Whisky Connosr

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Average score from 86 reviews and 314 ratings 92

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Product details

  • Brand: Ardbeg
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 54.2%

Where to buy

@markjedi1
Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ah, the Ardbeg with the almost unpronouncable name (‘oogedaal’), which means as much as ‘dark, mysterious place’. I tried versions from 2003 and 2009 and my whisky pal Pat just offered me a sample of 2015, which I gladly accept as it is one of my favorites from the Ardbeg core range (only the Corryvreckan does better in my book). Grand nose on sweet elements from the sherry casks. Think banana and raisins, followed closely by furniture polish, herring on the barbecue and chunks of sea salt. Nuts! Mildly burnt chestnuts. The crust of old Gouda cheese. Sweet peat. Stockfish. Roast beef. Complex and better than I remembered. Perfect mouthfeel, sweet and sour on smoked bacon with loads of ashes and citrusy elements. Liquorice, smoked fish, chili pepper, ginger, tar. Orange marmalade in the background. Grand. Strong. Sturdy. The finish is very long, sweet and salty at the same time. A little bit schizophrenic towards the end, but what a feast. If you ever taste a lesser Ardbeg (plenty of choices with the recent NAS-bottlings in recent years), pour yourself a dram of this Uigedail and your confidence will be restored. Around 60 EUR. Do it now!

I just had a glass from L13 246. Really, really enjoyed it. Do you have the bottle code for this one?

@casualtorture

I was visibly excited when i found this at a small bar in Kaifeng. Unfortunately, the bottle is in Chinese and the bartender didn't know the batch #. But hey, $9USD for a pour. I might see if I can take the bottle home. Bottle is 3/4 full.

Nose: Peat smoke as expected. Followed by some nice sweet fruit. Raisins, cherries, plums. Suprised at how sweet the fruit comes out. After a few sips i even get toffee and caramel. The sherry cask really shows in the nose.

Palate: The peat smoke really takes over the palate. Peat, charcoal, like a bbq in the mouth, along with some tingly spice brought on by the high abv I presume.

Finish: nice long finish. More peat smoke followed by a sour oaky flavor. At the very end i get a return of the caramel and toffee, but the fruit from the nose never returns.

Overall: I had high expectations for this. And yes its good. I wish the palate was a little more diverse and balanced with more flavors, but the nose and finish are simply delightful. And the sheer force and strength of flavors in this can't be beat.

Im in this town for one more day, so if anyone wants this bottle before they're all gone, let me know.

@casualtorture thanks for the finding the bottle code! I have L13 245 which would have been bottled one day before the bottle you are tasting from. I agree that it is a very good batch of Uigeadail. Thanks for the review!

@Nock yeah I hope I can find some older batches to try. I really enjoy it when the distillers give us batch info for the specific bottle. It makes being a whisky nerd even more nerdy. Wish it was done more often.

@mystycreek

I tried to find some older batches and came across this a year ago, so didn't hesitate to pick it up because the price is quite reasonable and the batch seem to be a good one. When I first opened it, I found this bottle has probably got some problem with sulfur, but didn't really trouble me besides can't drinking too much at a time, which will make me dizzy. After a few months the sulfur problem seemed to be unnoticeable.

This bottle has been opened for about 15 months.

Nose: Fresh lemon peels, old sherry, fruit candy and honey. Very luring and I can feel there's heat inside.

Palate: Sweet and oily, quite soft for its high ABV. Dark chocolate, leather, peat, sea salt, burnt wood and basil. Bitter-sweet symphony.

Finish: Dry, salty, bitter and long. Barley, earth, ash and caramel. Long and warm, good smoky tone.

Balance: What a crazy peat party dancing in my mouth. From sweetness to bitterness, from fruit and honey to salt and ashes, always changing but consistent.

Overall: What a great whisky. So easy to drink with so much flavor. It's sad to know the recent batches seem to be declining on quality, like Lagavulin 16, Old Pulteney 17, Talisker and other whiskies which used to be great. Although digging out good stuff is a lot of fun, but running out of good whiskies is not good news at all.

Thanks for the reviews in connosr which led me to this bottle, I will still check the reviews first if I wanna get a new one......

@mystycreek, thanks for your review.

Interestingly this reviewed bottle was bottled 3 days after @Nock's favourite batch, L 11 028. This leads me to believe that this one is likely from the same vatting of barrels/casks, just 3 days later. L 11 028 is a great one, so I am not surprised to see high quality out of L 11 031.

It is interesting that you mention sulphur. When sulphur is present in peaty/smokey sherried malts, it usually is somewhat muted and disguised-- if not actually chemically altered-- by the peat influence. The result is often called "dirty peat". Some of us actually enjoy a little "dirty peat", as long as the dirtiness is limited. I think that the character of the sulphur is actually altered by the peat, a bit like activated charcoal or the activated-charcoal-like effect of the charring of barrels chemically neutralises many noxious chemicals.

So for me, sulphur against sherry without peat is usually intolerable, whereas some, even moderate, sulphur against heavy peating is often quite tolerable, even delicious. So far, I haven't really notised sulphur in any Ardbegs, but I will be looking for it in the future.

I think the "sulphur" is likely a product of the naturally occurring element in the peat that is burned, but it's just speculation on my part.

This is an exciting review, because I have a batch from 2015 which I think is excellent, and I also have a L10 bottle. I would score my current (2015) around the 90 mark, so if it's only a shadow of what it was, that L10 bottling must be super-excellent indeed..

@Georgy

NOSE: explosion of peat, burned wood, damp earth after rain kind of aromas. Creamy Ardbeg 10 notes here as well. Brown sugar, a remote hint of vanilla. With time and some water you get more tannins, and mocha type flavors. Tiramisu, walnuts, hot chocolate. Water puts out the fire of peat a lot, thus revealing that lovely sherry influence: burned caramel, mocha coffee, prunes, figs, raisins with some spice. Some hints of butane gas, rubber, leather, delicious dessert-like pastry and dirty laundry. Some lovely hints of sour cherries to it as well. Very balanced, complex and intriguing nose.

TASTE: it's firing on all cylinders: creamy, oily, sweet, sour, peppery, salty, slightly oaky with lovely chocolate sherry sweetness, peat, pickles and sherry. Slightly mineral towards the finish.

FINISH: big warm herbal finish, slightly oaky, tobacco, seaweed, barbecue notes, smoked paprika. Bonfire. Chocolate caramel. Cacao powder, kelp powder, cinnamon.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: an absolute delight. Great balance, great combination of flavors, very complex. Just a stunningly good whisky. An instant favorite!

@Georgy. Can you find a bottling date or batch number on that one? I just got one marked L64143 18/11/2015.I haven't opened it yet, but @Victor reviewed a recent one that he thought was not up to the usual standard. The one I have open at the moment is L160129 05/11/2014 and it is excellent, easily a 92-95 pointer.

@BlueNote Good for you! I'll check mine a bit later. But as far as I remember mine is very recent: 2016

@JoePass

‘Uigeadail’s meaning, according to the booklet that comes with the bottle, is the mysterious loch which provides the peat-laden water for Ardbeg. Literally, the word Uigeadail means "dark and mysterious". However, I must say that I don't find myself anywhere mysterious when sipping from this divine nectar; I find myself deep inside an old leather jacket of my father’s – comfortable, warm and dark scents of leather and worn corduroy lining, soaked with old cigarettes smoke. I'm not who I am today, I am who I was then. And he is who he’s used to be, when he had to kneel down to wrap me in his coat against the wind. This drink is mysterious, but it is not dark. It is everything that is balanced and right. Without a doubt, the most important single malt, in terms of my own personal journey in the world of whiskey, I have ever tasted.

Sipped twice; before and after added 4 drops of mineral water.

Nose – Strong, and full bodied. A veil of peat smoke, medicine and turpentine. Burned rubber, worn out leather. I would say, INDUSTRIAL. Nevertheless, behind these intense “unpleasant” odors, hides a gentle scent of fresh cereals and butter cookies. After adding water, the oiliness cleared off as you could actually walk through the fog and reveal flowered and colorful sweetness of breakfast cereals, oat porridge and honey.

