The name alone may be enough to put most people off this whisky, in fact it probably is enough to make all but the very young and those very deep in the pit of alcoholism take a quick step to the side and forget they even saw it. What I am talking about is Tesco Special Reserve Scotch Whisky, the special probably referring to what separates this whisky from most other fine blends; the added coloring. “I say, this looks too pale! Whisky is supposed to be golden, is it not? Yes, yes I am quite sure it is. Do something about it.”
Ahh, the glamour of massive corporations and value brands! Actually this isn’t even Tesco value, this is their “middle priced” expression – there’s also 10 year old single Islay malt which unfortunately wasn’t available in my local shop. So, you’re probably thinking, did he actually purchase a bottle of this stuff? And if so, why?! The answer is yes, and because I was reading through some of my reviews the other day and came across my scolding of Bell’s. Reading that again made me wonder, is there a worse whisky? What would one taste like? Which would it be?
And so here we are; you, me, and Tesco. As you would expect, it pours a caramel golden and there is something about the color that just doesn’t seem quite right. That could be because I know that it contains Plain Caramel coloring, of course, but it just doesn’t look natural. There is nothing much to say about the nose, really, it’s pungently alcoholic with a definite hint of Mr. Muscle. Though, in all fairness, there is a certain whisky like “quality” to it as well. The palate is as smooth as gravel and again mainly tastes of detergent and alcohol, but you can tell that they have at least tried (unlike with the Tesco Value Vodka, Jesus… there’s a headache and a half for you).
The question is, then, how does it hold up against Bell’s? Drum roll, please… Bell’s is better! I mean, at least Bell’s tastes of coriander, which is an actual flavor, where as this is just sort of whisky-scented detergent. But then, considering the fact that this is $24/33oz as compared to Bell’s $30/33oz and that they’re both virtually undrinkable and unusable in cooking… It does win so far as value for money goes, if you need whisky to clean your gold (don’t know if it’s any good for it) or something along those lines.