Aldi bargain whisky beats posh spirits costing three times the price

Aldi whisky

Aldi's own label whisky is an impressive bargain, at just £12.99. You'd be forgiven for thinking that for this kind of money you can't expect anything outstanding, but you'd be wrong. It has just won a medal at the International Spirits Challenge - beating whisky that costs more than three times the price.

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Aldi's Highland Black 8 Year Old Whisky claimed a silver medal - its sixth from the highbrow awards. It beat a number of far posher whiskies in the process - including the £45.55 Ardmore Traditional Peated.

Supermarket whisky took a number of silver medals in general - for Marks & Spencer Whisky, a handful of Co-op whiskies, Morrison Distillers Choice Blended Malt, and Waitrose 3 and 8 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, Tesco Finest 12 Year Old Single Highland Malt, Tesco Finest 12 Year Old Single Speyside Malt, and Tesco Special Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky. However, Aldi's comes out as the cheapest - and in some cases is far cheaper.

It wasn't the only Aldi whisky to get this honour (although it was the cheapest). The Glen Marnoch Highland Single Malt (£17.49) and Glen Marnoch Speyside Single malt Whisky (£17.49) were also awarded silver medals.

The range has done well in awards recently. In 2016 alone it picked up a total of 22 accolades.

Who drinks whisky?

Whisky may not be as fashionable as gin at the moment, but we drink just as much of it as we do of gin. Some 12% of people choose it over anything else.

Miles Beale, Wine and Spirits Trade Association Chief Executive Officer, says whisky is also on the rise He explains: "The spirit market in the UK is a very exciting time to be in just now. We are seeing consumers experiment with more and more spirits, especially with Millennials. Whiskies fit into this category as a versatile and trendy product that also happens to be the base of the most popular cocktail in the world – the Old Fashioned."

Of course, if gin is your drink of choice, the discount supermarket highlights that its own label Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin (£9.97) also took silver in the International Spirits Challenge earlier this year.

But what do you think? Would you drink spirits from a discount supermarket? Or do you prefer to stick with the brands? Let us know in the comments.

Save money on shopping: ten great tricks
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Save money on shopping: ten great tricks

The more work you are prepared to put in, the more you stand to save. If you put your shopping list into, you can identify where each individual items is cheapest, and can technically buy every single item at its lowest possible price.

If that sounds a bit too much like hard work, a reasonable compromise is to shop at two supermarkets: once at the weekend and once mid-week. You can buy each item at the cheapest of the two shops, and save money without devoting hours to shopping.

There are several deal-sharing sites, including and Most of them have a ‘freebies’ section, where you can get items completely free, and all have a section where they post fantastic deals that are well worth taking advantage of.

They will often point the way to coupons for brilliant discounts too.

The more time you have spare to spend looking for these, the more you can save.

It’s worth following your favourite brands on Facebook or Twitter. It’s also important to pick up in-house magazines, try your free local paper, and check any letters from supermarket loyalty schemes for your vouchers. If you have a Nectar card, visit the website before you shop, so you can upload the latest deals to your card.

While you’re in-store, keep your eyes peeled for promotions on packets, and on receipts. Often the deal-hunting websites will offer a short cut to many of these, but if you have the opportunity to do some legwork, you will find plenty of others.

Compare the price of your branded goods (after you use the coupon) with the cheapest supermarket alternative. If the discount makes it the cheapest option, then feel free to use it immediately.

However, if it doesn’t bring the price down below the own brand price, then don't throw it away. Hang onto the coupon, and check every few days to see if there’s an offer running on the brand at any time before the coupon expires. A deal plus a coupon is often the cheapest option.

Prices change all the time, but it pays to have a shopping list annotated with the usual price - or an old receipt - on hand when you are shopping. When something is on sale, compare it to the usual selling price from your list, to decide if it’s really as good value as it purports to be.
The frugal experts have decent storage areas at home, so if there’s a very special deal on washing powder or toilet paper, tins or toiletries, they can stock up for a few months at a knock-down price. It’s not generally worth doing on fresh produce, or packets with a short shelf life though, because throwing something away that’s out of date will undo all of your good work.
There can be some incredible bargains in the ‘yellow sticker’ sections of the supermarket. Most stores will have a spot for fruit and vegetable reductions, somewhere for chilled food price cuts, one for bakery products, and a final one for those with a longer shelf life that may be a bit battered, or separated from the outer packaging. Check them all for a possible discount.

The ’yellow sticker’ items will usually be reduced at least twice a day: once in the afternoon and once later in the evening. If you can wait to shop at around 7.30pm or 8pm you can get astonishing discounts.

If you want to time your shop exactly, then your best bet is to ask in store when they do their final reductions - don't be shy!

Get to know the rules around freezing ‘yellow sticker’ items, so you can buy when they are cheapest and use over the following weeks and months.

Don't assume something is perishable without checking. Everything from cheese to beansprouts is fine to freeze as long as you treat them correctly (beansprouts need blanching, chilling in ice water, and freezing immediately).

It’s never worth buying something just because it’s cheap: you also have to be able to factor it into your life. If you can't immediately think how you would use that over-ripe avocado, a pack of cut-price tongue or kippers, then don't buy them.

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