Blog: Andy MortonThe real stars behind supermarkets' Scotch success

Andy Morton | 25 July 2014


Lidl's Queen Margot 8yo won a "gold outstanding medal"

There was a big media focus on supermarkets and their Scotch offerings this week when a couple of own-brand malts scooped top awards at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC). 

The UK's Waitrose received a “gold outstanding medal” for its eight-year-old blend while Germany's Lidl won the same for the Queen Margot eight-year-old blend. What the press failed to note, however, is that the undoubted quality of the liquids has less to do with the supermarkets than the distillers behind the blend, which in the case of Waitrose's Scotch offerings is Ian Macleod Distillers, owner of the Glengoyne brand.

Lidl is more circumspect with the identity of its whisky supplier, and a call to the supermarket's UK press office was met with a no comment.

What the supermarkets do bring to the table, however, is their price power. Lidl's Queen Margot is currently available for an eye-wateringly low GBP11.99 (US$20.37). 

Unfortunately, I'm not able to tell you if the price is worth it - at the IWSC's tasting session in central London on Wednesday evening the Queen Margot was finished before I got to try it. Which perhaps means that it can't be bad at all. 

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Ian Macleod Distillers


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