Now we are not saying that Holly Willoughby is a cheap date, but she lost out to a spirits taste challenge with Phillip Schofield on today’s This Morning, in which the presenters had to guess which was the low cost drink, and which was the premium brand. In the first taste test, an award winning gin from Aldi was featured, and Holly incorrectly said it was the more expensive label, with Philip correctly picking out the more expensive tipple. Deduce from that what you will!
The gin from Aldi costs £9.65 and is called Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin and has been sold in the supermarket since 1999. Aldi describe the drink as having a ‘ripe, citrus aroma with rounded spice and a touch of juniper’ and it is an own label brand with a ‘clear, crisp, complex flavour’.
And it is not to Holly’s shame that she could not distinguish the difference between the Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin, as it has just been awarded a silver medal at the International Spirits Challenge awarded it a silver medal.
Other brands that also won a silver medal award include The London No.1 Gin, which sells for £35 at Harrods and The Worship Street Whistling Shop Cream Gin, which costs £55.95.
Popular brands, such as Bombay Sapphire, selling for £21.70, and Hendricks, at £26.39, only managed a bronze award.
The judging panel is made up of selected master distillers, blenders, specialist writers, all working within the drinks industry, and they had to carry out blind taste tests on 70 different gins over the course of a day.
Naturally, Aldi were pleased to have been given such a prestigious award, with Tony Baines, from Aldi, stating: “Our expert buyer works closely with some of the world’s leading distilleries so we can deliver high quality Own Label spirits to our customers. It is fantastic that our commitment to quality has been recognised by such a prestigious group as the ISC tasting panel. It’s safe to say we’re all in high spirits today – and we hope our customers will enjoy raising a glass of Gin and Tonic to our success.”
The cut price gin was not the only spirit to be given an award as several of their other products in their drinks range were also acknowledged. Two vodkas also won silver awards, and an amaretto, white rum and peach schnapps were each given Bronze awards in the ‘liqueurs’ category.
Aldi are following on from their successful year in 2012, where they won a silver medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition last year and was named as the best in its class.
More than 1,000 spirits ranging from 70 different countries are entered into the International Spirits Challenge competition each year, and gin sales are said to be on the rise, with a 12 per cent increase in pubs, bars, and restaurants last year, and by 5 per cent in off-licences and supermarkets.
We don’t think Holly should feel too bad about losing the drinks challenge, perhaps her good friend Phillip has just had more experience of drinking premium brands!