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- Brand: Adelphi (ind. bottler)
- ABV: 46%
It's been a long day. I need a quick drink. Too many choices, so instinct kicks in, and it's the Laudale that gets chosen. I can see why, too.
I picked this bottle up from Royal Mile Whiskies in London about a year ago. I'd never heard of either Adelphi or Laudale before, but it was about the same price as a decent Japanese, and the staff seemed to be raving about it, so I went for it.
And how glad I am that I did. I love this stuff. I think it's the colour. And the nose. And the taste.
To be clear, "Laudale" isn't a distillery - this bottle is named after a dale (funnily) that sits alongside Loch Sunart on the Morvern peninsula. Google Maps informs me this is out West, in the Highlands just across the water from the Isle of Mull.
The liquid in the bottle, though, is from an undisclosed Speyside distillery. I must dig more into this - my curiosity tells me to follow my nose, but perhaps that's an episode for later.
Talking of the nose, this one's a cracker. A complex but rounded mix of syrupy sherry, glace cherries, and orange peel, adorned with touches of cloves and wood polish. On the hands, more of the toffee and caramel notes are let free. Mixing with water (and it seems to be able to take a fair splash) seems to release some tannins and leathers, but also something lighter, maybe peaches.
On the tongue, this tastes spritely, packing a great punch for its age and price. The taste is sharper than expected, keeping the same fresh sweetness and spicy mix, but adding more astringency. An odd mix of grapes and white pepper, perhaps? This one would get you going in the morning.
The finish is fairly bitter, leaving behind a nice warm mouthfeel of ... well, I keep thinking of mulled wine, and indeed this was probably my favourite tipple over the Christmas period.
At the end of it, you can't help feeling it's done some good for your teeth. The bittery aspect gives it some bite, but for me this is balanced nicely with the smoother, warmer, fruitier notes.
Overall, this is a whisky that really intrigues me, yet is at the same time very drinkable. With only 3,458 bottles, I'm going to have to be careful getting through this one. Batch 2 might be well worth putting on your wishlist.