It’s Burns Night on 25th January!

The Tesco Whisky Buyer has put together a fantastic list of whiskies to help you celebrate the world famous poet. Peter Morrell tastes a Wee Dram or two

Tesco Burns Night Whiskies

The Whisky Buyer at Tesco knows quality when he tastes, so has done the heavy lifting by curating a list of fine whiskies for you to enjoy while celebrating Burns Night this year

I recently tasted two whiskies from the Tesco Finest range, both of which are on the Whisky Buyer’s list. Here are my reviews.

Tesco Finest 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky – £23.00

This whisky has been expertly crafted by cask master Davide Semple and aged for twelve years in American oak casks which has created a well-rounded, smooth winner.

The whisky is attractively packaged in a well-designed presentation sleeve, making it ideal for gifting. It pours a light golden colour, and the first sniff reveals layers of complex aromas. There are floral notes together with raisins, lemon and oaky vanilla. As it moves to the palate it reveals a pleasant sweetness with hints of peat smoke, malt, cinnamon and crisp fruit. The finish is exceptionally smooth with a buttery character.

This IWC 2021 Silver medal winner will please any whisky fan, and in addition, is excellent value for money, priced at £23 for a 70cl bottle

Tesco Finest 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky – £23.00
Highland is by far and away the largest of the five Scotch Whisky producing regions, and the Tesco 12 year old single malt is a fine example of the expression. Like its Speyside sibling above, this whisky has been carefully crafted by cask master David Semple, and rested for twelve years in American Oak casks, the reult is an elegant smooth and sweet whisky

The well-designed and informative sleeve makes it the ideal present to take to a Burns Night supper. The whisky pours a rich golden colour, and the bouquet has balanced citrus and sweet floral aromas with a pleasant backgound of wood char from the casks. On the palate the sweetness and citrus tones persist and are joined by delicate flavours of almonds, stollen cake, and hints of chocolate. The complex finish is long, with a warming character.

This is another another IWC 2021 Silver medal winner that is a pleasure to drink. Both of these Tesco Finest whiskies are high quality and excellent value for money. The Highland is also priced at £23 for a 70cl bottle.

Here’s some information about the other whiskies on the Tesco Buyer’s list

Ardberg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old Single Malt Whisky – £38.00
A Monster of a Dram

Young and intensely smoky, with a rich explosive mouthfeel of Chocolate, Tar and Savoury Meats. Cracked Black Pepper and sappy Pine Resin on the snout.

Wreaking Flavour in its Path
There are plenty of things in the world that cannot be fully explained. One such peculiarity has emerged from the peat bogs of Islay. Said to be a feisty young creature, witnesses have spoken of its formidable bite.

Senses are heightened with each encounter. First comes an intense aroma of cracked black pepper, mingling with sappy pine resin and the sharp tang of smoke. Suddenly, the explosive mouthfeel bursts forth with chocolate, creosote and tar. Savoury meats sink into the palate, before the long salty mouth-coating finish slinks away.

At just 5 years old, the legendary smokiness of Ardbeg is untamed by age, revealing the inner beast of this Islay icon.

Aberlour Casg Annamh – £45.00
Translating as ‘Rare Cask’ in Gaelic, Casg Annamh is created from a limited number of carefully selected casks. These Spanish oak Oloroso Sherry casks/butts have a significant influence on the non-chill filtered liquid and perfectly complement Aberlour’s distillate flavour, bringing sweet and rich notes. Casg Annamh is a distinctively rich Single Malt providing adventurous malt lovers with the ideal introduction to Sherry cask matured whiskies.

Won Gold at the International Wine & Spirits Challenge 2021.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Rich and sweet with fruity notes of tangy orange, glazed cherries, raisins and a hint of ginger.
Palate: Sweet and fruity flavours of apple and cinnamon crumble and ripe peaches balanced with spicy notes of liquorice and cloves.
Finish: Long and rich. Fruity with a touch of dry spice.

Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair Single Malt Scotch Whisky – £32.00
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

  • Pronounced ‘Stew-rah-dur’, meaning ‘helmsman’ in Scots Gaelic, Stiùireadair pays homage to the Bunnahabhain helmsman and our appreciation of the sea by which the distillery is surrounded
  • Exposing the coastal nature of Bunnahabhain, this whisky was matured in first and second fill sherry casks in the warehouses by the Sound of Islay
  • A creamy mouth feel with a dried fruit influence and notes of sea salt, creamy caramel and hints of nuts and gentle spice
  • Unusually for an Islay single malt, Stiùireadair is unpeated, allowing the sweet coastal character of the island to shine through.
  • Award winning Scotch: International Spirits Challenge 2020 – Gold. International Wines & Spirits Competition 2020 – Silver. Scotch Whisky Masters 2021 – Gold.
  • Non-chillfiltered and natural colour gives our whisky an authentic character and taste.

To create Stiùireadair, the Blender selects first and second fill sherry casks with spirit of varying ages and warehouse locations to construct a dram that truly exposes the coastal nature of our Islay single malt whisky. With a brackish, coastal tinge, this sherried malt will transport you to Bunnahabhain bay, with a smattering of sea spray and dried fruit lingering on your lips

Highland Park 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky – £34.00
The Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul

Highland Park 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured predominantly in sherry seasoned European and American oak casks. The taste is a fistful of fallen oranges, dollops of vanilla cream and smoky heather peat. Awards include for this whisky include Silver at the International Spirits Challenge 2018 and Category Winner 12 years and under at the World Whiskies Awards 2018.

Jura 10 Year Old Malt Whisky – £35.00
A rich and rounded balance of subtle smoky notes with a sweet sherry cask finish
A touch of peat brings a rich and rounded balance of subtle smoky notes with a sweet sherry cask finish. It is warm in colour with aromas of fruit, cracked pepper and dark chocolate and flavours of nectarines, ginger and freshly ground coffee.

A few miles off the west coast of Scotland you’ll find the island of Jura: remote, sometimes wild, yet always beautiful, home to 212(ish) islanders, one road, one pub and one distillery.

The distillery was established in 1810 and reborn in 1963 to bring life back to the island and the community. And what a success it’s been.

Today, almost every family on the island has a member who works in the distillery, with the distillery or in whisky-related tourism.

Inspired by the history and its island home, the whiskies reflect the unwavering passion and tenacity of the islanders, so it tastes distinctively better because it matters more to those who make it.

Jura 10 is a smooth all-rounder. An Oloroso sherry finish introduces delicious flavours of fruit and nut.

Lagavulin 8 Year Old Malt Whisky – £45.00
The definitive Islay malt—intensely flavoured, smoky and rich. The windswept Isle of Islay instils a strength of character into everything it produces. The distillery nestles in a small bay where the beloved Lagavulin whisky has been made for over 200 years.

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