Cheapo Challenge


This page isn't about individual distilleries

Do you often look at the shelves in your local whisky store or supermarket and wonder if those 'never heard of, no name' brands are really any good?

Well this page is about such whiskies.



  Challenge No.1 (August 2010) (See also my "Dram-atics" live review)      

Four whiskies covering Scotland, Ireland, USA & Canada for under 40 (together)


Dean's, Finest Old Scotch Whisky, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; (8)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark gold

Nose: Malt with brand new Wellington boot and a hint of the farmyard it will be used on.

Palate: Very slightly farmy with just a faint hint of rubber welly and liquorice.

Finish: Medium to long with some liquorice.

Overall impression: Definitely a slightly farmy, outdoor style of Scotch with countryside elements. If you like this style it really isn't bad.



Kilbeggan, Irish Whiskey, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; (13)


Admittedly this isn't a 'no name' whiskey, but as I wished to represent Ireland, this was the cheapest Irish whiskey I could find on that particular day.

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold (9ct)

Nose: Finest Irish flora give this a very aromatic, light and inviting nose.

Palate: Slightly watery mouth-feel, but more solid flavours with aromatic malt, light liquorice and faint herbs along the lines of basil & thyme.

Finish: Long, aromatic, light and slightly dry.

Overall impression: I sampled this whiskey as part of a budget-price tasting and Kilbeggan was the winner of the evening, not surprisingly as it is a jolly good whiskey and extremely good value at the mere 13 price tag. Try it!



Mac Bundy, Canadian Whisky, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; (9)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich amber, almost teak

Nose: Initially slightly sweet, finest Italian leather new shoes, could that be a hint of maple syrup too? It's also quite floral beyond that light leather.

Palate: Smooth and not as sweet as I feared from the nose. The aromatic light flora from the nose also translates well onto the palate.

Finish: Long, aromatic, floral.

Overall impression: I have tasted better, but I have also tasted far worse from (Canadian) whiskies costing at least three times the price of this one. This really is value for money.



Old Blacksmith, Blended Bourbon Whiskey, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; (8)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark oak

Nose: Slightly sweet, aromatic violets, wood shavings and that gooey sap I get on my car when parking under fir trees.

Palate: Very floral, wood, violets.

Finish: Long and floral with those violets in the background.

Overall impression: No this isn't a 'great' 90+ pointer either, but it once again represents very good value for money and provides a surprisingly drinkable whiskey.













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