Palate – powerful, and complex. Medicinal, Smoke and fire, hints of dark chocolate, fennel, and caramel. Adding 4 drops of water brings out deep malty sweetness, butter flavored cookies, and some vanilla.

Finish – long. Oh, so long…

Thanks @JoePass. The Ardbeg bottling code format changed some time during 2014. This reviewed bottle is in the most recent format. My guess would be that the second set of numbers represents the bottling date. Probably this is bottled 29th day of July (07th month) in 2014. Can anyone confirm or deny this hypothesis? @Nock?

The last numbers "14:40" probably continue to represent the GMT time of the day of the bottling.

@JoePass, I am right with you in thinking that if a whisk(e)y cannot be improved upon in any imaginable way that it deserves a score at or near 100 points. I haven't given any whisky a 100 point score yet, but I've rated at least 3 at 98 points, including my first bottle of L10 151 Uigeadail. One other sample of a 40 yo Springbank I rated at 99 points.

And on the subject of your liking Jim Beam Black Label, I am also in hearty concurrence. I've given a few tastings to groups including 25 whiskies and many greatest hits. The program included Uigeadail, A'bunadh, Pappy Van Winkle 15, William Larue Weller, George T. Stagg, and Thomas Handy Rye. The overall most universally liked whisky at these tastings was Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX. The second most generally well-liked whisk(e)y was Jim Beam Black Label. Beam Black does show some batch variety, but I've never had a bad one. Talking about the 8 yo here. I've never sampled the export version Jim Beam Black 6 yo, or the new NAS Jim Beam Black Label "EA" = "Extra Aged".

@Cherylnifer, I am so glad you wrote that post. If you take the scores of all the reviews here (I didn't do that, I took a sample of a random 100) you will find out that the average score is ~85 with SD ~ 5, meaning 95% of ALL reviews are between 75 and 95. 100 % of the reviews had scores between 71 and 99 (including my 99, without it, it would have been 71-97). No 60s, no 50s, no 100s.

The meaning of this is either all drams are about the same. There are no GREAT ones neither are there any LOUSY ones. Or, other meaning could be that the reviewers are indeed quite conservative, like you said about yourself. In other words – reviewers tend to give the same grades other reviewers give. Once someone breaks the line – they cannot take it seriously, and YOU take him out of your calculation. In my opinion, this is NOT a good thing – in terms of common language (see above post by @Nozinan), since it lessens our "vocabulary". If we can only use grades between 71 and 97 (taken my 99 out), why are we using a 0-100 score?? You said you 'calculate your own average score', but can you tell the difference between a 88 whisky and a 89? I don’t think so; I think no one can. Let's say you are in front of two 60$ bottles now, drams that you have never tasted before, and you have to choose. Trying to consult your friends in the Connosr – one bottle has got an average score of 89, and the other 88; now, how helpful is that (given that the SD~5 !!! )?? I would seriously like to see MORE 99s and even 100s, as well as 46s, 29s and 63s. Otherwise grading has no meaning at all.

@MaltActivist

It's been a while since my last review. And to be completely honest I wasn't feeling up to it. Don't know why. Just being plain lazy, I suppose. I would sit down with something and then decide to just drink it for the pure enjoyment of it. No notes, nothing.

So it needed something special to get me off my lazy ass and put pen to paper. And so I naturally went back to the whisky that gave me my first moment.

For me it was the Ardbeg Uigeadail.

I don't even know what year bottling it was. I just remember closing my eyes and savoring the moment. But in order for me to get back to writing it had to be a special Uigeadail. And so I rummaged in my closet for my Peat Pack which, along with the 10, 17 & 1981 Kildalton, had a 2005 bottling of said Oogy.

I knew that the earlier Oogies were far more delicious than what we've been tasting of late. Just how good I had no idea.

My sample is from the 5cl mini which is part of the Peat Pack collection with the bottle code . This makes it bottled towards the end of 2005 and at a strength of 54.2%

Beautiful. Smoke. Iodine. Salt. Fresh oysters. Eucalyptus. Balanced peat. Vanilla. Dark chocolate. Hint of freshly shaved grass. Citrus. Orange marmalade. Touch of black pepper. So robust. Just perfect. Hard to find a nose more balanced or captivating as this. 24/25

Just the loveliest mouthfeel one can imagine. Oak. Cinnamon. That orange marmalade again. Black salt. Black peppercorns. Bitter chocolate. A little char. Soot. Singed kippers. Just a lovely juxtaposition of sweet and salty. 23/25

So long. Peat. Smoke. Slightly drying. Cinnamon. Oak. 23/25

This is what Ardbeg tasted like back when they had re-opened and were releasing new whiskies into the market. Even though it was NAS no one really cared to bring that up. Probably because they were, and still are, priced quite decently and just a lovely whisky to hold in your mouth. This is just the right dram to get you back into the groove of things.

I tasted my first one a couple of weeks ago and it was indeed a pleasant surprise. It was the last dram of the evening at my tasting club reunion so there was probably some palate fatigue but also it had the longest opportunity to open in the glass. Very impressive and complex layers were exposed. I'm looking forward to another dram of that in a few weeks.

@Nozinan Really liked this Oogy. Still a solid dram even today. I don't mind the minor batch variations. Makes for interesting sessions.

@dramsam

i tried this in Edinburgh last year, it's absolutely beautiful. sweet and hearty and even at this strength, i believe it doesn't require water. i tried a drop of H2o but it took away some of the flavour

It's a permanent fixture in my cabinet. I'm on my 6th or 7th bottle. It's the only whisky I've ever bought more than two bottles of.

I hope to cart my newly purchased bargain bottle home safely and open it this weekend with some old and new friends...

@Cunundrum

I drank my glass with a few drops of water. Actually, I use a dropper to get the attenuation just right. In my case, I prefer to add just enough drops to keep a bit of the sting on my tongue but not so much that my taste buds are stunned into less than their usual performance.

Despite being opened palmed by a member of a biker gang on the street of Middle Village Queens for no good reason at all other than being in the wrong place in the wrong time, my sense of taste and smell are above average.

That attack broke my nose and gave me two black eyes. I have a deviated septum these days thanks to the guy who attacked me in order to prove that he was still tough and useful to the other biker members after he got out of prison (at least that's what I heard later from a few friends that knew of him).

I guess beating up a bookish English literature student was a sign of prowess to members of the "Georgian" biker gang.

That attack happened in the mid-90's. So long ago. Life can be hard on a guy when he is only trying to head out to the pub for a drink on a summer's eve. At the time, I was living in the East Village of New York City, and visiting my friend R.

R's house was enclosed behind very tall chain link fences and cyclone wire. That should have been a tip off, I think. And then there was the time R and his sister and I were walking beneath an overpass and, against their advice, I peek in a black plastic garbage bag and saw what looked like a human femur. After I peeked in the garbage back under that overpass, I found myself really hoping it was a deer leg that some hunter had left there, and not what it had looked like.

That happened on Thanksgiving day. Prior to seeing the horrible sight, I'd eaten an excellent meal at R's house, and then drank some Guinness in a local Irish pub. Two stools down at the bar, there was a hole in the middle of the stool where some famous Irish gangster had been gunned down ten years earlier. People actually sat on that stool, hole and all.

Here are my tasting notes on the Uigeadail:

Sight: Nice and dark for an Uigie. Bravo. Nice legs and beading in the glass, as well. Actually, I tend to call the part left behind the "tide line." In this case, the tide line is quite obvious and this is encouraging.

Nose: Custard, pencil lead, sherry, marzipan, hints of charred palo santo wood, stale vanilla cake with vanilla icing (next day left out), wet cut grass sap. In time, this scent changes to black forest chocolate cake.

I must say this whisky is mercurial. It changes pleasantly with time in the glass. According to one of my friends, it also takes air quite well in the bottle over time and should not be rushed. I will savor it, for sure.

Mouth: Attack moves from central tongue to upper mouth and back into the throat. Lovely. Perfect balance of peat and sweet. Bakers chocolate, beached and aging kelp, fresh stripped gorse, aniseed, wet sand, smoked monkfish, asphalt and tar, pool cue chalk. I am reminded just a bit of PC8. Extraordinary.

