Whisky Review – Tesco Finest 12 year old Speyside Single Malt Whisky

Tesco Finest 12 year old Speyside Single Malt Whisky

40% ABV

~£25.00 from Tesco

I’m setting myself a mission on the run up to Christmas to try some of the mid range supermarket own brand whiskies and write reviews for them. There aren’t enough reviews out there of these whiskies, and they are often overlooked because of the supermarket name on the label. Time to see if they should be ignored of if this is a falsehood and your missing out on a particular taste sensation or superbargain. 


Not as Speyside as I would expect (I tend to expect a more sherried style for Speyside), very highland in style. On first pour we have lots of apples, fresh and crisp, reminds me of cider orchards and the pressing of apples for the cider. There may even be a touch of matured cider and a hint of cider brandy in there. We have light vanilla and some pepper spice. After a few minutes in the glass I’m returning to just as many apples, but they are alongside a glass of citrus juice, lemons mainly, and a touch of grapefruit. Quite tarty now. Simple and pleasant. 


Slow arrival of tarty citrus and crisp, citric apples, a little vanilla, a touch of cinnamon, a little creaminess, gentle runny honey. The mouthfeel is very light and watery. Nothing really stands out or is particularly complex. It’s very ‘OK’. 


Short-medium length. Vanilla, some citric leftovers and a touch of oak. Warming in the throat more than the chest, but not overly hot or abrasive. It’s perfectly drinkable and ‘OK’

Adding water. 

Very small drop added, this will drown quicker than I would. The nose has become a lot more floral for that small drop of water, not so much apples, still a touch of citrus, but much more floral with some extra light honey. The palate is more honey, less fruit, quite a lot more fruit sour in the development. The finish seems a little harsher, shorter and less interesting. Leave the water in the bottle for this one. 


Ok, I could be sounding a little harsh, but the first supermarket malt review in this segment was pretty good. I mean, this is flavoursome and non offensive, and there is a lot of worse tasting stuff out there for more money. It just doesn’t stand out much or has a great deal of character about it. It’s perfectly drinkable, I wouldn’t want to mix it, it’s nicely, easy sip able, good session stuff probably, although you would desperately want something more tasty and challenging after a few drams. It’s good palate warming-up type stuff. But…saying that, it’s on the higher end of the price bracket for this range of supermarket malts…would I buy it again…no, sorry…what distillery do I think it is? Not a clue. It says Robert Paterson was involved in creating it on the back of the bottle, so maybe a Tamnavulin (only W&M distillery near Speyside I can find), but I haven’t tried much of that for a viewpoint. Happy to hear of any of your guesses. 

From my own stash of fascination.