Aldi releases 21-year-old single malt whisky in time for Christmas

Regular readers of Executive Style may recall Aldi's 2016 release of an 18-year-old single malt priced at $70.

The hard-nosed German retailer is set to follow up this exploit with the $89.99 Glen Marnoch 21-year-old Highland single malt, just in time for Christmas.

By way of comparison, 21-year-old Scottish single malts currently available in Australia include Highland Park ($240), Glenfiddich Gran Reserva ($255), Glengoyne ($250) and Aberfeldy ($250).

Blended whiskies of this age are significantly more affordable, but still roughly double the price of Aldi's offering. Royal Salute and Ballantine's are each selling for $160.

So on the face of it, The Glen Marnoch 21 looks like incredible value. But how does the liquid stack up?


First and foremost, it's a very fine whisky. It has a long, mouth-coating finish indicative of significant age, with notes of raisin, almond, spice, tobacco and a whiff of smoke.

I'd argue it doesn't quite present like a 21-year-old whisky, however. It is somewhat lacking in the complexity, softness and roundness of whiskies of this maturity that I have been lucky enough to try previously.

Of course, the abovementioned single malts do not command higher prices on age and age alone.

They attract their heady price tags also because of they are reputable brands with long established heritage and provenance. You know which distillery they are from and you could likely visit it, if you chose to do so.


Mystery origins

However, there  is no distillery called Glen Marnoch, nor a glen of this name. It is rather a brand created by Aldi that has featured single malts from various regions of Scotland, as well as blends.

As such we have no idea which Highlands distillery this particular malt originated from, though my online research found unqualified reports that the retailer has previously worked with the likes of Dalmore and Fettercairn.

Nevertheless, a 21-year-old single malt at $90 is a bargain, and the Glen Marnoch is a very enjoyable drink.

The whisky will go on sale on Wednesday, 13th December as part of Aldi's Special Buys, and two weeks later in Western Australia.

"We recommend shoppers arrive early in store the day the whisky goes on sale as there is limited stock available," a company spokesperson says.

"Aldi will limit purchases of the whisky to two bottles per person. If you miss out on a Special Buy we suggest asking the team at your local Aldi and they may be able to help with stock availability in your area."

Would you cough up $90 for an Aldi whisky? Share your thoughts in the comments below.