Finish: Long and rewarding. Moves to the tip of the tongue. That Ardbeg peat is fairly young but near perfect (for a younger batch than pre-2009). Smoke and peat intermingle throughout the mouth. Less sweet and nearly all peat at the death. Love the toasted barley in this bottling. It is especially rich and full.

I've tasted quite a few Ardbegs in my day: everything from Alligator to Beist to Ardbog to Corryvreckan to Galileo to Supernova, to Auriverdes (sp?) to a ton of 10 Years. This is one of the better Ardbegs I've tasted. This said, I do prefer a well aired Alligator or Beist but then again those are very hard to come by. We always tend to crave what we can't have.

I love old Ardbegs. They are my favorites and the Beist has some older Ardbeg in them. I can remember back in the mid-2000's when I first fell in love with Ardbeg 10. I couldn't believe it was so reasonably priced and so good! Little did I know that it had some old stuff mixed in. If I had known, I would have put away a case or two of the precious broth.

As for this L11 028, it is very very good. I must thank Nock for the recommendation. He and Victor really shed some valuable light on All Things Ardbeg.

If you have the time, I recommend going back into their reviews of the Ardbegs and browsing through them. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge and two extremely experienced and sensitive noses/palates at work. Nock's knowledge of Uigeadail is particularly astounding.

Today, I just bought a bottle of the ten year Ardbeg. I was quite happy to notice how the distillery is printing the actual dates on the bottles. What a bold step forward. I am so tired of trying to figure out the codes.

As a matter of fact, I was going to also pick up a Talisker 10, but I put it back on the shelf because I had no idea when it was bottled judging by the arcane code. I don't know if I've ever figured out how to decipher a Talisker code or not. It's been a while since last I tried. Word to the wise for all whisky bottlers: stop the games and just print the frickin date for cryin out loud.

At any rate, the 2015 Ardbeg 10 is the one I was curious. I read Serge's review and watched Ralfy's as well. Both seem promising. Serge seems to feel that 2015 is a very nice year for bottlings. But simply stating the year is really not enough to go on since there are quite a few runs in a year.

Still, it's the thought that counts. I noticed a few years back that the industrial nature of the broth was far more intense than in earlier years. I've been sipping the ten year in pubs recently over the past few months.

I think they have all been 2014 bottlings. Not bad at all. I liked it better than a few years earlier. But of course the mid-2000's ten year bottlings will always have a special place in my heart.

Nothing can compare to those fantastic bottlings. Most of us didn't know back then how good we had it. But then again, does one ever know such a thing? It's rare, except in 20/20 hindsight, by way of comparison with the not as great. In the case of this L11, I am very happy to say that 2011 was a very good year for Ardbeg, at least in run 28.

@Conundrum, my favourite batch of Ardbeg Uigeadail is still L 10 151, which is the 'Bottle # 1' and 'Bottle # 3' from my "A Tale of Two Uigeadails" review and comment trail...you know, the review with the most comments ("Popular") on Connosr. That review and comment trail was the beginning of the discussion of batch variations in general on Connosr, and of Ardbeg batches in particular. @Nock lives about 5 hours away from me, and you can see our first interactions in that comment trail. @Nock was the first one to spread through that comment trail on Connosr the information about how to read the Ardbeg batch labeling information, which has changed its format recently. It was about two years after those comments before @Nock and I met and tasted in person and became face to face friends. Since then we've tasted together 2 to 5 times per year, usually when @Nock makes his periodic pilgrimages up to buy Ardbeg and Laphroaig (and others) at our good prices in our county.

I cannot say that I have tasted large numbers of batches of Uigeadail, as has @Nock. And the only ones I have sampled pre-2010 were maybe one or two of @Nock's. You can access @Nock's extensive review library of Ardbegs and Laphroaigs, and his discussion topic of Ardbeg batches.

One thing I can say about @Nock's whisky tastes and my own: they are very similar and very compatible. I find that it is pretty hard to find people whose taste is similar to a very high degree. I would say that @Nock and I see things about 80% eye-to-eye, which is probably the highest I have found for anyone. He and I love the Big Flavours. He is more indulgent of major bitterness than I am, but that is almost the only significant distinguisher between our tastes. I can enjoy integrated and balanced bitterness, but @Nock goes farther than I do in liking some whiskies where bitterness smashes you in the face and then dumps your body in the river.

What I'd like to leave you with is this: Connosr is the self-proclaimed Whisky Social Network. The opportunity to make good friends while sharing this lovely whisky hobby is the greatest benefit which it offers. I have a lot of good friends through Connosr, and have tasted face-to-face scores of times with at least 20 different Connosr members. It is a wonderful opportunity that we have.

@Victor I called around and found a clerk who told me she has an Uigeadail bottle with only this code etched on the back of the bottle: L5949803092014. No spaces between them. Did the old 2005 bottles have codes without spaces?

@McGrain

THIS is a dram worth paying for.

Nose: Smells like Christmas basically, fruit cake, pine, brackish water and the outdoors generally. It's not an ATG nose but it hints at what's coming.

Mouth: Surrenders quite surprisingly after a really busy introduction. Spice and smoke have a wrestle up front as the whisky finds every sparkle in your mouth. Christmas again, spice before it settles into a delicious oily, smoky treat, but restrained by spice and gentle syrup. Special stuff.

After: Goes down like water but what it leaves behind just never seems to end - extraordinary finish with an ever-changing character that gives you something new with each breath. Something burnt there that I do not love but everything else is spectacular.

Well, I was getting warmer at least.

Oh, and as long as I'm commenting, I'll save the next guy from asking: What batch number is this? (Oogie fanatics always want to know what batch a review is from.)

Alexander The Great?

All Things Gastronomical?

Aye, That's Great?

@PMessinger

Fiery smoke & peat loaded arrival red fruit and Iodine packed middle followed by long slow rich oily thick mouth coating vegetal finish. L12 331 13:50 6ML

@Volks

My review of Uigeadail. I can't tell you what lot number this is, but i tasted this, December 2013.

  • Nose: plenty of typical Ardbeg, smoke peat, road tar, coal fires, brine and a healthy dollop of salt but there is more to it, vanilla, sticky date pudding and loads of citrus too there is immense depth. With Water: big hit of pepper the rest is still there, although the richness is lessened. Maybe there is more peat?

  • Pallet: viscous and oily, dark chocolate cocoa then sticky sweetness, smoke and peat a lot of spices all sorts of pepper, chili more salt and citrus. With Water: more sherry, dates definitely, also figs, caramel too, this is amazing. Ardbeg is still around all the fire and brimstone you could care for, but there is complexity, contrast as well.

  • Finish: sweetness comes back and lingers, there is peat too but the finish is smooth rather than (slightly) violent, brine and dark chocolate and over extracted coffee. With Water: chocolate, pepper, peat and maritime notes, smoke as well, just lasts and lasts

  • Mark: neat – 8.5, with water – 9.1

A great whisky, a modern classic. Lovely stuff

@BARutledge

Appearance becomes a bit cloudy with water, almost like an unfiltered Hefeweizen. Drinking it out of a snifter makes for a very different (better) experience, than drinking from a standard scotch glass.

  • From scotch glass, splash of water: Nose-21: light and misleading, leather, black pepper, apricot jam Palate-23: fruit, old wooden trunk, cold dry soil, peat, smoke, cooked brown sugar Finish-24: Complex, two-tiered, light smoke, and syrup, then heavy peat, and (mesquite?) wood Balance-22: the complexity of this scotch may be outside of my pay grade, but it certainly took me for an enjoyable ride Overall-90

  • From snifter, larger than average splash of water Nose-23: Potent, nostril-clearing, cedar, mint, iodine, light-peach? Palate-21: Heavy pronounced Peat, honey, sweet marzipan, sassafras root syrup, table salt Finish-24: light smoke and peat, then a pause in flavor before a wave of heavy smoke that tingles on the tongue rolls through Balance-23: dramatic changes from one flavor to the next, imposing, but never unpleasant. Overall 91

Thanks, good questions...

Cherylnifer - As soon as I submitted the review, I realized I didn't mention the batch number. I have L13 058 15:21 6ML. Recently purchased in Hermitage, PA, USA. Maybe a week has passed between opening and reviewing.

Nozinan - I am referring to a tumbler.

Nice review BARutledge. Curious; which batch number of Uigeadail is this review based on ?

