Lidl Whisky – Ben Bracken 12 Year Old

Ben Bracken 12 Year Old Highland Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40% Alc/vol 70cl, Distilled, Matured and Bottled in Scotland for Lidl.

As we have already bought and tasted a dram from Aldi we thought we would give Lidl a wee look see, and decided to buy their 12 year old Speyside.

So on Wednesday 15th September, Jim ran round to Nicola’s with this bottle of malt for a wee tasting.

Head Office Address:lidl-whisky
Lidl UK GmbH
19 Worple Road
SW19 4JS

Customer Service Line: 0870 444 1234

Now where does this dram come from? that is the question, the bottle says it is bottled by Clydesdale Scotch Whisky Co., Glasgow which we understand is part of Whyte & Mackay and they only had one Highland/Speyside Distillery and that was Tamnavulin, so can anyone confirm it is indeed a Tamnavulin with in this bottle.

The bottle opened lets dive in.

The tasting.ben-bracken-12-year-old-whisky

Colour…Pale yellowed gold

Jim’s Tasting

Nose…Sweet citrus fruit and a little floral, not too distinctive.

Taste… Some maltiness and a wee touch of honeyed spice.

Finish…Quite short and drying.

Score… 2.5 corks

Nicola’s Tasting

Nose…Nothing jumping out, a little fragrant with some fruit.

Taste…Sweet vanilla with salty peaches, I have had better Speyside’s.

Finish… Not too long leaving a slight bitterness.

Score…2 Corks

Overall score 2.5 Corks

Well for the price of £15.99 this is not the worst in the world, and certainly is not one of the best, other own brands like Tesco and Sainsbury’s Speyside’s are far superior.

My money would go on a special offer from one of the big supermarkets. i.e. Tesco are selling Bowmore Legend for £18, I would add the two pounds and enjoy the Islay much more.

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34 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Hello Jim

    I just posted this at

    Just back from a resupply foray to Lidl and there was only one Ben Bracken Speyside available, but other bottles of 12 YO single malt also labelled Ben Bracken, but darker in colourWe .bought one of each @ £15.99 each. I’ll post again after comparison tasting, but wondering if anyone else has come across this and had any further information.

    Your site looks very interesting and is now bookmarked. Thank you. Mike

  2. Mike says:

    Correction, The en Braken is marked “pure” not single malt 🙁

  3. Jim says:

    Hi Mike, hope you enjoyed a wee look through our site,

    We must disagree with you, check the bottle picture above, which is the bottle we did our tasting from and as you can see is clearly says “Single Malt”

    Jim Slainte

  4. Ruedi Strese says:

    The Ben Bracken Speyside S.M. 12 years is an alias for Tamnavulin. and I think it’s a good whiskey for a fair price.

  5. Hi, Just paid a visit to a new Lidl Store. As an avide whisky drinker tried the Beb Bracken, I thought a nice everyday drinking whisky. Typical Speyside.

  6. Cees Schouten says:

    Just got back from our holiday in Scotland where we too bought a bottle of Ben Bracken in a Lidl. This to compare such a whiskey with the 15 years old Glenfiddich that we also bought, among a variety of whiskeys we tasted, and to our great surprise we found this whiskey a pleasant surprise, and a good one for ( as Peter Martindale stated ) ” a nice everyday drinking whisky. Typical Speyside “.

  7. Nicola says:

    Hi Cees, glad you enjoyed the Ben Bracken. It is great to find a quality dram at a great price.



  8. Sophie says:

    Hi, I haven’t tasted many whiskys, all I can say about this one is that it has a flavor of dried fig, maybe I’m wrong. The first sip was interesting but after that it was just dried fig flavor.

