Previous Tesco Islay (called Ardnave) used to be Bruichladdich but I know it is not that one anymore, as they went silent around 1994.
JM's 2007 Whisky bible gives it a good score in the high 80's from memory. The difficulty in comparing it to Lagavulin is the fact their 12yo comes at cask strength plus their standard is the 16yo - so not sure what Lagavulin you are comparing it to?
My guess would be (if you think it's like Lagavulin) it could well be Caol Ila.
The other supermarket Islays are all very good in my opinion and great value - best one is Sainsburys (pure malt with a score of 90+ in the Whisky Bible), followed by Morrisons (single malt, I suspect Bowmore) and then Asda (pure malt). Waitrose offering is also fairly good but the rubbery notes put me off this, but after half way thro the bottle it turned a bit better.
Other ones to try are M&S and Majestic, but the Asda/Tescos etc are a few quid cheaper and appear great value to me.
It might be Lagavulin but the thing is no one here will be able to tell you for sure.
Another thread suggests Caol Ila:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopi ... esco+islay
I know a few guys who work in the bottling halls at Broxburn and they don't know but they do admit to bottling most of the supermarket malts. The supermarket malts appear to be a closely guarded secret and allow distillers to shift excess stock without harming the brand name (and apparently can sometimes be Caol Ila one year and then Bowmore the next).
If you want to try what is widely suspected to be cheap Lagavulin, try one of Ian Macleods own label Islays.
I like the Sainsburys Islay Pure Malt as I think (but will never know) that it has some Ardbeg in the vatting and I also like the Morrisons (single malt) one as I think it is Bowmore.
Whatever they are they're great value and I will be sure to try the Tesco Islay and let you know if I think it is Lagavulin, but we'll never know for sure.
- les taylor
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The Sainsbury's, out of the supermarket malts I've tried, is certainly the lightest in colour and as such I deduce has less artificial colouring than the other ones (and probably why I like it best). It's a pure malt but I suspect it contains some Ardbeg (and hence why Jim Murray scores it the highest at 92) and maybe Caol Ila.
The Morrisons (single) and Asda (pure malt) are very similar in colour, ie suspected added colour, and as I said both seem pretty 'Bowmoreish' to me. Indeed the tasting notes on the Morrisons bottle refers to 'chocolate and orange' notes so this is another reason why I suspect Bowmore.
The only thing is we'll never know for sure what they are.
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