@TheConscience

Not sure about the bottling code. The market code is 13001713 and it was acquired in Chicago (bottled in 2013).

Nose: soft and alluring, with pronounced sweet fruit, smoke, and ash.

Palate: you know what...it was just OK. Honey and ashy smoke combine, honey-citrus, then astringent peat with mild honey. Love the ubiquitous honey undertone.

Finish: spice and mild citric acidity with lingering mild honey.

Overall, a balanced and competent malt. Slightly too astringent on the palate but nice overall. It didn't really wow me or blow me away, though I am comparing a relatively recent bottling to my expectations, which are certainly based on previous bottlings on which this malt has built its massive reputation.

@Alexsweden

I have never been too big on peated whiskys. This has now changed... The Ardbeg Uigeadail offers quite a trip. Big, exquisit flavors and really alot going on.

The color of this particular batch is quite light, golden wheat.

Nose: Very interesting. I get leather, peat smoke, sligtly bitter dark sugar, manure and moss.
Some time in the glass really allows the sweeter notes to develop and after about 15 minutes i get christmas pudding, a hint of maple syrup, toffe. With water it gets even more sweet. Sweet licorice and perhaps the sherry comes through a bit. Water takes the edge of the nose, its not alcoholic but quite strong given the high ABV.

Palate: Warming, Oily, old seasoned leather, licorice, peat smoke, sweet dark treacle. As with the nose the sweeter notes develop after some time out in the air. With water the sweet licorice comes through quite alot, almost anise.

Finish: The smoke is evident from the get-go and really builds up but there is alot more going on. I find leather, unspecified sweetness - treacle?, tobacco. The finish is quite complex and the character changes a couple of times. It really lingers on for a very long time. After awhile i notice something almost like grilled pork.

Now I know you are all very interested in the batch number to be able to identify this particular bottle. It was bought in Sweden and the batch nr. is L14 094 0905 6ML.

What better way to spend sunday afternoon than to revisit an old favourite and having a look-see what has changed.

This bottle of Uigeadail has been open since mid october so it's been aerating for about 8 months. The smoke is subdued but it is still there. Accompanied by thick tarry licorice, Heather, manure and the treacle it is still very powerful.

It feels like they've taken a regular peated whisky and condensed it! Everything is thick. Thick flavours, thick texture,thick mouthfeel and a thick, viscuos liquid in the glass. Truly a stellar spirit

@Jules , Actually it is more a case of me never having had the chance to get to appreciate a real quality peated whisky in the right company.

Firstly, it had always seemed something essentially different from unpeated whisky. Something that was perhaps out of my reach to enjoy. strangely enough since i really appreciate smoked foods in general.

Secondly, None of my whisky comrades have been particularly keen on peated stuff so the only times I've had run-ins with it previously has been in the practical joke kinda way.

Finally I decided that it was perhaps foolish to limit my experiences to basically one half of the spectrum so I opted for something well spoken of and took a leap of faith. In retrospect I'm very happy I did

@percyhedgehog

When I first opened and tried this, I was looking for a smoke experience. I got it and then some. If I had reviewed this back in May, it would have been that it's a challenging drink, but worth it on occasion. Now the bottle has been open for a few months, and my palate has tasted many more offerings. I'm happy to finally review this whisky and say, buy it. Enjoy it for the roller coaster ride it offers.

Still not a daily drinker by my taste, and not as cozy as my beloved Lag16, it is still a must have for many whisky lovers. Amazing stuff.

B

Colour: Amber Nose: Oak, Smoke, caramel Palate: Oak, smoke, raisin, sweet, medicinal, bitter Finish: Oak, raisin

Very good overall - a bold yet relatively well-balanced whisky. I did notice some undesirable medicinal notes however and there was a bit of a burn near the finish.

Compared with similar whiskies (such as the Laphroaig PX Cask that I reviewed recently) I think it is less delicately balanced and smooth. It also had less intense sweetness and raisin aromas. Would suit those who don't like the sherry casks to steal the show.

Sure, I don't mind sharing the code: L13 176 14:49 6ML.

I opened the bottle on 12/05/2014 (the day of the review).

Unfortunately I can't compare it to previous batches myself since this is the first Uigeadail I've tried.

"Would suit those who don't like the sherry casks to steal the show."

Well put.

@softailman

I was on a big tasting with Magnus Fagerström and we tasted 25 different ardbeg. Look at www.magnuswhisky.com/whiskyklubben-slainte, and that was Amazing. So even if i tasted a lot of old ardbeg i Think Uigeadail is one of the best compared with the price.

I have a 2007 bottling unopened. To say you have been drinking it since 2005 speaks volumes. Back then, it had much older Ardbeg in it. The line of demarcation is 2011. After that, 10 years is the oldest stuff in a bottle, and usually even younger casks are mixed in. It's not the same scotch it once was. Some batches are better than others. Younger can be quite nice depending. Still, I do prefer the older batches. If given the chance to choose between a a 17 year old Ardbeg and today's Uigeadail, there would be no contest. Older Ardbegs aren't just good; they are divine. And why? Well, I think the Old Guard distillers have something to do with that. Yes, the older stuff was made by different hands, and those hands were better connected to the traditions of the past. What's the difference? Easy. It's the difference between a corporation or a company run by local folks at the top. Today's Ardbeg is owned by foreigners that make "luxury goods." Hiram Walker made better scotch. Sorry, but that's just my honest opinion. So it's not merely the age of the scotch; it's the fact that the old guard of Scotsman did not cut corners for profit.

@softailman you were drinking the good stuff back in 2005. Do you remember how it tasted? I started drinking it even later than you. I have only tasted Uigeadail from 2010, no earlier. Yes, I own a bottle form 2007, but not sure when I will get around to uncorking the treasure.

I agree on that lot of the old ones is great. Have a Collection of 25 years old Caol Ila. I will have them as reserv for the future. Old ardbeg i quite expensive. In the weekend i was on Gothenburg whisky and beer festival. Many destilleries with new whisky, but no age. So i Think in the future old whisky will be rare!

@Pandemonium

The Uigeadail has been a blank spot on my whisky resume for quite some time now, as the Ardbeg distillery still remains barely charted territory, after I had some misconceptions about the distillery, due to my first encounter with a bad batch of Ardbeg 10yo.

Nose: fairly simple actually, not too complex: fresh quite medicinal peat fresh from the moors, deep smoke, humid dark forest soil, scents of iodine, rough ground black pepper underlying tones of sherry, almonds, honey, with a whiff of vanilla.

Taste: tar, salty liquorice,lemon peels, tobacco; quite the biter, (with water) honey,walnuts and surprisingly enough lemon cheese cake?

Finish: long as it lingers in your mouth for a few minutes with notes of tar, black pepper, cigar smoke and raisins. The finish will leave you with the feeling that you've just smoked a fine cigar

Conclusion: wow, this was a great dram, I already regret not trying this earlier, I've been a fool. This puts Ardbeg right into my top 10 distilleries.

I'm not a firm believer in the terroir aspect of Scotch, but the three Kildalton distilleries sure do make some extraordinary, guess I'll just have to pack my bags and retire to Islay permanently, who knows maybe they'll need a still-man in one of the distilleries.

Good notes here...

There were a few times when I had a question mark on my tongue: What is that flavor? Why do I like it?

Thanks for posting!

@Nock

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.

@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

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?

@hunggar

This was a birthday gift from my wonderful girlfriend. She knows that I love big flavours, with peat and sherry being favorites. It seems only natural that I’d want to give this a go. Of course not everyone thinks peat and sherry should marry. At least they didn’t use to. Now, with the Uigeadail, people seem to be appreciating how dynamic and wonderful a couple they can be. People love this stuff, and it has an almost cult-like following in the world of whisky. Does it deserve all of this regard and status? Well, it may not be a godsend, but it is a damn fine whisky by any standard.

Nose: While peat and sherry are at the core of this whisky, the coastal/island character is also quite noticeable here. Salt, sea air, and seaweed are here. Raspberry jam, cherries, lemons, marmalade, honey, soft vanilla, and lavender. Very nice wood notes, with cedar, pine needles, and dark, wet oak. Lovely waves of earthy peat with that signature semi-medicinal tinge. Very rich and layered.

