Hogwash Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Aldi Hogwash whisky

Entering any supermarket I engage the autopilot mode. This is a chore that needs to be orchestrated and performed on a regular basis, with the final goal being to literally escape. During the cavalcade of dodging trolleys propelled by those who just don’t look, or rampant kids who feel they’re in a playground, there is the welcoming solace of the whisky aisle.

Within this forest of bottles, you can visualise the pressure that Scotch is coming under from other spirits, mostly gin currently, and the onslaught of craft beers. You’d be wrong for expecting that because I live in Scotland this means the aisles are brimming with choice. Sadly, it is fairly pedestrian and uniform fare on offer, regardless of which establishment you frequent for your wares. Any bottles on sale are snapped up with delirious abandonment noting that blends prove to be the most popular segment of the aisle.

It was last Sunday morning I found myself in the German supermarket chain, Aldi, who have offered a small selection of whiskies often bolstered with the occasional special release tied in with Father’s Day, Christmas etc. A new arrival was evident in the form of this bottled called Hogwash – interesting concept – a blended Malt Scotch Whisky. Priced at £14.99 it seemed fair enough on paper, fitting snugly into an obvious gap between Aldi’s bargain blends and its Glen Marnoch single malts, which are rock solid experiences for the price. A couple of photographs for the Twitter and Instagram masses snared, I was then free to plan my escape.

That was the end of it, or at least I had thought so. Given my focus currently is on keeping up with Cadenhead’s and their monthly outturn with the occasional Tormore or Glen Mhor, Hogwash was left for another day. Then Twitter took up the bait with others seeking more information on the blend that apparently is just a trial release in certain Aldi stores. This testing of the water prompted me to return and purchase a bottle for further investigation given the level of interest in the said contents.

Visually the concept brings back memories of Monkey Shoulder and The Feathery that are both blended malts. Hogwash does possess a decent cork, which is always a small sign that some thought and capital has been spent on a project. However, it does seem a little misconceived with the array of marketing buzzwords and phrases that adorn the labelling without telling you much at all about the contents. It’s not as bad as the Highland Park Valkyrie, but here we have a small batch, handcrafted, premium Scotch malt whiskies, limited release, artisan blend, blend no.08; I’d like to know what happened to 1-7 prior to this? Ultimately these words mean very little and their tossed array suggests a scattergun approach squeezed onto the bottle that comes without packaging. A bottle for hipsters? Do hipsters frequent Aldi?

The most important word on the label is malt, so you immediately know this doesn’t contain grain, which litters many famous blends around this price point or slightly more. Given my experiences recently with the Famous Grouse Smoky Black, for instance, the grain content is more to the fore nowadays leaving an industrial metallic quality throughout the experience. At least Hogwash is devoid of its presence. It’s also the basic entry strength at 40% and features no statements regarding its natural qualities; meaning its chill filtered and coloured to a certain degree. For whisky enthusiasts, this underlines the mockery of phrases on the label, but the masses, in reality, don’t care about such things only the experience and affordability of the product. There are no clues either to who put together this concept other than your standard Aldi contact details.

The name itself and the premise that the use of hogshead barrels can then take a leap and inspire some form of hog, or pig, roasting etc. follows the leisurely approach of the labelling. A little more focus would have paid dividends. As such I prefer to refer to this blend as Hogwarts and since making the connection I cannot get an array of images out of my head. The thought of those young teenagers in their private Scottish castle educational retreat, enjoying some of the local produce behind the broomstick shed with other illicit shenanigans is a tale that needs to be told. Hermione snuggling up to Harry, both fuelled by a skinful of Hogwarts blend, direct from the science laboratory and since has become a rampant menace across the campus.

Let’s not overlook the devastation this Hogwarts blend has created amongst the elite Quidditch teams with a series of in air collisions, errors of judgement, poor reaction times and ultimately a serious dip in form. Even cheeky old Professor Dumbledore has taken a shine to the good stuff and turns a blind eye to the obvious problems being reported by his teaching colleagues. Realistically, I doubt whether J.K. Rolling would sign off on such a deal, but you never know till you try. I’d best stop before I’m sued again. For now, we’ll have to continue with the Hogwash name as it stands ready for the Wizengamot tasting verdict.

Aldi Hogwash Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – review

Colour: a nice shade of E150

On the nose: there’s a youthful flamboyance here with a sizeable array of oranges and sherbet. A light chocolate presence moves into a gentle Parma Violet before Custard Creams take control followed by boiled sweets and a sugary shortbread. The addition of water delivers cherries and apples with elements of cream and orange zest.

In the mouth: there’s an initial sweetness the nose doesn’t prepare you for and a belief that it’s 43% strength. That burst of orange is followed by almonds, fresh root ginger, red liquorice and a drying and slightly bitter finish. Returning with the addition of water reveals more shortbread, vanilla, apple peelings and a touch of hops on the finish. 


