The Lauders brand of Blended Scotch has been around since 1834 when Archibald Lauder created the blend in Glasgow for patrons of his public house.
Nowadays the brand is owned by MacDuff International, who also own the Grand MacNish and Islay Mist brands, which were all relatively unknown and purchased at the formation of the company from Allied Distillers.
During the 1960 ‘s they ran an advertising campaign using Yul Brynner and Dionne Warwick to help publicise the brand.
Lauders is still available but has had quite a revamp and a new bottle which is quite a change from its earlier incarnations. The newer four sided bottle reminds me in a way of the old Dimple Haig bottles.
The current Lauders range also has a Port Finish, a Sherry Finish as well as a 15, and 25 year old expression.
There is not much information out there regarding the components of Lauders but the information that does exist points to it being a combination of Highland, Lowland and Speyside whiskies, all of which have been matured in ex-bourbon casks.
I did get in touch with MacDuff International to get more information about this bottle who confirm that it is probably from the 1908’s era. Sadly there was very little information passed on to them when they purchased the brand.
Lauders Finest Blended Scotch, (estimated: 1980’s) 43%abv, (from my collection)
The nose has wafts of subtle vanilla with undercurrents of oak and rounded tropical fruits. There are touches of earthiness, peach stones and faint furniture polish. There is an almost sour note that comes and goes.
The palate is quite woody initially, at times becoming a little sharp. Cedarwood and fruits are revealed alongside some gooseberries and a fleeting maltyness. There is quite a strong minerality here too alongside a bitter grain character.
The finish is fruity with the tropical fruits from the nose re-appearing. There is freshly grated ginger in amongst the fruits along with quite a oaky dryness and a big peppery twist. Again there’s a dampness here and it feels a little flat and thin.
I read somewhere that the Lauders blend is supposed to have an incredibly sweet profile.
The distinct lack of this in this example brings me to think that, coupled with the intrinsic dampness and its general flat feeling, that age has not been kind to the contents and it has in fact been overly exposed to oxygen, whether that is due to a poor quality closure I don’t know.
All I know is that it is not as it should be.
If anyone has an open bottle from a similar era I’d love to hear from you and perhaps facilitate a comparison. Please do get in touch.
I had bought this bottle at auction several years ago for the grand sum of £8 (not including fees, delivery etc and pre the minimum pricing legislation) so I’m not really that disappointed.
Something to be wary of in future however.
You can find more of my tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.
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