Palate: A silky texture greets us. Very nice mouthfeel. Salt and sweetness are nicely balanced here. The peat comes on in a very powerful but controlled manner. Black pepper, faint coconut, licorice, honey, and cotton candy.

Finish: Lovely, long finish. Raspberry jam, black current jam, cherries, roasted barley, burnt toast and just a bit of oak. The smoke is sweetened by the sherry and has a fruity/industrial flavour that’s somewhat hard to put into words. This is long and lasting, with the individual flavours subsiding at different paces, making the finish very dynamic.

When we write reviews, we want our own voices to stand out. We want fresh ideas and new perspectives. Well, sorry folks. I’m going to say roughly the same thing that almost everyone else says. This is a damn good whisky. This has been opened for two months, and I’m noticing a good deal of evolution happening. Definitely vibrant.

For me the biggest strength here is balance. Many sherry/peat marriages are troubled. The sherry notes can become candy-like in response to the peat presence. Although rarely unpleasant or cloying, they can occasionally steal the spotlight from the peat presentation. Not so here. The peat is big and bold enough to keep the sherry from candying up the whisky too much. That’s not to say that the sherry plays second fiddle here. Simply that it is controlled. There are two big flavours in here, but they aren’t competing against each other, they’re working together. The result is an interesting, evolving, and dynamic dram if ever there was one.

Side note: This is an Asian bottling of the Oogie, and has no code on the back. I don’t know anything about its year or batch number, unfortunately.

Very nice review @hunggar.

Let me encourage you . . . there is a batch number! But sometimes only the dedicated can find it. I sometimes have to use a flashlight and look for faint impressions of numbers. Often the white can be rubbed off and you have to really strain to see them . . . recently they have been under the work "Limited" on the back of the bottle. But I have found all over the place.

And yes, batch variation is HUGE with Uigeadail. And I think think you might have an extra number or 6 in my review count ;)

Let us know if you find it

Thanks for the excellent review. I haven't tried a bad bottle of Uigeadail yet. The only difference between batches that I have noticed is that, in some, the sherry has been more prominent than in others. I have read that some of the earlier batches have had older whisky in the mix (no surprise), but I have not yet tried any of those older batches. In any case, your review reminds me that I need to replace my empty bottle of "Oogie" while it is still on sale...

@tjb

There are literally dozens of reviews for this expression. I am not going to say anything new or game changing. This bottle has been open 8 months. As an Islay fan it was on my wish list for a long time before finally getting my hands on it. I was drinking it tonight and went to check on my review to see if my opinion had changed... only to find i have never posted a review. So here are my thoughts.

Nose. Smoke, citrus, seaweed, peat, musty, brine, sherry, honey, vanilla, cedar and cinnamon bark. It is a complex and powerful bouquet which is elusive and changing.

Bonfire smoke is at the fore. Powerful, spices, warming caramel sweetness. Medicinal with malted barley, peat and brine.

Finish is oh so long, smokey, lingering with a peppery tail.

Big flavours, punchy, complex, interesting.

This is a desert island dram for me. One of the best!

@FMichael I have Whisky friends who don't rate my bottle as highly as me. Scoring, taste and opinion are so subjective and personal. I have reviewed Whisky with a score and then a month later regretted it as I think it's slightly better or don't think the score is worthy. I figure that reviews and scores are just in the moment and can vary. I also assuming that what I've eaten, environment, etc make a difference. When I used to smoke I found it much harder to identify flavours. When I did this review I really took my time.

@Bigtuna I agree that a few years ago I probably wouldn't have liked it as much but my leaning is towards Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Bowmore in that order.

It's interesting to see what you both think considering we all have the same batch. I love the Lagavulin 16 and the Bowmore 12 is certainly a grower. I would love to try the Bowmore 18 too!

My bottle was from the same batch and I would rate it just as high. Maybe 94. Some days it may have been higher or slightly lower. I will have to do a full on review when I open my second bottle from the same batch. Needless to say I liked it, I wish I could have tasted some of the older batches. I must admit, 5 years ago I probably would not have liked it.

c

I should mention, for context's sake, that my first single-malt was Laphroaig 18-year, which I absolutely love. I adore that camp fire meets early morning gas station odor and flavor and don't find it off-putting at all. In the interest of broadening my horizons, I researched and decided to try Ardbeg Uigeadail next, since everyone says such great things about it. I find that the peaty smokiness is far less pronounced on the nose and there is a distinct burning that comes from the alcohol and makes it difficult to ascertain what's going on underneath. On adding a splash of water, strong med kit odors come out. I noticed scents of bandages and Neosporin. On the tongue, it has a pleasant warm oiliness but again, the alcohol seems to really cut right through and overpower the experience. After adding water, I taste nothing but Band-Aids. Quite unpleasant, really. I won't be using this for anything but Munro baggers. I feel like in terms of complexity and character, the Laphroaig 18 year is much more enjoyable. If you want the most smoke that you can possibly get, this bottle won't deliver. Again, my palate is not the most sophisticated but I still get absolutely no inkling whatsoever of the Christmas flavors people rave on about.

Haha, I just stumbled upon this review. I can completely see where Windex!'s review is coming from. I started drinking whisky a couple of months ago and ordered and tasted 20 bottles since. The only one I started with and I had difficulty with, was the Ardbeg Uigeadail. So I only tried that one dram, being disappointed on how it tasted and wondering whether I was just not ready for a heavier peated whisky. Sticking to Glendronach revival 15y, Nikka and other smooth whiskies I was taken by the Springbank 10y. After 2 bottles I decided to give my Ardbeg another try tonight. My god, what a difference. I added a few drops because I was scared I would not like it without diluting the smoke and peat, but something has changed. I now LOVE this whisky! Though the bottle -less one dram- has been open for 2 months, I think the biggest change has not been taking place in the bottle of whisky, but in my appreciation of this dram. So my advice to non-peat and smoke lovers would be to take one step of a time and begin with Springbank (or another lightly peated/smoky whisky), see if you like it, and step up to the more heavier peated whiskies. No problem if you can't appreciate them, but you should at least try, because there are some peated whiskies out there that are definitely worth it.

Carlo - you my friend, and I are in the same boat.

After reading rave reviews I went ahead, and purchased 3 bottles without even having tasting the whisky - a poor choice on my behalf.

I too scratch my head as to what others find in this whisky; alcohol burn, and bonfire smoke was what mine comprise of...How's that tasty? As far as I'm concerned their Islay rivals Lagavulin is vastly superior in every way.

Not more than a few weeks ago I was very lucky in finding a local merchant willing to exchange my last un-opened bottle in exchange for 2 Balvenie 14 yr Caribbean Cask; I darn near had a 'leap of joy' as I exited the store after the transaction.

All 3 bottles are from early 2012; very disappointing indeed!

@Pierre_W

Ardbeg is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and beloved malt whisky distilleries in the world. Founded by Alexander Stewart, Ardbeg’s first record as a distillery dates back to 1794, and commercial production began in 1815. During its long history the distillery was closed down on a number of occasions only to be reopened again by new owners each time. After having been mothballed in 1981 the distillery resumed production in 1989 and continued at a low level through to July 1996 when it closed again until the following year. In 1997 Ardbeg distillery was acquired by Glenmorangie plc (who shortly thereafter were taken over by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and production resumed. Ardbeg Uigeadail is named after the loch from which Ardbeg draws its waters and was launched in 2003. It is a vatting of Ardbeg expressions matured in both ex-Bourbon barrels and ex-Sherry butts and carries no age statement.

The nose is briny and fruity, with bananas and lemons coming to mind first, accompanied by soft peat smoke. After a while the nose changes and becomes sweeter, with vanilla and caramel getting the upper hand. With water the nose becomes mellow and slightly rubbery.

The palate is full-bodied and rich. Dark fruits and figs are followed by honey and a delightful nuttiness. Peat smoke comes into play alongside briny and phenolic elements. Adding water reveals smoked ham and brings out salty and earthy notes.

The finish is long and very warming. Slightly peppery notes are followed by dark fruits and figs. Peat smoke, salt and brine round off the experience, together with smoked ham.

