Ardbeg Uigeadail (70cl, 54.2%)
Ardbeg’s water source - no, they don’t actually get their water straight from a peat bog - is the forbidding Loch Uigeadail (pronounced...read more
Ardbeg’s water source - no, they don’t actually get their water straight from a peat bog - is the forbidding Loch Uigeadail (pronounced OOG-a-dahl) located about 2 miles north of the distillery in the heart of Islay's most inaccessible terrain. The name means “dark, mysterious place”…and it is a fitting name for this most spellbinding of all Ardbeg single malts. Merging Ardbeg’s usual peat-infused bourbon-matured malt with a selection of sherry casks (and a similar vatting of old and young malt) results in an unparalleled depth that leaves even the famed 10-year-old seeming rather shallow in comparison. It is sweeter and richer than the regular peat beasts, but the smoke is by no means tamed. Brown sugar, coffee beans and moist fruitcake provide the evidence of the sherry influence, but the monstrous peat, tar and vegetal woody notes always win out. Every time I have tried this whisky, it has made a very different impression…but it has always blown me away. Sometimes it is like chewing on a stick, as the woody older malt swamps the rest. Sometimes the strong youthful spirit in the recipe gives it a punch that makes it seem like drinking petrol; at others, it is the sweetest, softest Ardbeg you could ever dream of. At cask strength, the enormity of the flavours in this fearsome dram has earned it a rightfully huge reputation, not least the awarding of Jim Murray’s “World Whisky of the Year” in 2009 (just one year after the 10-year-old took the same award), and a “Liquid Gold” award in the same publication every year since. “Massive yet tiny”, he says; “Loud yet whispering. Seemingly ordinary from the bottle, yet unforgettable.” Take heed. This may be the most flavoursome and intense spirit Scotland has yet offered the world.
Ardbeg brand description
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