Looking to toast Christmas and New Year celebrations? Then head to Lidl and pick up a bottle of 23 year old single malt whisky for less than you'd expect.

The discount supermarket has added a new 23 year old Speyside single malt whisky to its Ben Bracken range, which features malts from Islay and the Highlands.

At just £39.99 – a difference hundreds of pounds compared to similar 23 year old Speyside single malts available – this whisky is ideal as a Christmas gift or for toasting in 2019.

It can also be enjoyed after Christmas dinner, or paired with food.

But be quick, Ben Bracken 23 year old is only available for a limited time, and while stocks last.

Whisky expert and author, Blair Bowman describes the whisky’s tasting notes and what you should be eating with a dram or two.

He commented: “The Ben Bracken 23 year old whisky is incredibly versatile, working just as well before Christmas dinner as it does with Christmas pudding or chocolates as a finisher.

“An easy drinking and very enjoyable whisky that still has layers of complexity to it, The Ben Bracken 23 year old Speyside has a perfect balance of zesty citrus fruits, warming Christmas spices and rich sweetness. It will certainly appeal to new whisky drinkers and whisky connoisseurs alike.

“The whisky is very well rounded with layers that unravel over time, and it lends itself well to pairing with traditional Christmas desserts or simply sharing a dram with family and friends.

“It is an excellent whisky to toast a special celebration, whether from a hip flask while watching Hogmanay fireworks, or in a comfy chair by a fire as a digestive after Christmas dinner, or simply as a treat to yourself for surviving the Boxing Day sales.”

Tasting notes from Blair Bowman

#OurWhisky

Picture: TSPL

Speyside: The Speyside region boasts the highest concentration of distilleries in Scotland, with more than half of the countries distilleries being located within this region.

The Ben Bracken 23 year old Speyside, perfectly fits the natural characteristics of a Speyside, normally known for unique smooth, sweet, and elegant, flavour and aromas.

Speyside whiskies tend to appeal to most palettes and Ben Bracken is a perfect example of the region, with its’ characteristically sweet fruity flavour, making it a wonderful easy whisky to drink.

Colour: Bright and sparkling brass

Nose: Zesty oranges, initially stuffed with cloves. Flavours of dark chocolate fudge with warming mulled spices, and also there are hints of fresh mint leaves and menthol eucalyptus bark. The liquid has rich layers of citrus, spice and sweetness, which are all very well balanced.

Palate: Lashings of zesty oranges and dried candied orange peel, combined with soft cloves and cinnamon spice. Waxy wood polished bookshelves and old leather armchairs. There is a pop of Christmas spices, balanced by sweetness of candied fruits and dark chocolate fudge. A lovely chewy and juicy feel on the mouth. A minty menthol tingle on the front of the tongue adds another layer of interest.

Finish: Long, warm, and lingering. An exceedingly well balanced whisky with delicious layers of citrus fruits, warming Christmas spices, and a deep rich sweetness. Exceptionally smooth and pleasant to drink.

Food pairings

single malt whisky

Ben Bracken 23 year old single malt whisky by Lidl. Photographed by Julie Howden for Lidl

The Ben Bracken 23 year old Speyside pairs brilliantly with Lidl’s Deluxe Luxury 24 Month Matured Christmas Pudding (£11.99) for a rich and warming dessert accompaniment to impress Christmas Day guests. The pudding perfectly draws out the dried fruits and raisin notes within the premium whisky.

Or, for a lighter alternative, the Lidl Deluxe Panettone Classico (£3.29) provides a delicious pairing with the vanilla flavours working in perfect harmony with the Ben Bracken.

For an after dinner treat this whisky would work perfectly with Lidl’s J.D. Gross Ecuadorian 70% Dark Chocolate.

Allow a small piece of chocolate to linger and melt in your mouth before taking a sip of the whisky allowing the flavours to mingle and harmonise.

A fruit option would could be the J.D. Gross Raspberry 70% Dark Chocolate. Try alternating between sips of whisky and nibbles of chocolate for a really sumptuous experience.

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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