This is a very inoffensive blended malt with a Speyside themed experience. There’s just enough detail to keep you interested thanks to some of that Hogwarts cask magic and reflux. It does have potential as a mixer or a light evening starter dram. At a price point of £14.99 there’s very little here to criticise or complain about – sadly – when other blended malts such as the Monkey Shoulder are circa £26.

Ultimately it’s probably not my style of blend given my historical preferences, but I cannot find much to criticise after a few drams and the all-important price, which is a fair reflection of what’s on offer. 

Score: 5/10

  1. Andrew Copland says:

    I’ve got to confess, I prefer spending an extra 2 pounds of my sterling and getting the single. It’s not bad, it’s just not good…

  2. Andrew says:

    I know this thread is a little old but I just wanted to comment.
    I would say I am new to whiskey purchases so by no means anywhere an expert. I love my red wines, my ports so already you may guess my tastes.
    Recently turned 40 and was bought the famous grouse smoky black. Which was on my buds a little sharp. However I certainly grew to enjoy more as the bottle became emptier 🙂
    So onto this bottle, as mentioned I am no expert but know what I like.
    The hogwash on my tongue left no sharp tastes, or any burning sensation. It was smooth and I really appreciated the ease it went down.
    If your a new starter to whiskeys I certainly would say give this a go.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Andrew, glad you’re enjoying your whisky journey. This review is quite a popular one for us online. I know this whisky is in the new Christmas catalogue. For the money, this is a solid choice. Do try some of their Glen Marnoch’s or the 30 year old that comes out next Thursday for £49.99 looks superb value. Thanks, Jason.

  3. Steve Mac says:

    well i have been trying various whiskies over my 50 years of legal drinking also reading comments on some forums.Some comments are over written in my opinion and the writers forget that price is paramount to the working man who would probably love to splash 49.99 GBP on a run of the mill single malt but most cant afford it. Simple Hogwash is a very good tasting Malt with no after shock burn easy on the throat and tastes as good as any malt i have had the pleasure of.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Steve, thanks for dropping by. Price is always on our mind here and there are some crazy prices being asked for whiskies nowadays. If something is overpriced we’ll often mark it down and say so. Cheers, Jason.

      1. Christina says:

        Hi, my Husband was buying Hogwash whiskey from Aldi’s but they don’t stock it anymore, I was trying online to see if I could purchase a couple of bottles for his Birthday on the 9th of May but it seems to have vanished of the face of the earth , any clues Why??

        1. Jason says:

          Hi Christina

          It could be that the contract with the supplier has ended, or was terminated as it didn’t achieve what Aldi had hoped for. There may also be a covid-19 element to it, as bottling and whisky creation has come to halt right now. Perhaps supplies have dried up, but might reappear?

          Thanks, Jason,

        2. grant says:

          I think it was a sort of one of that i think was repeated once…. I remember buying a bottle when if first appeared(which I still have unopened) just as the price was good and i was short of cash at time for whisky(thankfully not now).
          So Ive not tried it but im going to keep it for a while yet before opening one day..

  4. ManxDramBoy says:

    I think your review is a little harsh but I do appreciate it thankyou. I read it in Aldi and reading between the lines I thought I might like it. It’s a belting whisky, okay it’s light but what a lovely dance it does on your tongue. That’s if I can stop it dribbling out of my mouth due to the smile on my face because I’m drinking malt whisky for £15 a bottle.
    Marketing buzzwords are a problem across the whisky industry which is the most pretentious bullsh*t ridden market of any FMCG, the stuff they write on pretty much every bottle is bloody ridiculous. Makes me want to give up whisky, well nearly. Personally I don’t get it, whisky enthusiasts are not generally people who like being bullsh*ted but the nonsense written on the bottle are bordering offensive on how stupid they think I am. I want to know the flavour profile and some info on how it was made – period!
    So please don’t blame Aldi for trying to fit with the pack with all this BS, especially when they are delivering a single malt for £15 (I know, I know it’s not technically a SM but nor is JW Black and that’s £50, why is everyone so down on blended malts? It’s just snobbery)
    Buy this whisky it’s great. It’s maybe a little simple but it’s delicious.
    I dont understand why they use colouring in whisky, it makes no sense to me, who cares what colour it is, more marketing Machiavellian trickery.
    I get the chill filtering, it cheapens the process significantly but does lose some of the texture (I live the waxiness) which is a shame but it allows us mortals to afford decent whiskey.
    A message to the whisky industry, stop treating us like morons and get rid of the ridiculous marketing and get rid of E150!!,
    (Rant over, thanks again for the web page)

    1. Jason says:

      Hi ManxDramBoy , thanks for dropping by and commenting. So much to take in! Yes, the colouring thing really should be banned and keep things as natural as possible.

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