Aldi’s 30 Year Old Whisky

Age VS Quality

The whisky world seems to be preparing for an all out brawl at the moment. A proper dust up where there can only be one victor.

In one corner we have the experienced, well rounded and globally loved older whiskies defending both their heritage and their lofty place in today’s market. In the other we have the fiery young pretenders trying to show that age doesn’t matter and it’s all about quality.

It’s a battle for the ages. Literally.

What the result will be I have no idea. I’ve got favourites on both sides. I would, however, like to argue that we are seeing a steady levelling of the playing field when it comes to price.

For years now we’ve seen “exclusive” non-age statement whiskies increase in price. This is in no way a bad thing and may lead to a whisky market where we price on quality rather than any other criteria. I think we’re a long way off that though. Also the quality of a whisky is really rather debatable. That is, after all, half the fun of it!

What we’ve not seen so much is a big shift in the other direction with the much older whiskies bringing down their prices to be more accessible to the common person. In fact we’ve seen many heart stopping premium releases go the other way and up their prices to astronomical levels.

As with everything though there will always be exceptions. These exceptions of less expensive older whiskies seem mainly to come from the independent bottlers but more recently we have seen certain supermarkets get in on the act. Most notably, perhaps, Aldi.

Aldi’s 40 Year Old Single Malt

Last year Aldi released a 40 year old single malt whisky just in time for Christmas and (my word) did it cause a bit of a kerfuffle. A 40 year old single malt whisky that only cost £49.99. Bit of a bargain that. A lot of people had a lot to say about it including our friends at Master of Malt. You see see their thoughts here.

How do I feel about it? Rather good really. I have neither the salary or home situation that let’s me indulge in buying bottles of very old whisky. To even have a chance of snaring a whole bottle of something this old is an amazing idea. Sadly, for most of us, it did just turn out to be an idea. It turns out that 3,000 bottles over 450 stores really doesn’t go that far. It’s a bit like finding that mythical golden ticket around a Wonka bar. Before long these affordable older bottlings started to appear online for more than treble to price. Sad indeed but, as I’ve said in past posts, it is more than expected.

This year Aldi have once again released a whisky with a whopping age statement just in time for Christmas. Not quite as old this time, only a modest 30 years old, and it is a blended whisky instead of a single malt. Don’t let that put you off though. If you missed Chris’ article about the world of blends earlier this week take a gander here.

I do rather like the idea, with Christmas and New Year just around the corner, of having an older whisky around the house just to offer to people that come round. Many people have never had the chance to try something like this. People may look down on it at first for being a blend but I’ll soon sit them down and set them right about that! How is it though? Well let’s just see.

Glen Orrin 30 Year Old Blended Whisky

40% ABV
£49.99 only available at Aldi Stores in Scotland.

Nose: Crisp and minty with floral and grassy notes. Sweet, fruity and lively for being as old as it is. Marmalade in the morning crops up as well.

Palate: The floral garden kicks things off with the dry grass bringing a little bit of nice bitterness. It’s lively for being 30 and it is certainly deceptive in it’s age. You certainly wouldn’t guess the age when tasted blind and for me that is always a good thing – I find some older whisky can be a tad drying.

Overall: I think you’ve got to really add it all up. The whisky is nice enough, it’s pretty limited and for £49.99 you could really do a lot worse. You could argue that there are other whiskies in the price range that might have a bit more to them (but they would have nowhere near the same level of age.) That’s what I feel this really comes down to. This whisky from Aldi is a very good 30 year old blend and for the price it’s a bargain and it depends what you would want in the house and who is visiting you over Christmas. If it’s your favourite malt whisky loving uncle it might not be the best buy. If it’s an old school friend that will be impressed by something a bit older I’d get down to Aldi today (it launched on 09/12/12) and grab a bottle of this.




  1. My dad bought this today from ALDI for £29.99, and it is very tasty!

  2. I’d heard the hype about Aldi’s festive gestures. So there I was on Sunday morning as I rolled up to Aldi Kingsbury at 9.55am. To my horror there were already 30+ people waiting in a disorderly queue at the door. Surlely all those people couldn’t be after the 6 bottles of Glen Orrin that Aldi were stocking? I had phoned up Aldi a few days earlier to find out about the supply (which was surely going to outweigh the demand). At 10.00am on the dot, the doors opened and there was a semi-scramble. The search was on for the whisky. I finally found the whisky section, but was then directed to another area of the shop where the offers were. Another gentleman was also in search of the 30-year old whisky. This didn’t look promising. I now had a competitor, and we made polite conversation as the search continued. I found out that he only wanted two bottles. At last the ONE box of six bottles was brought to us at the checkout, and in fact there were only 5 bottles. My new whisky friend took two and I took the remaining three. On closer inspection, this Glen Orrin was a Blended Scotch Whisky, no mention of single malt, but a big ‘three zero’. So I had gone to all this trouble, and was not going to leave the store without making the purchase. I also could not resist 2 bottles of Glen Marnoch @ £18.00 each (actually the last two bottles this Aldi branch had in stock), just to fill up my box. Just to note, the other shoppers seemed more interested in cheap medication! As I left the shop (kind of regeretting I had not picked up a couple of bottles of Glen Orrin 5 yr old @ £13), I overheard someone asking about the whisky and he was told that it had sold out. All that’s left to do is to taste the stuff, or keep in order to hopefully appreciate in value. Forget bullion, silver, platinum, art pieces by Banksy, shares in Royal Mail, … whisky is now a serious investment (well, that’s what I told my wife anyway!).

  3. Hi, I bought a bottle of there 30 year old blend for £50 and have to say it is one of the worst Scotches I have ever tasted, It just tastes fusty and bland it is also harsher then Teachers which says something I think. I have emailed Aldi asking for a refund.


  4. Hi, forget the comment above about Teachers (above), the Glen Orrin 30 is so much smoother. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the $100 I paid, maybe $60, because at the end of the day it’s still only 40% al., which make me wonder why it has been so watered down. In Australia, there are much better whiskies in the $70-100 than this one (e.g. Hellyers Rd), but I have no regrets. It’s super tasty and beats any other 40% al., whisky. But I wouldn’t do it again… to be honest.

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