Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taste the Difference Dun Leire 8yo Irish Single Malt

It's not often I feel moved to write about whisky (well, actually, slightly more often since I went to Islay a couple of months ago) but this is a real bargain.

Sainsbury's is selling its excellent Taste the Difference Dun Leire 8yo Irish Single Malt for £15 for the next three weeks instead of the launch price of £19.99

Those who poo-poo Irish whiskey as being inferior to Scotch (my late mother-in-law was always outraged if we tried to sneak one by her) would have to acknowledge that this is a fine dram by any standard. Matured in American Bourbon and Irish whiskey barrels it's made by the Cooley distillery.

My tasting note says - rather lamely, but it was the end of a long wine tasting - 'beautifully sweet and fragrant'. For a more evocative description you'll have to turn to Jim Murray's Whisky Bible which describes it as 'one of the great whiskies from Cooley, ever' and names it his Irish Single Malt of the year. At £15 it's a steal.

Sainsbury's also has a trio of Scottish whiskies in the Taste the Difference range, a 12 year old Highland, a 12 year old Speyside and (my favourite) a 12 year old Islay, all at £28.49 (though I'm waiting to see if there are special offers on those too). They're all non-chill filtered, unusual for supermarket whiskies, which adds to the complexity and flavour.

It's interesting how whisky seems to be becoming the new battleground for supermarkets. Aldi is selling a very fine 24 year old Glen Marnoch whisky in its stores next Thursday for £29.99 which might sound expensive but is probably about a third of the price you'd have to pay for a bottle of that age and provenance. There will only be a few in each branch though so get down there early.