Food News

Could This $18 Supermarket Whisky Win 'Best Scotch in the World'?

We're willing to find out.

March  1, 2019

For just £13.49, or $17.83 USD, you can get your hands on some of the finest Scotch there is to offer.

The modest malt at the top of the heap is the Queen Margot Blend Scotch Whisky, produced by none other than Lidl, the affordable German supermarket which also has locations in the U.S., including New Jersey and Delaware.

According to a panel of more than 40 experts at the annual World Whiskies Awards, which looks for “the very best in all internationally recognized styles of drinks,” the 8-year-old Queen Margot was the favorite in the 12 years-and-under category of blended whiskies, beating out more expensive contenders like the 12-year-old Johnny Walker Black Label, which retails for around $30.

Per Lidl, the Queen Margot is created using traditional methods like malting and mashing, to produce a whisky that is “smooth with a rich sweetness and depth of flavour, leaving a warm, lingering finish,” with the “soft aroma” of dried apricot and plum.

Importantly, the Queen Margot has a few more rounds of competition to go before it’s potentially named the “Best Overall Blended Whisky” and “Best Overall Whisky,” but it could happen. Those results will be announced March 28, 2019 at the Whisky Magazine Award dinner in London.

And while it may seem like quite a long shot, don’t forget that this isn’t the first time a humble bottle of supermarket booze has pulled an upset like this. In 2017, a $10 sparkling wine, again from Lidl, won the Silver Outstanding award at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, as did a $60 bottle of Veuve Clicquot. And there was the time that an $8 dry rosé from Aldi took home its own Silver Medal during the International Wine Challenge’s Great Value Awards, known to some as the “Oscars of the wine industry."

If you can get your hands on a bottle of Lidl’s good stuff, let us know if it’s worth the hype—and no matter what, let’s raise a glass to cheap Scotch that hits the spot!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sallie-o!
  • Daniel Davis
    Daniel Davis
  • Reginald Haskins
    Reginald Haskins
  • Benjamin Wyatt
    Benjamin Wyatt
  • Ocracoke Island
    Ocracoke Island
Karen Lo

Written by: Karen Lo

lunch lady


Sallie-o! March 14, 2019
The Lidl in Greenville SC told me US stores do not sell liquor... Got me all excited for nothing.
Daniel D. March 3, 2019
Stereo March 4, 2019
Dude, the article you linked has exactly the same info as this one, just without the enthusiastic title. Granted, the title might be a bit misleading, but it is framed as a question. What you linked is calling out articles saying it's already won some crazy prize.

Personally, my favorite non-bourbon is Black Bush, but Queen Margot is decent stuff (even the white label). I wouldn't be surprised if it wins in its category.
Reginald H. March 3, 2019
Regardless of what is being said about the product. Where can you purchase it and be your own critic.
Steven W. March 4, 2019
Lidl food stores, it says in the article....
Susan P. March 15, 2019
Apparently they don't carry it in the US.
Benjamin W. March 2, 2019
This might win the award for most misleading and clickbait title of the year.
Susan P. March 15, 2019
Could not agree more.
Ocracoke I. March 1, 2019
You can not sell whiskey at this alcohol level in Virginia, it can only be sold via of state owned stores. Walmart used to sell whiskey eggnog, but the whiskey percent was in the very low teens, the same brand was sold at the state stores at the alcohol content you would expect, same price. Anywho I seriously doubt you will see this in the states which is a pity.
Steven W. March 4, 2019
It says NJ and Delaware...
Ocracoke I. March 14, 2019
You need to reread it...... “which also has locations in the U.S., including New Jersey and Delaware.”. It is saying Lidl has stores in the US, we have them in Virginia, then mentions New Jersey and Delaware, my guess is it is because that is as far north that Lidl has gotten, they started mid Atlantic coast and are branching out from there as they build infrastructure, shipping routes.

It isn’t saying you can buy whiskey in New Jersey nor Delaware at Lidls. Hard liquor is tightly controlled in most states to sure those $$ state and federal taxes are paid.
Derek H. March 1, 2019
You would think that the article would emphasis "only available in the UK". Hopefully this comment will prevent Statesiders from wasting gas traveling to a Lidl location within the mentioned states.
Mike J. March 1, 2019
please look into this matter. dozens of outlets reposting erroneous info. nobody is saying this is the best anything, its a contender for an award for budget whiskey. that's it. it hasn't even won anything and likely won't
Susan P. March 15, 2019
You would think the author would have done a bit more homework. I can't see that Lidl sells booze at any of their stores in the US - just beer and wine.