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Ardbeg Uigeadail

L13 149 03:36 6ML

0 985

@NockReview by @Nock

9th Jan 2014

0

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    85

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This batch is from May 29 2013; bought and opened 11/12/13.

So this is the most recent batch of Uigeadail I have found in Virginia . . . my advice is skip it. On a recent cold winter night I put it up against two other Uigeadail batches: my favorite batch L11 028 and the recent L13 058. Again, I score each bottle in 5 categories comparing all three bottles as I go. I add those score together to get my final score. On this particular night L11 028 scored 97; L13 058 scored 90; and this new guy L13 149 scored 86. Since that night I have scored in on several other occasions. All the scores have been around that score (85, 86, 83, and 84). I will go with 85 for a final score.

Nose: Much more varnish and spirity notes then 058. There is obviously peat and wood notes, but not the depth or the sherry presence that 058 has – doesn’t even compare with the 028. It has a lot of that “new Ardbeg” sour lemon going on. Not as bad as it could be, but enough to keep it from “greatness.” It does have a little bit of that dark Ardbeg thing going on: dark bitter chocolate, dark earth (not moist; dry), and some dried seaweed. It is still Ardbeg - and so enjoyable for me – but not up to the standard I expect.

Taste: Strong saccharin sweetness – high sweet tone. Now some lower bitter wood tones, some sea salt, and a bit of leather. Very interesting how the “bitter wood” notes have taken that sweetness down a ton. Maybe some liquorish notes? This really doesn’t remind me so much of Ardbeg or Uigeadial as it does Lagavulin – but without the smoke.

Finish: Nice wave of peat . . . and now a wave of sea salt and fire. The waves keep rolling in. I will give it to freshly opened Ardbeg . . . it knows how to throw a finale. It is big fire and peat in a young muscle bound kind of way. It leaves the mouth the most decimated and dry of the three batches tonight. That is worth something in my book!

As the bottle has been open for two months it has lost that power . . . and the finish score has dropped. Still, it is my favorite part about this batch. It has that liquorish note I usually associate with Laphroaig or Lagavulin - not Ardbeg.

Complexity, Balance: Not all that complex on the nose. I am almost tempted to think that something is off here – it is so spirity! And it is very two dimensional compared to the other L13 and the L11. It is a poor example of Uigeadial. It is all raw young spirit that maybe didn’t have enough wood to balance it out. Or perhaps just a bad cut? Who knows (not me). What I can say is that this batch does not come together.

Aesthetic experience: I love the Uigeadail bottle. It use to have a slight edge over the Corry for me . . . I like the name and label of the Uigeadial better. I like the ABV of the Corry (and then nick name) better. Are either perfect? Probably not, but they are dang close.

Conclusion: Yet another disappointing batch of Uigeadail. That is two bad batches for 2013. My hope is to find another good batch soon . . . I am itching to stock up on a good batch of Uigeadail as I am down to my last unopened bottle of L11 028! But this batch is not it . . . avoid. All that said . . . I still love Ardbeg. And I would gladly drink this batch over the vast majority of single malts out there.

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9 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Thanks for your continued detailed information on the various batches of Ardbeg Uigeadail. This is discouraging that recent batches of Uigeadail have been a bit lacklustre. Would you agree with @rigmorole's observation that Uigeadail has generally gone somewhat downhill starting with the 2012 batches?

5 years ago 0

@MCM
MCM commented

I also appreciate the continued effort.

5 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Glad I bought my bottle in 2011, or at least it is a L11 batch. Not sure when I'll get to cracking it though. Looks like you feel about Uigeadail the way I feel about A'Bunadh , always looking to maintain a good stock of good batches.

5 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

@Nozinan which 2011 (or L11) batch do you have?

@MCM thanks. I'm just trying to help balance out the various voices of love and disappointment with Ardbeg Uigeadail. I say it all comes down to batches.

@Victor

I am sad to say I haven’t tried a single batch of Uigeadail from 2012. All I can tell you is what my experience has been.

I spent a lot of time exploring 4 batches from 2011 (I went through 4 bottles of L11 028). I have only tried your favorite batch from 2010. One batch from 2007, and one from 2009 (I don’t have any notes for batches before that). And now 2 batches from 2013 – both of which have been disappointing.

I know the batch you loved from 2010 was followed by a very disappointing batch also from 2010 (L10 194)

Of the 4 batches I tried from 2011only one was disappointing (the one I bought and opened with you).

My most disappointing batches have been L13 149 (worst); L11 284 (close second); L13 058 (better then the other two – still not great).

I never did try L10 194 to know how bad it was . . . but my guess is that L13 149 and L11 284 are all in a similar range.

My gut says that the only real change with Uigeadail batches came when Ardbeg ran out of old sherry matured stock back around 2008. Everything else is due to batch variation. They originally used 10yo and 13yo bourbon casks mixed with some sherry casks around 25 years old. Today they use bourbon casks around 10 and 11 years old mixed with sherry casks around 8 year old.

I think they are just as likely to create a great batch in 2014 as they were to have created something great in 2010 or 2011.

But I could be wrong. The only way to know is to keep trying them.

Cheers

5 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

Thank you for your review. I have a L11 325 batch that is not has great has the previous bottle I had (I didn't keep the number). And I have a L13 058 unopened (I look forward to compare it to your notes). I am not sure, I would react to the L13 149 the way you are since I simply love the flintstone taste of the water of Ardbeg that I enjoy with the lemon of the Ten and sometime I regret that the sherry finish of the Uigeadail is masking this wonderfull flavor. But I do admit that I am not sure the lemon will go well with the big Sherry finish. At least do you have this flinstone nose?

5 years ago 0

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot commented

I have a L13 246 here and it blows my socks off, readily drinkable at the high strength and the spirit feels thick and oily. Didnt notice the negative points mentioned yet, but the bottle has just opened. Review up soon

5 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

Just tired this batch again . . . easily the worst Uigeadail batch I have tried. There seems to be almost zero sherry influence. Further, it has tons of varnish and sharp spirit notes without any real balance.

@Peaty Zealot - I just picked up a bottle from batch L13 245 (just a few hours before your bottle was poured I'm sure). I look forward to comparing notes.

5 years ago 0

onebourbon commented

Nock- did you open the L13 245 and, if so, how did it compare? There are 4 bottles at a store near me and I was hoping to get your input before making a decision.

5 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

@onebourbon I have just opened it and will try and post notes soon.

5 years ago 0

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