By all means this is a wonderful single malt. I found the nose most fascinating as it changes markedly over time just by letting it breathe – quite extraordinary! The palate is luscious, with both peat and the fruity impact from the ex-Sherry butts vying for the top spot. However, be careful with adding water as too much of it will dilute the nose and kill off the salty and earthy notes that develop with just a few drops. A wonderful bottling, just one notch below my favourite, Ardbeg Corryvreckan.

I think Ardbeg should quit calling the stuff they started making after 2011 Uigeadail. It's just not Uigeadail. Calling it that is misleading. How can they compare a young 8 or 9 year blended with a 4 or 5 year the same thing they once called a 4 or 5 year blended with a 1990 Ardbeg? It doesn't taste anything like it used to taste and there is a reason for that: it's not the same thing at all.

This is the type of thing that happens without age statements. In my opinion, every type of cask that goes into a whisky should be listed on the label. For the prices we pay, that is only fair. And those prices are only going up.

Customers need to demand full disclosure and transparency when it comes to the whiskies they buy, especially those over $75.

Point well made, rigmorole. Considering how very much I like the "young" Uigeadail, I wonder how delicious the stuff ten years ago must have been?!

R

Here are my notes from a bottle I finished a few months ago:

Size: Generous Dram in Glencairn

N: Vanilla, peat, bonfire smoke, vanilla, kombucha.

P: Dark chocolate, turbinado sugar, sherry, grilled asparagus, sea salt, almonds, burning peat, kombucha, ash, clotted cream, road tar, toasted barley.

The burn was hot due to a nice generous ABV. With a teaspoon of water the heat backs off and the sweetness rises with a bit of salt comingling with some sourness. Sweet and sour.

F: Long finish with smoke, tart vinegar, waves of peat, and a little sherry.

A fairly young tasting Uigeadail that did not impress as much as others I tasted first at the Highland Stillhouse, as well as at friends' houses. Not sure the code on those other bottles. The cork in my bottle was fine, no signs of rot. I find Ardbeg's corks to be quite good, generally speaking. I have tasted other Uigeadails prior to L12 216 that I would rate at about 91 or 92.

Thanks for the review of the L12 216. Sadly, it sounds like another less then impressive batch. It sounds like you got a healthy dose of the "sour" element? I usually pick that up as lemon rind (just what my mind comes up with). The last two batches of Uigeadail I have tried that were in the 80's both had a strong sour element to them and a noticeable lack of sherry integration.

Let us know when you open your L11 028 and the L07. I can't promise you will enjoy them . . . the L11 028 is strong . . . but I think it is a great example of what Uigeadail can be. Still, you might disagree.

Hey @rigmorole - thanks for the review.

You mentioned adding water and I was wondering if there's a way to standardize that in order to keep tastings consistent. In a 30ml dram of anything over 52% I will test with literally 6 drops from my pippet. Two drops for every 10ml and that has served me well.

I don't know if there is another way of standardizing this aspect of tasting since it seems to play an important role in the process.

What are your thoughts?

@Aulay

How fitting that my first review on WC is the Uigeadail. While almost all Ardbeg bottling's have that distinctive peaty depth, this is one of my staples. I always have an Oogie on my bar. That bold Ardbeg Peat smoke almost guides you through a spectacular journey of Christmas cake, vanilla, coffee, toffee and that lemony tang that never dissapoints. In terms of complexity, I have yet to experience a bottle as consistently exciting and fun (NOT TO MENTION A FINISH THAT GOES ON ENDLESSLY). Bravo Ardbeg and Slainte!

What's the year and day of bottling? L?

Hi Rig. This was no particular bottling. I've had 4 bottles of this to date. It is one of my favorites.

@ElCocos

Nose: Nosed from a glencairn, no water added. Bottle is halfway full. Waxy sweet peat, ash and sour lime is dominant on the nose. Gentle hints of dark syrup, pear, caramel and abit floral.

Palate: Sweet peat, malty and moderate sherry influence. Salty, nice sweet and sour balance.

Finish: Wood tannins on back of tongue followed by nice waxy peat and bonfire smoke which cover the mouth. Aftertaste of smoke sits for a long time and gentle sherry.

Very good full flavoured whisky. Abit pricey though at 140USD for 70cl, I can get Laphroaig QC and triplewood for 40USD less and I would rate them about the same.

$140 US is awfully pricely. I have usually seen it sell for $80-105 in NYC. And now I have found a store selling it at $72.

@conorrob

L13 176

In my reviews I never take water.. against my better judgement I have decided to stay consistent and leave the water for this CS Scotch.

Nose: I can't work it out... but I will try my best. So It's sweet but peaty. I can almost smell the moors and hills of Scotland. A touch of raisin, linseed oil?? like you would use to prep wood and maybe a whiff of halloween honeycomb. Too deep for me to fully understand.... will buy a second bottle to re evaluate in a few years. 17

Palate: Wow, its CHEWY! Leaving my tongue smothered in lusciously warm oils. Not as sweet as I expected... definitely a twang off barbecue sauce followed by a flood of dry smoke. Peat, peat, peat.Tantalisingly good. Powerful flood of alcohol but well rounded and not off putting ... I have been saddened in the past by weaker whiskies having a rough alcoholic edge but this one is well rounded and surprisingly comforting. Manuka honey is present on the roof of the mouth and teeth. Rich and unrelenting. 24

Finish: Long. Very dry, and honey smoked. My favourite finish of any whisky I have tried. My tongue and mouth is still engulfed in its wonder almost 5 minutes later. 24

So the nose put me off... thats right I couldn't quite get on with it. I was disappointed I must admit.. that was until I took up the courage to taste. I now understand the reviews. It's complex and full of character .... unlike anything I have ever tasted before. Bad review I know but I have nothing else to praise or critique. It makes for a wonderful and special dram.

Lives up to the translation of its name. I continue on my long and enjoyable search for a scotch I can review at 90.

I'm going to have a second go tonight... With a touch of water as I have been advised that it may open the nose up for me... If it does I may have found my 90!

Check out the discussion on batches. Earlier batches of the Uigie had older whisky in it.

L

The ardbeg uigeadail is named after the source from which the distillery gets it's fresh water. The other part of the title suggests the iconic status this bottling has achieved, i for instance, rate the uigeadail from '08 as one of the best peaty malts i've ever tried. It is an icon also for having been very consistent over the course of it's existence. Which brings me to the whisky i am reviewing today, this is the 2013 Uigeadail, the one you would get if you bought one now. You would be happy to know that not much has changed.

Nose: Big boat&road tar, honey, toffee and cola-cubes. Glögg and/or Gluewine over a fresh spring-nite bonfire. Seashore, seashells and it loses some of the peppery complexity on the nose compared to earlier versions, bit of a shame. The Peat is big and present throughout, but never interfering too much with the rest, smoke is swirling around all the scents.

Palate: Honey-sweet iodine arrival followed by a big peat rush. Feta-cheese with honey-suckle (manuka honey). Juicy citrus and toffee appears swiftly. Now the peppers come in with wood-peppers, ginger and even a faint wasabi note, interesting!

Finish: Juicy malt makes an appearance with even more Peat, smoke from a closeby beach bonfire and salivating, tannic, warm, juicy, sherry. This prolonges itself in a durable fashion to define the finish.

A modern classic that holds it's head well above ground, this malt is a steal although Ardbeg's have become more expensive with special releases left&right alongside older collector bottlings, all the while the 10 year old has gotten more expensive due to circumstance. All things that makes this malt so attractive, this really is the pick! Mostly though because of the taste that seems eternally big&steady! A south-islay Giant!

A liquorice note escaped my notes. just to be clear

@Nock

Nose: Sharp and sweet nose. Super sweet high tones here: soprano. It is sharp, singes the nose hairs, and dances off . . . lovely. The sweet tone is strong, but underneath is an alto pitch of sour to give it an interesting balance. The peat is down in the baritone range with the smoke acting like a bass . . . a presence that is felt more then heard.
There is some earth, tar, peat, coal, tree bark, and wet fence post. A bit of fruit cake if you really search. Now it turns malty and cookie dough-ish with some chocolate. There is a very fascinating balance of road asphalt and sweetness – earth and sea. Now the fruit: yellow nectarines, lemons, and white peaches. Now the sweetness is turning chocolate-ish . . . and now it is turning creamy. This is by far the most elusive and dramatically changing nose of the night: it never seems to sit still. Now it is back to smoky ash. It is probably because this is a freshly opened bottle for this tasting. It has been in the glass for almost an hour now (with a lid on it) and every time I check back in things change around. Formaldehyde, leather straps, and now blueberries and jam . . . now oregano and herbs emerge along with lemon zest and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Over all this has a wonderful range of flavors and seems ever changing . . . but this nose doesn’t create any mental images or take me anywhere like the L11 028, L10 151 or the L11 147. So super complex . . . but other batches were more enjoyable.

