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Ardbeg Uigeadail Batch Notes

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@Nock
Nock started a discussion

I know a number of people are interested in Uigeadail batch recommendations. It is hard to drop the cash when you don't know if it is a good or bad batch. I am going to kick things off with a few short batch descriptions. If you want my more in-depth opinions check my reviews. Please feel free to post your own.

I have six recent batches ready to go with 3 older batches to follow (probably only good for posterity sake)

6 years ago

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Replies: page 1/3

@Nock
Nock replied

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% L13 058. My score 92. Average Uigeadail color; very complex – the nose doesn’t stand still. Interesting mix of sweet and sour. Not a lot of sherry influence. Not well balanced - but interesting. On the moderate intense side for an Uigeadail. Very good. I say buy and try.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% L11 284. My score 85. Very light in color; very sour on the nose as saccharin sugar sweet on the tongue. Big finish but little focus and no balance. Most sour Uigeadail I have tried. Save your money.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% L11 147. My score 94. Very dark; seems to have a very strong sherry influence. Complex with lots going on in the low register (not much up high). Close in character to Jim Murray’s favorite L7 325 (I like this one more). Buy

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% L11 028. My score 97. Proper dark color; very intense, and complex. Probably one of the more sweet batches. Also one of the more intense and powerful batches from nose to finish. I have to confess that I am the most familiar with this batch. I think it's wonderful. I have gone through 3 bottles and have one more in reserve. I find this to be right between the older batches (with very old sherry casks) and the new young sherry cask recipe. It has a foot in both camps. Fantastic buy

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% L10 151. My score 96. light color very intense. There is a bit of sherry influence, but much less then other batches. What comes out is more classic Ardbeg with a little sherry trim around the edges - in a very good way. One of the more intense Uigeadail batches in my opinion. This is from @Victor's favorite batch (his rating 98). He was gracious enough to open this bottle when I visited him. We tried it together and he let me take two sample bottles home to make these notes. Excellent example of the new sherry cask recipe style. Excellent Buy.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% L7 325. My score 93. Very, very dark. Most subdued Uigeadail nose I have tried – reminds me of Airigh Nam Beist. Everything is well integrated. If you like that subtle side of older Ardbeg this is the Uigeadail for you. This is the famous Jim Murray 97.5 he rated 2009 World Whisky of the Year. Not quite my style. I now know how to read him better - he is all about balance. Buy if you can - this batch was only released in Canada and parts of Europe (not the UK or USA).

6 years ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist replied

Thanks @Nock - you are a legend for doing this. You have no idea how much this helps!!

6 years ago 0

broadwayblue replied

I've got a bottle of L11 070...any way to know which of the ones you listed it would most closely resemble?

6 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee replied

Thanks much @Nock for this helpful and valuable information. L11 228 on my current bottle. Very good, low-90s worthy, but slightly below the standards of my previous three bottles--which I went through before I started paying attention to these things.

6 years ago 0

Jonathan replied

Thanks for taking the time to do these batch comparisons. I have a bottle of L13 058 and look forward to comparing notes.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

@tabarakRazvi Thanks for the kind words. Sadly, these I (mostly) only get batches that make it to the USA. Which means most of my notes are useless for the rest of the world. But hopefully if we pool our collective experience we can come to some conclusions.

My big hope it to show people that batch variation is VERY real. And while consistency is very high (depending on the single malt and blender) whisky absolutely changes from batch to batch. So when people write off a whisky at a score (say 85) I want them to realize the next batch they get will be different (could be worse or better).

Personally, I love the journey and can't wait for the next batch

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@broadwayblue - sorry I haven't tried batch L11 070. It was my guess that Ardbeg only made 3 or 4 batches of Uigeadail for the USA per year. So you are in the USA? Is that where you got your bottle?

Is your bottle open? What are your thoughts on it?

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

@WhiskyBee ya, it sounds like your bottle is similar to my L11 284. I have heard of batches being made and sitting in the giant vat for a while. Not sure if that is true or not.

I know what you mean. I have gone through so many Ardbeg TEN bottles . . . wish I knew the bottle codes for half my notes! All I have is (bought 2007). However, I just bought a Corry the other week with a bottle code from 2011.

Luckily, when I started to buy Uigeadail (it was very hard to get in Seattle back when it first came out) I always made sure to get two bottles at a time. So I still have a few old ones left.

6 years ago 0

broadwayblue replied

@Nock, yes...my bottle is from the US. Haven't opened it yet.

6 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee replied

@Nock - Yeah, I've now started to keep an Excel database of bottle codes and batch numbers (along with prices, purchase dates, ratings, etc.). My wife just shakes her head and sighs...;-)

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@WhiskyBee ya, I have an Excel spread sheet with all my notes for each tasting I do (and my wife groans). I currently have about 300 individual tasting scores (nose, taste, finish, balance/complexity, and aesthetic experience) in addition to bottle code, date bought, and date opened (I never did track price . . . ) Mind you this includes usually 3 to 5 scores for a single bottle of an Ardbeg Uigeadail. I have about 40 scores across 8 different batches of Uigeadail. I like to track both my "assessment" of my own consistency, and my enjoyment of the bottle. Whether I am objectively tracking the deterioration/change of the bottle or not is another argument.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Max
Max replied

I've got a bottle with code L11 285 on it. I guess it should be close to what you have in L11 284. It's my first bottle of Oogie and I can't compare with what other people are getting. It's a great scotch, however it's quite far from glowing reviews that I usually see on this and other websites.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

@Max ya, my thought is that your bottle is from the same batch. It isn't bad. On its own just drinking it was fine. However, when putting up against other batches I really feel like it was a disappointment. For me 85 is still highly respectable. I consider a score of 85 to be a "buy again" bottle. An 80 score I would buy if the price were right. 90's I buy multiple bottles.

