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The Uigeadail is named after the Loch from which the distillery takes its water for production and means ‘dark, mysterious place’. You pronounce it ‘OOG-a-dal’. It was matured on both bourbon and sherrycasks, making it a blended malt (previously vatted malt). In 2008 it was named Whisky of the Year and Jim Murray gave it 97,5 points in his bible.
This Arbeg Uigeadail sports a full gold color, but has a Brown sheen on it. Nice fat tears in the glass.
The nose is very intense and complex. The younger bourbon cask are no match for the older sherry casks, though. The sweet peat and herring on the barbeque notes are overpowered by new leather, raisins and other dark fruits as well as furniture polish. Let’s not forget the silt! Adding water makes the vanilla come back to the fore.
This dram is a sneaky splinter bomb. It rolls over the tongue without much fuss despite the ABV, but once behind the teeth, it explodes in a true palate of tastes. Lime, smoke, liquorice, vanilla, bitter marmalade of overripe oranges, soot from a recently doused barbeque or fireplace, topped off with some spices (chili). Adding water is not a good idea – it flattens the taste, but brings nothing new to the palate. Better not do that.
The long finish is dominated by smoked ham and oak and dries the mouth.
Wow, this is another very good Islay whisky in general and Ardbeg in particular, the second best I’ve tasted so far (after the Corryvreckan). The Uigeadail puts the standard 10 Year Old to shame and is still way ahead of the überhyped Rollercoaster.