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Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg Part II

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

23rd Mar 2013


Ardbeg Uigeadail
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

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WhiskyBee commented

Another one of your wonderful reviews, much more useful than the pointless Uigeadail review I wrote yesterday. I get a much longer finish than you, but maybe that's because it's one of the few whiskies of this strength that I can handle neat. Maybe I'll try it with a little more water, but it'll have to wait until I get a new bottle--my supply is running too low for experiments. Can't wait to see if I'm just as disappointed in the finish as you! ;-)

11 years ago 0

talexander commented

Thank you - but your review certainly wasn't pointless - I love the "pork chop" note you gave! Re: the finish - I found on the 2nd dram, and with a little water, the finish does open up quite a bit, so I may have been premature in my criticism there.

11 years ago 0

Victor commented

Thanks for a very nice review, @talexander. Like @WhiskyBee, I also haven't experienced short finishes with any of the batches of Uigeadail which I have tasted, though with one or two of them it seems that with a long-opened bottle the finish did diminish a little in length and strength. Usually the finishes have been very long and very strong for me with Uigeadail. Batch info for the reviewed bottle would be interesting, as well as length of time the bottle was open.

11 years ago 0

talexander commented

Good point @Victor - I picked up my sample from @misslauren in Buffalo in early February, which she poured off of a bottle that had been open for who knows how long; and last night was the first time I opened it. So obviously, tons of oxidation...

11 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

Nice one @talexander. And 8 points better than Galileo, further reason to stick with the Uig. which here is about 10 bucks cheaper. BTW, we get the 54.2% version in BC, and it is consistantly good. Cheers.

11 years ago 0

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