  9. Bobby Sutherland says:

    I have just purchased a bottle of Ben Brachen single malt, I have never heard of this whisky before so I checked it out on the Webb, it is a typical highland malt from the land of my birth, I hail from Grantown on Spey which is in the heart of the Speyside distilleries, I have been drinking whisky for around 48 years and consider myself someone who knows his whisky, I once had a bet with a wine connissuer that if he bought 4 double whiskies from the 27 that were on sale at the bar I would tell him what they were, needless to say I won, also at Christmas I have a friend who in his job travelled all over the world and he would try to find unusual whiskies and test me every Christmas at our parties, he has never got the better of me yet and he has brought Welsh and even Japanies whisky to fool me, all to no avail, so I know my whisky, my favourites being Glenfarclas and Cragganmore but I am also partial to a drop of Talisker, so what do I think of Ben Brachen, I would quite happily drink this at £16:99 a bottle, it is as good as any Speside on sale at the major supermarkets at £10 to £15 a bottle more expensive, I will be back for more, a fine malt 8 out of 10.

  10. Colin Crawford says:

    Just back from Crete where I bought a bottle of Glen Bracken for 22.95 euros. I must say I thought it a very good scotch for the price and am going to see if I can find it over here.Incidently it nearly lasted 5 days!

  11. Bob says:

    I too was very surprised with the quality, especially with a dash of water , 750ml cost 13.00 Euro in Cyprus Lidl. Surprisingly, I prefer it to the Glenfiddich 15 year old bottle.

  12. Eddie Chorley says:

    Just bought a bottle of Lidl’s 18 year old speyside malt, any one tried it yet? anyone guess where it comes from?.

    Cheers, eddie

  13. chris Gould says:

    Yes just got a bottle of the 18 year old, Really lovely, I dont know where it is from but for the price wonderful stuff

  14. hugh says:

    would agree for £20 the 18 yr old is way ahead of a bottle of blended

  15. David Pilkington says:

    I have not seen the Ben Bracken scotch but bought one in a Lidl in Tenerife called Queen Margot which was 70cl 40% for just over 6 euros made by the same Clydesdale S.W.C of Glasgow G2 5RG
    Taste good but the strenth of the aroma was a bit thin.

  16. george says:

    Was just given a bottle ben Bracken, for setting up friends broadband. Have been having one or two over the last few nights. Must say was very happy with the taste, i got a honey front with spice on the end, one I would drink again.

  17. Sandor Beckers says:

    I’ve tasted this recently and I think it has a lot of similarities compared to an 19 y/o Tamnavulin from Gordon & MacPhail’s in terms of style: Very light mouthfeel and exceptionally “grassy”, which I would consider Lowland style and not Speyside. But then, distilleries are kind of able to produce any style they’d want so who cares anyway 😉
    In summary: A very decent dram for sure. I bought this a few years back in Germany for about 15 euros. That is definitely a very fair price for such an “honest” (it does not taste like it has been spoiled by caramel) whisky in my opinion.

  18. matt says:


    Ive just cracked a bottle of Ben Bracken single malt and i must say its quite a complex taste
    The warn spiced honey almost tastes of Christmas pudding ?
    Drinking this in front of an open fire with candles lit and the curtains closed brings out the best in the whisky

    My absolute all time best tipple is by far Largavulin !! a little expensive at plus £40 but well worth it

  19. John says:

    I was given a bottle(single malt ) at Xmas just tried it I will be looking for more I LIKE IT

  20. Rolf says:

    I tried this whiskey today, and I was very dissapointed. It says single malt, but taste like at blended poor whiskey

  21. Jo says:

    Lidl offering 18 year old single malt for £19.99 bottled by Clydesdale Scotch Whisky company. Anyone been able to nail its origins?

  22. Nigel says:

    I actually quite like this single malt, and think it’s decent for the money. There isn’t too much of a ‘nose’ to it, but the taste is not unpleasant with, I find, more complexity than alluded to above. There are certainly no unpleasant notes. I also find the finish longer than the reviewers experience, leaving a not unwelcome molasses taste and tingle on the tongue. For about £15, it’s certainly worth a try and making your own mind up.