My question to you: do you notice a strong sour note to the nose? I really get it when I compare it to a Laphroaig or a Lagavulin (or another Ardbeg).

The big thing I say is buy another batch. I think you will find most batches are more enjoyable.

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

I know this may seem like a silly question, but where is the number located? I have a bottle and I looked all over the box and the bottle and I can't find any code anywhere...

6 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee replied

@Nozinan - It's etched faintly on the bottle, in teeny letters and numbers, to the left and underneath the raised-letter "Ardbeg Distillery Limited" on the back of the bottle. I need a magnifying glass and a bright light to make it out.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock replied

There are two of these white numbers on the bottles these days. One is for quality control. The one that begins with an L is the number you want.

6 years ago 0

@Max
Max replied

@Nock Well, no, sour note isn't something that 'caught my nose'. My general complain is that all notes are a bit pale, tuned down, not intense. Maybe that's how it was designed, I can't compare to other batches. But I also have Agbder 10 and tried Corryvreckan - they both have that wow factor and intense aromas,

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@Max, batch variation...the reason why @Nock and I have been writing reviews of Ardbeg Uigeadail...I didn't post the one review I did of Uigeadail until I got a VERY different second batch bottle from the first one which I loved. You really SHOULD be getting the 'wow' and the 'intense aromas'. The batches of this whisky are not all the same,...but even the lesser batches have merit...My advise? If you find a particular batch which you like, put away a couple of extra bottles of it. I know, I know...so far you haven't yet found a batch of Uigeadail which you especially like.

One of the very toughest things about whisky is that it is not anywhere near as consistent a product as people would like it to be. People proudly pontificate and absolutise all of the time after having drunk from one bottle or even from a single sample. The next bottle that comes off of the production line may taste very different from that one...and 10 samples even from the same bottle may taste noticeable shades of different depending upon how long the bottle has been opened. People want mental simplicity...they want to have a secure, "once and for all" settled opinion about the nature and quality of this or that thing. The reality is that the nature and quality of whisky is always changing, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Human opinion is really only valid about the specific sample(s) consumed, and cannot be validly generalised to all of those unsampled batches and bottles.

I do not hold it against Jim Murray, for example, if he gives a low rating to a whisky I like. For all I know the sample he is reviewing may be quite different from what I have been drinking.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Max, and...oh, yes, I DO know how very hard it can be to buy a second bottle of ANY whisky after you have not been pleased with the first bottle of that same whisky.

6 years ago 0

@cherylnifer
cherylnifer replied

I found this discussion very well timed as I have decided to treat myself to my first bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail for my quickly approaching birthday. I found the following link to be interesting, if not particularly relevant to the current discussion: ardbegproject.com/codes.shtml

6 years ago 0

@Bigtuna
Bigtuna replied

I ended up going back for a second bottle of L12 331. The second bottle was bottled 3 minutes prior to the first. They have about 6 more left, however I couldn't get but one. I did notice the bottles of the 10 year old and the Cory they had all were L11.

6 years ago 0

@Max
Max replied

@Victor Thanks for your post! I think wise decision for me would be to try another batch (from a friend of mine or in a bar) and then decide whether it is my bottle not being great or it's just not my style.

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor @Nock YIPPEEE!! I just checked my batch number and it's L10 151. From what I can tell you both liked this batch, correct?

Given this provenance, should I be seeing if I can get another bottle of a "lesser batch" to try first, or knock my socks off and never equal it?

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Nozinan, I would just suggest trying what you have and seeing whether you like it. Different people like different things in whisky. If your objective it to own whisky you know you like, then it makes sense to buy back-up bottles of the ones you've already proven to yourself. If your objective is to try a lot of different whiskies/batches, in order to learn from the experiences, then that is good too. One thing is for sure, you won't know whether you will like it until you taste it.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@Nozinan what @Victor says 1000%! We share a similar enjoyment of this particular batch. You may not. This batch is the furthest away from Jim Murray's beloved batch of Uigeadial that I have tried. I like this batch much more. If you like more elegant and refined malts with balance . . . I don't know if you will like it. I could be wrong. Try it and see.

I would suggest having a small sample bottle to pour a little into for future reference. I have found that a sample (30-50mL) poured when the bottle is first opened will maintain around 95% (my made up "feeling" number) of the taste for over two years. So bottles i really am curious about I will pour off two or three samples bottles when I first open it. But that is me and my craziness.

Really, I find myself back with @Victor - open and see if you enjoy.

Personally . . . if I were in your shoes and had the means. i would buy a second bottle (of a different batch) and open them both on the same day. One of three things will occur: 1.) Both batches are awesome - Ardbeg maintains consistency! - and now you have two awesome bottles that of the same thing open - better drink up! 2) You hate both batches and curse @Nock and @Victor for making you spend your hard earned $$$ on two bottles of swill, and swear off taking the advice of others on Connosr. 3.) You find that both batches are actually different, and you find your prefer one over the other - expensive but enjoyable lesson learned.

In my book two of three are good. But that is only my opinion.

Either way let us know what you do.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

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@DutchGaelisch@Pudge72@Fiberfar@VictorR + 1 others

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