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Ardbeg Uigeadail

The quintessential Islay malt

0 1097

@jdcookReview by @jdcook

18th Oct 2009

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    25
  • Finish
    24
  • Balance
    24
  • Overall
    97

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The smell of this whiskey can waft across half a room. Smoky, peaty, but not heavy - almost refreshing with a hint of sweet citrus and a smidge of caramel. Very strong and smooth - very engaging.

The taste is initially smooth and smoky and then hits you with a hot explosion of peat, but the explosion also comes with that hint of citrus and caramel which keeps it all balanced and not too heavy. Makes the mouth water and leaves your lips and tongue tingling. You don't get used to it either - you almost forget in between sips how powerful and fantastic this is!

The finish is long and initially hot (from the flavour explosion), but stays warm for a long time. Still a lot of smoke and peat, but the sweetness is stronger. Much heavier and warmer than the nose and the taste, probably due to the lack of citrus). The heavier finish keeps you from sipping this down too quickly - it keeps you savouring it for longer. The perfect long warm savoury finish to a truly exceptional malt.

I initially bought this because I loved the 10 year old, and a mate of mine said he had heard great things about it. It was the first whisky I bought for more than AU$100, so I was a bit nervous. I was floored. At the time this was the best value whisky I had ever tasted, and it was the most expensive (it's still up there with only the Highland Park and the Glenmorangie Astar beating it in the value for money stakes - and even then, only just). Money aside this is out and out my favourite whisky. Powerful, civilised, smooth and superbly balanced. It is like the perfect mix of the civilised Ardbegs, Caol Ilas and Bowmores, and the more elemental Laphroaigs and Lagavulins.

If you are into Islay malts, then this is an absolute must.

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10 comments

@db3
db3 commented

Well put. I agree with most of you notes. I would add that this whisky is both delicate and intense at the same time. It starts off soft, sweet, balanced, and not at all overwhelming, but begins to heat up like chilies without the flavor of chilies. I also think it finishes with a signature Ardbeg flavor, that seems to last for days. It's haunting...in a good way.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@db3 - all of your points are spot on. Sometimes it is hard to put everyhing into one review, but you hit the nail on the head.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

Had another dram of this last night after enjoying other bottles for a couple of months. I'm kicking myself for not getting back to it sooner. Still my out and out favourite dram!

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

Its been a little over a year, and I'm just wondering if you still feel the same way? I know that Bowmore you tasted really bowled you over, but is this still something that gets your attention? I finally found a bottle locally, and have it in the cabinet. I will get to it in due time, but for now it is still sealed up.

8 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

The Bowmore 1956 is the only dram I've come across that tops this. On a cold night this is still utterly brilliant!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

The only dram of malt that I have ever sampled that I found more nirvana-inducing than Ardbeg Uigeadail was a 1967 Duncan Taylor Springbank 40 yo. I later looked it up and saw it online for $ 2,200. Not within range of my wallet. So, I buy all of the Uigeadail I can afford while it is still available.

8 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@Victor - That's exactly how I felt tasting the Bowmore 1956, and it retails around the same mark!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@db3, "...haunting, in a good way." is an apt depiction of 'Uigeadail', which translates to "Mystical Place".

8 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

I don't know why I haven't opened this bottle yet! My mouth is watering...

8 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@jwise - it is a very big whisky, and bottled at a high strength do be prepared to try some water. But it is brilliant!

8 years ago 0

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