By David Cameron and Alasdair Jamieson
SUPERMARKET single malts have beaten top-brand distilleries in a taste test by one of the world's leading whisky guides.
Tesco's Speyside 12-year-old was given a higher rating than Glenlivet's equivalent, while the store's Islay single malt beat a similar bottle of Bowmore, according to the 2007 Whisky Bible, edited by Jim Murray.
The Tesco tipples also scored better than the malts from its rival, Waitrose.
Experts said the findings proved choosing the best was a matter of personal taste rather than label-driven snobbery.
In the guide book, Tesco's Islay malt is described as "sumptuous and mouth-coating", and Mr Murray notes that it would have been given an even higher score if the colour had been more natural. Bowmore's 12-year-old, which costs up to £10 more than the Tesco bottle but scored four fewer marks out of 100, was said to "reveal greater peaty youth than of old".
The Waitrose alternative was described as "head-thumping, unforgiving peat with a lovely salty depth".