A couple of weeks ago, I received this Ben Bracken ‘Highland’ Single Malt whisky. Quite honestly, I have never heard of such brand before, so I did a little research about this brand which I am sharing. Ben Bracken is the range of single malts sold by Lidl. There are three different versions to this whisky, specifically (WhiskyNotes.be):
About this whisky (Mark Newton, The Whisky Magazine)
Region: Clydesdale, Scotland
Nose: Tropical! Mango and pineapple, fresh strawberries. Smoothie. Baked apples, heather honey, slight hints of lavender. Golden syrup, dried apricots.
Palate: Lovely and rounded. Velvety fudge with caramel, fresh oranges, apples, milk chocolate and cinnamon. Creamy, with traces of Chardonnay. Buttery and oily once the fruits fade.
Finish: Short, oily, with the Chardonnay and apples making themselves known. Warming at the end.
Professional review (The Flavor Chase)
Ben Bracken is Lidl’s single malt offering which competes alongside other supermarket own brands and discount stores such as Aldi’s Glen Marnoch range. It is not stated on the label where the liquid is sourced from and I would not be able to say for sure where I think it is from so I wont. There is also a Speyside and Islay version of this and again I am not sure what the sources are for these but I have found some chatter amongst folks on various online whisky forums that the Speyside is from Tamnavulin. It is interesting to see that the Ben Bracken and Glen Marnoch ranges are labelled by region, in terms of flavour profile. Although I don’t agree with these descriptors I can accept that for the target market this can be helpful rather than an oversimplification of scotch styles. The range is bottled at 40% abv and has no age statement. They are priced at £17.50 a bottle, which at that price it is very hard to see how you can go wrong if you like whisky in general. This is a review of the highland version. The speyside and islay version will follow.
This is a very pleasant, easy drinking single malt. This isn’t one that needs analysing for long as there aren’t many layers to this and much of the flavours that you get at the beginning do not evolve to anything more. This does not need water and I would say that newcomers to whisky may be able to handle this neat. On taste alone I would rate this as a 2, meaning that it tastes fine but it does not excite me. However, at the price it is being sold at I would rate it as a 2.5 as it can stand up to other non age statement official bottles from the likes of Glen Moray and others.
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