Why Aldi's World-Renowned Whiskey Has Yet To Make It To The US

Glass of whiskey
Glass of whiskey - sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock

For a grocery store, Aldi has an impressive fanbase. That's partly because it's cheap and partly because of all its in-house offerings, like its chicken that tastes like Chick-fil-A or Friendly Farms cheese. But if you're in America, you don't see everything at your local Aldi. The supermarket chain has a long list of spirits for sale, including two types of award-winning whiskey, and none of them are for sale in the United States.

Back in 2018, Aldi's private-label Highland Black Scotch Whisky and Glen Marnoch Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky both won gold medals at the Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters competition, which crowned them the best whiskies in the world (alongside several other winners). Highland Black won gold again in 2023, while Glen Marnoch took a silver medal.

Both are relatively cheap, too, selling for the equivalent of around $20. But U.S. liquor laws have prevented either variety from gracing the shelves of any American Aldi, alongside its many other liquors, and that's unlikely to change soon.

Read more: The Most Beloved Products At Aldi, According To Shoppers

Liquor Laws And Licenses

Multiple Aldi brand beers
Multiple Aldi brand beers - Scott Olson/Getty Images

U.S. Aldi locations do have a limited selection of beer and wines, and that's because United States laws are less strict about those. Laws about alcohol sales in supermarkets vary from state to state: About 21 states allow grocery stores to sell whatever kinds of alcohol they want, such as California, Washington, and Louisiana. But most U.S. states have some sort of restriction, whether it's only beer allowed or only beer and wine allowed.

Aldi plays it safe, and its official policy across the entire United States is not to sell any hard liquor at all. It limits itself to only beer and wine in certain stores where it's allowed. This means Aldi's booze selection is small in America compared to its European stores. A shopper in a German Aldi, where the company was originally started, has access to shelves full of private-label whiskies, rums, vodkas, and other spirits. And according to the experts, some of them are quite good.

Aldi's Awards

Shelves with red wine bottles
Shelves with red wine bottles - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The award-winning whiskies might attract the most attention, especially with their low price point, but the store has some decorated booze for sale. Aldi's Saint Gérmont Premium vodka was judged "Best Vodka of the Year" at the World Vodka Awards in 2022, selling for a cheap price of just £15. In 2023, its Haysmith's Rhubarb and Ginger gin received accolades at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, where its Glen Marnoch Highland whiskey also won an award.

If you do live in America, Aldi still has some award-winning wines for sale, too. Its Broken Clouds pinot noir, Broken Clouds chardonnay, and Outlander meritage have done well at the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star awards. Not long ago, its South Point Estate Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir won a double gold award at the Melbourne International Wine Competition in 2022. And how expensive is that pinot noir? A bottle of it sells for just $4.99.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.