    My bottle of 18-year old ‘speyside’ from Lidl will have to wait for me to ‘create’ space in my cupboard before I open it. presumably a Tamnavulin, too? All bottles of this disappeared from local Lidls within one week

  23. Just bought a bottle of Glan Orchy blended malt scotch whiskyfrom Lidl, also from the Clydesdale Scotch Whisky Co, Glasgow G2 5RG. Pleasing enough for this be my second bottle. Same source do you think?

  24. Leigh H says:

    Bought a bottle of this today for £15:50 at the local lidl and to be honest wouldn’t be racing back again. its a fairly inoffensive malt but lacks any nose, mild sweetness and vanilla on the palate and the finish is well…short! You’d be better off going to Aldi and buying the no age statement Glen Moray that they’ve got on for £17:49 a bottle or a good blended like Teachers or a sherry finish Grants, both available for the £17 mark. If it was still 12 quid, fair enough, but Lidls should never be charging upwards of 15! The quality aibt there and it lacks any character. ultimately disappointing!

  25. I am a regular client of LIDL
    In Netherlands they dont offer spirits but wine.
    I live near German border and went to Emmerich where I bought a few bottles of Bracken for € 9,99 each
    Dimple 12 yrs € 19,90 and Chivas Regal also under € 20,00 Both in square boxes.
    Itried it and found it a bit sharp. added some water and was better.

    I mostly drink Ballentine with Cola which costs here twice as much.
    the excise on alcohol will be increased in 2014 so much more Dutch will go and get their alcohol in Germany.

  26. Mike Edmonds says:

    Caveat emptor! Lidl at Newhaven, Sussex are selling Ben Bracken Blended Whisky at £19.99. Same shape bottle and printing as the single malt! I got caught…..READ THE LABEL!

  27. Tom Carway says:

    I have just bought a 28 year old bottle of Ben Bracken single malt speyside whiskey in a posh red box with gold lettering and a hindged lid to the box,it says it was distilled in 1987 in copper pot stills and laid down in oak casks undisturbed for 28 years,also it says it is chill filtered,ibought it from Lidle in Luton as a Christmas present for £49.99. Does this sound like a value buy,also it is produced by Clydesdale Scotch Whiskey Co.

  28. Nicola Young says:

    An excellent buy – however not tasted it yet, the proof will be in the tasting, please let us know your notes once you’ve opened it.

  29. Chris Pless says:

    Just cracked open a bottle of the 28 year old Ben Bracken mentioned above, needless to say after having a small taste I immediately rushed back to clear their shelves. definitely worth the money.

  30. Dave Newson says:

    Dear Whisky Boys

    I am doing a spreadsheet for my Whisky Appreciation Group of what whiskies we have tasted. We taste single whiskies and blends from around the world. I am having great fun in doing this but find it frustrating when you come across labels like, ‘Ben Bracken’. Having looked and looked I have found out and agree with your comment that ‘Ben Bracken’ was produced by Whyte & Mackay for Lidl at their Tamnavulin Distillery. The Distillery was closed in 1995. It re opened again in 2007. Whyte & Mackay is now owned by a Emperador Distillers Inc, with HQ in the Philippines< (which I believe is part of the Alliance Global Group). Amazing what you learn!!!!

  31. Michael Lane says:

    I was given a bottle of 8 year old Glen Bracken as a Birthday present. I enjoy my single malt’s and have to say this was a good whisky. I cannot wait to get hold of a 12 year old or older to compare the taste. I generally drink Glenlivet and find Ben Bracker very comparable

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  33. Gordon Mackie says:

    Does anyone have an idea where the Lidl Highland single malt is sourced from? I have read that the Islay malt is thought to be Laphroig and the Speyside malt Tamnavuilin.
    All three are pretty good especially the Islay and are exceptional value for money.

  34. Alex says:

    Very nice blend, will certainly buy again

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