...and it is, without any doubt. If you like fruity-honeyed Speyside drams with a good balance (not too woody) and a high Q-factor (quaffability) this one is for you. I am pretty sure this one is from the Tomintoul distillery, not just because of the flavours profile (and rather low price) but the Tomintoul owners (Angus Dundee) are the main whisky suppliers for all the big discount store chains worldwide. They own huge warehouses with casks from almost all distilleries (via swaps with Tomintoul) and the facilities to do very large batches of blends, vatted malts or (even) single malts if requested. A nice market niche, and they can select the rather below-average casks for the cheap blends and use the better casks for (no-name) single malt bottlings like this one.
To be honest, I like this 28-years old Tomintoul very much. This is a real bargain these days (for drinkers, I guess collectors and investors are not interested in no-name Lidl releases) so go for it if you do not own the deep pockets for 25+years old original distillery releases and you like fruity Speyside drams with a balanced (not wood-driven) profile.
[December, 2019] I just noticed that Lidl now sells a different batch L 44 7 7 instead of L 44 7 1 which shows a slightly darker colour and owns more wooden notes than the batch I reviewed. I score the new batch two points lower at 87 points (88-87-86) but still it is a good deal for your bucks.
The colour is amber and the nose offers an impressive old Speyside profile with tons of ripe fruits of all different kinds, honeys, spices, nuts and fine oils. All in good balance and without any off-note. After some breathing this nose turns more old-stylish with beeswax, fruits and floral impressions. The woods are perfect to me (by the way: I use a big spheric blender's glass to nose this dram).
The taste is very sweet on fruits, honeys and sugars first before the spices and waxes balance this out. A tasty first layer that gets more harmonic the longer I chew the dram. There are earthy and bitter flavours (almonds, tea) which nicely counter the sweetness and all combine to a fine dark chocolatey note towards the finish. The woods are again perfect to provide structure without dominating. Ooh, this is dangerously quaffable (my taste buds cry for more).
The dram arrives very charming on my palate with a warming feeling and an instantly great coating effect. Actually, the texture is very creamy without any distracting moments - a truly great mouthfeel! The finish is long and sticks literally to my throat with chocolatey-nutty flavours and again no distracting moments at all. Water releases chalky-mineral notes in the nose and flattens both taste and finish, I like the neat dram best.