan of normal JD.

It’s very nice! Quite sweet, sort of toffee apple, smooth, too easy to drink, and that’s neat! Usually I drink whisk(e)y neat, measure myself a double, and sip at it over an evening, and enjoy it, just the one. I was quite surprised the following morning when I realised how much of this I had drunk in one evening, it’s quite moreish, but on the plus side didn’t give me horrible hangover 🙂

There’s not much more to say really, it’s 35% and taste of apples, rather than JD, which in my book is good. I did try it with lemonade as well, which was fine, but a mixer in my opinion isn’t necessary and doesn’t add anything, just removes some of the pleasant green “appleness” of it! Perhaps it’s better with soda water or a premium tonic.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple Liqueur

Glen Scotia – Classic Cambletown Malt – Single Malt – Double Cask


I bought this, as it was reduced in M&S, I’m beginning to warm to it, my first impression wasn’t great, vanilla, not too spicy, hint of pepper, or is that the salt spray?
It lacks body, it’s strong at 46%, but is sort of watery? On the plus side, the vanilla is quite strong, so it’s sweet and very smooth, very little burn, not sure if that’s good or bad?
Perhaps it’s the slight smokiness I find off putting? It’s not peaty, (I don’t like peaty whisky), but there’s something I’m not sure about!
I don’t dislike it, and I’m glad I bought it, nice to try something different, but I won’t buy it again.
Glen Scotia – Classic Cambletown Malt – Single Malt – Double Cask

Penderyn Legend Single Malt Welsh Whisky


I bought this ages ago, after seeing it on special offer online, after warming to the Penderyn Madeira Finish.

Maybe I’ll warm to this one with time, but it’s a bit of a disappointment, it doesn’t seem as complex as the box notes suggest.

At 41% it is surprisingly mellow, very smooth, very little burn, and tastes quite mild, a lot milder than the Madeira Finish from what I remember. This is another fruity one, but it’s more subtle, pear maybe, some vanilla.

It’s  a bit bland, I won’t be buying it again. Out of curiosity I added a drop of water to it, and tried another with some lemonade, but it doesn’t have a strong enough flavour for a mixer, and so I’d imagine it would be pointless using it in a cocktail.

Penderyn Legend Single Malt Welsh Whisky

The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood Single Malt Whisky


This has been on my wishlist to try for a while, a couple of friends have recommended it, but it’s never on special offer in the supermarket, and costs a bit more than I usually spend. £39 is not expensive in the grand whisky scheme of things, but is at the more expensive end in your average supermarket, and it’s a lot of money to spend on a whim to try something new.

Anyway, at Christmas I caught up with a friend who doesn’t live near me, and he was kind enough to surprise me with a bottle as a gift, as he had been banging on about it as a friend of his introduced him to it on holiday.

I’m very grateful, it’s very nice, and well worth the money, which isn’t something I very often say about the whiskies I review, yes, I would happily pay full price for this, it’s that good!

It’s very smooth, next to no burn, but you know it’s there. It’s sweet, without being sickly, starts off with warm vanilla, then the subtle fruits come through, which according to the tube comes from the oak cask which is used first, then the sherry cask.

I wish I had some Yamazaki left to compare it to, as I think that’s the only other whisky I’ve had which is comparable in terms of quality.

If no-one buys me this for Christmas this year, I may treat myself, or even try one of their other affordable whiskies.

Also, I’ve only drunk it neat – seems a waste to pollute it with a mixer 😉

The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood Single Malt Whisky

Lidl’s Ben Bracken 23 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky


I wouldn’t normally spend £40 on a bottle of whisky, but the chance to buy a  23 year old whisky for a lot less than a 23 year old normally costs was too good an opportunity to miss. My local Lidl had a few bottles, so I purchased one, I had been impressed with one of their blends I had bought last year, and Lidl and Aldi have a reputation for good value for money spirits.

The good news is, it’s nice. I’ll be honest, it’s not mind blowingly amazing, but I guess my disappointment is my fault. I think I got excited by it being a 23 year old whisky, at a bargain price, so I was expecting it to be leaps and bounds better than my normal whisky drinks, but instead, I should have been looking at it, as a £40 whisky, which is 23 years old.

It’s nicer than most of the other whiskies I’ve reviewed, but it costs a bit more than most of them, however it’s not as nice as the Yamazaki, or the 12year old Balvenie Triple Cask I tried a while ago, but it costs less than both of them. As is often the case in life, you get what you pay for, I paid £40 for a bottle of whisky, which is nicer than one that costs £25, but not as nice as one that costs £50 upwards, so I can’t really complain 🙂

So, now I’ve got that out the way, how does it taste? It’s smooth, slightly spicy, fruity, slightly woody, not much burn. There’s nothing overpowering or obvious, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. In short, it’s a nice whisky, but unfortunately nothing stands out about it to make me want to buy it again, or recommend it. It ticks the right boxes, it smells and taste like whisky, but there’s nothing special about this drink 😦

Lidl’s Ben Bracken 23 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select


This is one of the more expensive Jack Daniels offering available in the supermarket, Old No7, Gentleman Jack, then this. It’s much better than normal JD (which I’m not a big fan of), you can drink this neat,  it works well with a mixer, but at this price that seems a waste. I actually preferred Gentleman Jack. Prices vary, this time of year, and around father’s day prices drop £5-£10 but

usual prices are about:

  • JD – £18
  • Gentleman Jack – £30
  • Silver Barrel Select – £40

It’s certainly not £10 better then Gentleman Jack, I wouldn’t be tempted to buy this again, even with £10 off. I prefer the Maker’s Mark which I also recently reviewed (I had both bottles open on the go at same time, usually I finish one before the next) and I never reached for this bottle first.

It’s ok, burn, toffee, pear, quite rich, sweet, spicy, nutty, it’s definitely a more complicated drink than normal JD, but it doesn’t grab me, I’m actually quite disappointed by it.

Back to whisky (without an E) for next few drinks I think.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select

Maker’s Mark


The distinctive bottle with the wax dripping from the top down the side caught my eye a while ago, a cunning plan of theirs to make it stand out 😉 As one of the more expensive bourbons in the supermarket (£30) this had been on my wish-list for a while, but as usual, when it had a hefty discount, I bit, so I guess I’m a sucker for a gimmick and a “bargain” 🙂

It’s got a slight burn, but is smooth, quite sweet, hints of vanilla and caramel, perhaps slightly more woody than the other bourbons I’ve tried, rich and full bodied, nice, but there’s unfortunately nothing special about it to make me want to buy it again, it’s quite safe. Even the special offer price doesn’t tempt me to buy it again, it’s doesn’t seem “better” to me than cheaper bourbons, and doesn’t offer anything different.

For me, this is another one that I wouldn’t turn down if offered a glass, and I may buy in a pub/bar if not tempted by anything else, but I can’t see me buying a bottle again.

Maker’s Mark