Taste: High sweetness mixes with sour: semi-sweet chocolate covered cherries, lemon rind, black earth, tree bark, seaweed, oak, and peat bog. Interesting balance of super tart and sweet: peat and smoke: salt and wood. Turns to lemon and sea salt. This is a nice decent Ardbeg.

Finish: Big intake of breath . . . now comes the wave . . . not as big as I had expected but it is powerful and peaty. Now the waves come in. It is one wave after another; each growing more and more powerful - like the tide coming in. This is a super-long finish. Tons of flavors happening: seaweed, sea spray, charred oak, peat moss, leather, white sand, lemon, and hints of fish. Tons of peat, salt, and light fruit: smoked nectarines, pears, and lemon rind. Very much a peat, fruit, and smoke ordeal with the obligatory sea salt . . . that goes on and on.

Complexity, Balance: One of the more complex Uigeadails. Very elusive: all these interesting smells and notes behaving in some kind strange dance. Not as well balanced as some of the others. Everything seems to be in an epic battle . . . or slam dancing, but then I tend to like that in a whisky . . .

Aesthetic experience: Close in color to the L11 028 but a hair lighter.

@Nock, I had a bottle of the L10 150 which I would agree is 95+. I have a bottle of L10 148 which I am hoping will be as good. I have a bottle of L13 245 that I am unsure what to expect. I went back to the liquor store today and purchased two bottles of the reviewed L13 058 based upon this review. I am fearful that Uigeadail quality could decline before I am back in the US. Thank you for the reviews, I will be talking one bottle of Uigeadail back to Liberia.

So glad that I took a shot at L13 058 while out of province here in Canada. Didn't know what to expect from this bottle but your review gives me hope for a good one. Thanx for your review, read it in hindsight but will look forward to opening my bottle sometime in the future. My first Ooogie!

@Nock

Nose: Deep and rich. Chocolate and fruits. Dark black earth and peat, now it changes to candy canes and mint – but just for a second. Tons of spices. This is a great bottle. This tone is a very rich baritone. Not the most powerful Uigeadail, but that makes for a fantastic intimate venue. Digging in you get to the intense black cherries, leather, with a distant log fire. This is all about chocolate covered dark fruits: there is a rich cake smell – chocolate dates, black cherries and prune cake. Sounds strange and decadent. You really have to tune in and focus to appreciate this one. If you are not in the right mind frame you could easily pass over it. My guess is there is some old Ardbeg in here.
Reading Jim Murray’s review of this particular batch of Uigeadail (it was this batch that he awarded a 97.5 and named it 2009 World Whisky of the Year) I am finally beginning to pick up on his “style” of evaluation. He describes this nose as “hinting” at all kinds of things (“A hint, but no more of . . .”). And I see what he means: this is a very subtle Uigeadail nose – easily the most subtle Uigeadail batch I have tasted. Nothing really stands out or takes a dominating role. It is like a symphony playing at mezzo-piano. Or like a painting such as Impression, soleil levant (Impression: Sunrise) by Moet. This is a work of art in impressionism. And while I can appreciate this delicate nose I tend to prefer a strong nose that is fortissimo (perhaps Picasso’s Guernica?). I like my Ardbeg boarder line offensive and painful (with depth and flavor). Water brings out the woody notes and a bit more peat. This is better in its style (if you like balance) with water.

Taste: Sweet mocha and fruit. Very light and delicate on the tongue: juicy and sweet. Near the end a faint hint of bitterness? Just as you swallow. . . . was that a bitter note? Ya, it is just there for a second . . .

Finish: Big finish. Something almost slightly bitter and off here just as you swallow it . . . but only just. You are left with bittersweet coco, leather, and peat embers. This is very salty with tons of peat fire. Over all a lovely finish that for me has a slight bitter bump between an enjoyable taste and a delightful finish. I will have to revisit this one again in the near future.

Complexity, Balance: Huge points for balance. This might be the most balanced Uigeadail I have ever tried. Complexity is right up there with my most favorite batches. But it doesn’t beat down the door with its complexity (like L13 058 and L11 028). The only negative point is the slight bitterness between the swallow and the finish . . . it was a only a split second . . .

Aesthetic experience: This is the darkest and looks the sexiest of the bunch I have reviewed (2007-2013 . . . with earlier batches to follow).

@Nock

Sample graciously provided by @Victor from a bottle opened that day.

Nose: Very dry. Deep and rich peat smoke with tons of high sparkly bits going on. This is amazing. The fruit is very much in the background here. Much more smoked meats. The harmony between the peat and fruit errs much more on the peat side (which I like). The fruit is light stuff like pears and smoked peaches. Amazing intensity! More intense then any other batch this night. This is very alcohol-y in a way I love! Tons of high notes: sherry, peat, asphalt, and some diesel oil. This is the polar opposite of the L7 325. This is a bright rich high soprano with tons of power and volume. There is this wonderful soot and that asphalt smell I associate with classic Ardbeg. Now lemon citrus and bright cherries come in. Truly fantastic. Takes water very well. It brings out the light fruit tones of green grapes, pears, and green apples.

Taste: Sweet in a sugar-in-the-raw kind of way. Lovely on the mouth – silky and smooth. Tastes amazing. Super high sweet peat notes. Fire. Nothing off. Highest sweet tones of the night (but not the sweetest), and the second most intense (after the L11 028 by a nose).

Finish: Huge Ardbeg intake of breath . . . seems to last forever . . . now comes the tidal wave. It is a low cresting wave over your body. Wonderful peat, pine sap resin, caramelized sugar, mint, . . . amazing. If the 028 tasted like the color purple then this is the color yellow. Now, some maritime notes of salt, seaweed, and fish emerge. Wonderful: simply amazing.

Complexity, Balance: I might say one of the less complex of the night, but the most Ardbeggy of the bunch. Most of the complexity is found on the finish (Some bits on the nose; very little on the mouth). The balance is wonderfully Ardbeggy in its intensity. However, it doesn’t have the balance of the L7.

Aesthetic experience: Very light compared to the L7 325 or the L11 028. Perhaps a lower proportion of sherry matured casks. This is one of the lightest of the bunch; about even with L11 284

@Nock

Nose: Sharp high notes of sherry and peat greet your nose while a deep rich powerful fruit notes gurgles in the background. Oranges, raisins and plumbs mix with cinnamon and other spices dancing over deep rich peat. This is very velvety and earthy. This is a deep sherried nose, but in a different fashion from the L11 147. It is like a dark purple velvet curtain is enveloping you. Wood smoke in the background and a dark deep black earth peatiness undergirds everything. Formaldehyde, tobacco, and leather gloves make an appearance. This is a baritone peat tone. The smoke lives a bit higher up, but not as high as the L13 058. Still, really intense with a ton happening up high: now mint and pine sap resin emerge. Smelling the L11 147 next and coming right back to this one brings out chocolate along with the oranges in this nose. The chocolate is really strong now: dark chocolate, oranges and fruit on a bed of peat. This one gets an edge for a level of evolving complexity, power, and sparkle that every other batch just kind of lacks. This nose always takes me to a very specific place: a room surrounded by purple velvet curtains. It is a cross between an old English-manor-house-library and, a scene from a David Lynch movie. It feels both eerie and comforting . . . I feel like I am in the North West but still ensconced in velvet. This is the smell of purple in a glass framed in black and forest green. I love it. When the nose of a scotch can evoke my imagination into a crystal clear image I know that it is a special whisky. This is such a dram.

Taste: Chocolate covered fruits dipped in liquid peat. Lovely dark plumbs, baked red apples, and prunes all on a piecrust of peat and earth. Very sweet, salty, tart, bitter, and then back to sweet. Definitely, this is one of the sweeter batches. Nothing overwhelms. It is amazing! Now some salt and heat . . . it is growing very big and wonderful. Smoke and peat are emerging to dominate.

