Adelphi’s Laudale series has proven quite good value for money over the years, and the Laudale 12 Years Batch 5 should hopefully be no different. It was distilled at Linkwood, while previous batches were made at Dailuaine and Glen Elgin. The very first batch was rumoured (but never confirmed) to come from Glenfarclas.
What these whiskies have in common is that they’re all unpeated and very sherry-forward. Laudale is an estate on the Morvern peninsula, not for from where Adelphi’s Ardnamurchan Distillery is. As I understand it, Laudale was once started to give a sort of preview of one of the spirit styles Adelphi was hoping to produce at Ardnamurchan.
Then there’s the Fascadale range too, which also named after a nearby geographical location. This was intended to showcase more of the Highland style that Ardnamurchan also aspired to produce. Highland Park, Ardmore and Clynelish have all featured in the Fascadale series.
Now, please don’t take the above two paragraphs as gospel. I’m pretty sure Alex Bruce told this during a tasting I attended years ago, but I didn’t mention it in my report, so I can’t be completely sure.
Laudale 12 Years Batch No. 5 (46%, Adelphi, 2021)
Nose: A hint of brass but mostly cherry candy canes, pralines, leather, a hint of strawberry marmalade and melted butter. Dry but not too dry. Finally a sliver of aniseed and shortbread as well. Taste: Gentle spices on the arrival (pepper, cloves) quickly followed by milk chocolate, fudge and sultanas. Also some burnt caramel and copper. Finish: Drying and slightly tannic. Dark caramel and charred oak with a hint of cocoa powder and raisins.
Not completely convincing but certainly not a dime-a-dozen single malt either. The wood might be fairly dominant, but there's also a nice interplay between sweet and savoury.