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Ardbeg distillery gets its water from Loch Uigeadail, hence the name that was given to this when it was launched in 2003. Apparently this whisky was born from a comment by Michael Jackson a couple of years prior that he wanted a "dirtier" Ardbeg than the just-released Lord of the Isles. The malt here is made up of 35-45% ex-sherry casks, the rest being ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry. There is no age statement.
The colour is medium-to-dark gold. The nose is not the burst of peat you might expect, but is still complex: soot, wet rubber boots, and castor oil - very herbal. Some chocolate notes, behind which I find hot asphalt and a burst of lime. This sounds overwhelming but it's not - the volume is low-to-medium and it's all perfectly integrated. More lime and brine with a few drops of water.
The palate is sweet with the peat smoke taking over after 5-10 seconds in the mouth. Oily mouthfeel, smoked herring, lime cordial, salt-and-vinegar potato chips. As on the nose, water brings out a little more of that lime and brine. Amazingly complex and absolutely delicious.
The finish is fairly short unfortunately - a little dusty with a slight hint of fish oil at the very end (but really improves with some water). Regardless, this is a spectacular whisky - definitely murky and dirty, as Jackson wanted it. I would be very happy to have this taste in my mouth 24 hours a day! One of the greatest of Islay malts. Jim Murray's 2009 World Whisky Of The Year.
Note: I received this sample from @misslauren so I do not have the label in front of me. I presume the ABV is 54.2% as that is what I get from most sources, but Murray's 2013 Bible lists a 54.1% that he gives a lower score. So I could be wrong about the ABV of this sample, but I don't think I am.