Review – Highland Earl Blended Whisky
The claim that this whisky is blended from the “finest” grain and malt spirits might be somewhat of a stretch for the imagination, but like many of the Aldi range it boasts two silver medals to its name. Highland and Speyside malt are used, together with Lowland grain whisky.
Neat: A similarly superficial palate where even the caramel colour can’t trick you into thinking this has been aged for anything other than a very short period of time indeed. Not particularly harsh, but very dull and lots of raw grain notes with just a hint of oak and vanilla together with the odd butterscotch and orange note.
Mixing: This is certainly a mixing spirit, simply because it is crying out for something to help boost the flavour profile. Although not particularly flavoursome, there isn;t too much smoothing over the rough edges to do either, and so simple highball mixes such as with ginger ale make for an easy-drinking option. At the other end of the scale, this definitely isn’t a whisky to use in drinks where it is required to bring much to the party. Manhattans and Blood and Sands for example are insipid and lacklustre. In between the two are drinks such as the Thriller Martini which benefits from the contribution of gin for flavour and orange juice for roundness, although the need to use a rather decent him seems a bit of a mismatch with the whisky. Fruity notes are a good direction to head though, and cocktails such as the Great Mughal Martini which brings in raisin and passionfruit work surprisingly well with the grain-heavy base.
Highland Earl Whisky is a young blend with too much grain and not enough flavour to really please but it does make for a reasonable value choice for an everyday mixing blend.
Highland Earl Whisky is available to buy from Aldi.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.