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Ardbeg. This is known for being one of the peat monsters of Islay. I haven't ever tasted an Ardbeg, so this is my first introduction. I am very excited!
The Ardbeg Uigeadail is non chill-filtered and bottled at 54.2% ABV, and is described by the distillery as being"a special vatting that marries Ardbeg’s traditional deep, smoky notes with luscious, raisiny tones of old ex-Sherry casks."
Nose: Intense smoke, iodine and peat of a Laphroaig or Lagavulin. Coming back after the first taste, I am picking out more of the sherry characteristics that were undetectable at first. While it is definitely true that more comes out after a sip, it is also true that some whiskies need to rest for a few minutes to reveal some of their character. Whichever was the case, it is definitely showing off a bit more of its sherry influence now. Very enjoyable!
Palate: Yum! Some of the medicinal flavor from the phenols is in there, but it is mixed with some fruitier and nuttier notes, that make this whisky swim in my mouth! Delicious. Some prunes coming out.
Finish: Very smooth finish, releasing more of the phenols that showed up on the nose. Quite long, indeed. I'm not getting a lot of ripe fruit on the finish, but just a faint hint.
Honestly, this is VERY similar to Laphroaig Cask Strength. In fact, in a blind taste testing, I'm not sure I could tell them apart. This one might be a bit smoother, and a bit fruitier on the nose. Perhaps.
This is a very good thing, as my bottle of Laph CS is nearing empty. I was looking at a bottle of Laga 12yr CS or Laph 18yr to replace it when it is finally gone, but no longer. This bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail will fill that profile in my cabinet just fine. This is a monster whisky, no doubt. This is for those who have developed a taste for huge, powerful peat monsters, and enjoy the taste of medicinal brine in your mouth! I am already feeling like I smoked a cigar, and I've only drunk about 15ml of whisky!