Finish: Huge Ardbeg intake of breath . . . now comes the scalding wave of peat. It pulls everything out of your mouth into a gigantic hole . . the dead sea now in your face. Peat, wood, fruit, seaweed, smoke, and the ocean with engine oil floating on the surface. Lovely. Perhaps the most smoky batch of the lineup. Tons of peat and fruit: the fruit is dark and rich where the peat and smoke are powerful and strong. Love it. A very interesting hint of liquorish – anise? Oak, smoke, peat, cereal grains, and animal feed with a bit of rusted metal. Biggest finish of the night.

Complexity, Balance: Extremely complex. This is about as complex as Ardbeg can get for my money. And the balance is fantastic. What it tells you on the nose you get everywhere else. Everything comes out for a solo like in a jazz group.

Aesthetic experience: Third darkest color in the current lineup. The L7 325 was obviously the darkest with the L11 147 being a slight bit darker then this batch.

Last night I decanted this from a 200mL bottle to a 50mL bottle with a little bit left over (about 20mL) so I put it in a small glass to sample against my open bottle from L13 149. Here is what I will say:

The L11 028 has been open for a very long time. It has had a ton of air. Then it was put into a 200mL bottle. It has been below half way full for almost a year. Again, that is a ton of air. And last night I got the dregs. That means all the “extra bits” floating around at the bottom of the bottle. It makes the final glass very hazy.

I nose it (without much contemplation) and take a sip . . . fantastic. It isn’t mind blowing, but it is everything I want in a whisky. Does it really score a 97? Maybe not. In fact, not really. If you were to try this expecting “97” you would probably be disappointed.

Then I tried the L13 149. Horribly spirity . . . nothing works or is balanced . . . I am tempted to pour it into a mixed drink (but I don’t). And then I go back to the L11 028 . . . it just ticks all the boxes for me. It is an “A” in my book. An “A+”? No, but a solid “A” for whatever that is in your book (perhaps only a 92 or 90). The L13 149 is not great. Perhaps a “C” or “C-” . . . it is far from my Uigeadail expectation.

So in conclusion . . . L11 028 is great. A fresh bottle is near perfection (for me and my taste!) As it ages it still stays really good. And you can drink it slowly in the original bottle for 2 years easy (but I recommend decanting it as you go). It won’t taste as powerful, peaty, or smoky as when you began . . . but it develops a balance that is delightful to behold.

Glad (and sad) that I have only one more bottle left.

I've had a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail L 11 028 open for more than 3 years now (with preservative gas for about 2 years), and it still tastes great.

@Nock

Nose: Tart and sour quickly greet the nose. It is a lemon lime thing: almost a sour mix. This tart note dominates with a little bit of earth and peat seeping in around it with a healthy bit of lemon rind. As you dig deeper you get to the earthy sea salt that is typical Ardbeg – but it is very hidden. Most sour batch of Uigeadail I have tried. Seems to lack the power of the others. The peat, smoke, and earth tones are there, but they are really suppressed by the sour lemon. This has almost no peat tone compared with the others. Also very little smoke – it is super high in the nose and very thin. Everything seems all jumbled together. There is sweetness here . . . but nothing really stands out.
With water: more lemon and less fruit – as if that were possible!

Taste: Artificial sweeter and tart apples. There is some peat and smoke in the background, but you have to hunt. Very sweet (saccharin) candied coated peat. Now the salt and peat take over: very sharp and intense on the mouth. No much change with water

Finish: Huge traditional Ardbeg intake of breath . . . this is more of a bomb going off! It is more of an explosion then a tidal wave. You are left with sand, salt, peat, and radioactivity! There is some fruit, peat, a bit of wood, but mostly brine: hard to get much else over all the salt! For me the powerful finish saves this from a 70’s score. More wood with water. It almost goes down in score a bit.

Complexity, Balance: Least complex and least balanced of the night. Everything seems to mush together. The sour and sweet stand out in very weird ways. It is super sour on the nose, and then super sweet on the tongue . . . go figure.

Aesthetic experience: Very light in color for an Uigeadail. Very close to the L10 151

@Nock

Nose: Sweet summer fruits along with the dark fruitcake from Christmas: plumbs, figs, raspberries, blueberries, peppermint, candied apples, and fig preserves. The peat is there, but it is much more the foundation for the fruits. There is also some chocolate and honey mingling with the fruit. After going to my reference blend (Grant’s) I am picking up on some mustard and sour notes behind the beautiful sweet fruits (strangely, sometimes getting away from Ardbeg helps with “a balanced perspective”). This is extremely similar to the L11 028, but slightly more “orange” tone (whatever that might mean). With some time this is more earthy, mossy, and darker then the L11 028 – but with some patchouli oil. This 147 isn’t quite as sweet as the 028, and there is a bit more earthiness here. The sherry seems to be better integrated with the peat and smoke then the 028. I am a bit disappointed that the peat is playing such a background role to the sweet sherry here. It seems as though (from the color and the nose) that this has the strongest sherry interaction of the batches from 2011. This has a bass tone peat with a low level smoke. Very little in the upper register; everything is down low. Still, it is intense, strong, and powerful. If this were the taste of a color it would be the taste of orange-brown. This is not my personal ideal Uigeadail nose. However, it is still very enjoyable, intriguing, and complex in its own right. With water: Slightly more of the alcohol is released. It is more astringent then before. But also maybe a bit more peat is released? Either way, it is not as great with water.

Taste: Very sweet: sweeter on the tongue then the L11 028! There is sweet fruit forward followed by peat in the background. Sweet sherry, then peat . . . , and then more sherry. Also in the mix: stewed prunes, figs, dates, apples, oranges, lemons, and pears. There is nothing bitter, or off here. However it does possess a sour element (just not as sour as L13 058 and nowhere near the L11 284). Silky mouth feel; not too heavy. There is honey-coated fruit. Seems near the bottom of the group where intensity is concerned. This is soft and velvety with nothing off.

Finish: It doesn’t have that explosion like some of the other batches. This has a very long intake of breath . . . then a plunge . . . like a great rollercoaster. The bottom doesn’t fall out, but rather, it drops you and pulls hard to the left as you descend into darkness. Now comes the iodine ocean wave of peat fire. It doesn’t crash over you, but it carries you along a wonderful journey of peat fire, bogs, ocean current, and hickory smoke. Dark fruits mix with peat and wood chips. This is much more of a gentle peat swell to “biblical proportions.” The sherry is very present and intense for a very long time. The peat fire and the sweet sherry play around in a very interesting way. This is a very sweet finish. Not a bad finish in anyway, but not an in-the-face-Ardbeg like many of the others.
With water everything becomes a whisper.

Complexity, Balance: Very complex with a ton going on here. However, it is all happening on a very low frequency. Has a great deal of balance, but not quite as great as the L7 325, or L11 028. Seems to have the most (or second most?) sherry influence next to/along side the L7 325. It is also probably one of the more subdued of the Uigeadial batches. Most similar batch to the L7 325.

Aesthetic experience: Second darkest of the night after the L7 325.

@Maltmaniacmate

A beautiful combination of sweet influences and peat. Here's a lot going on from saltiness to sweetness and all kinds of wet burned wood in between. It's like being in a sauna with sherry on the coals...

Got it! I also saw it got the 4th highest ranking among 10 batches in 2012, according to whiskybase: whiskybase.com/whisky/39423/… It's noticeably darker than the L10 151, and the nose is closer to the L12 206 I remember: charry, floral, and some chili-powder sauce. There is quite a smack of iodine throughout the palate, I think more than I remember in the other 5 batches I've had-- closer to a Laphroaig that way. It's less malty than a recent L14 batch I tasted, and heavier in peat influence. Of course I can't settle judgement from the first dram, I'll have to come back to it and see how the iodine treats me. This strikes me as showing the strength people expect from a good Uigeadail. Thanks for the guidance!

Okay, last thoughts on this batch: I did a comparative tasting tonight, pitting this against the L12 206 and L10 151. The L10 151 is the oddball, with grapier and lemony-salt notes, less iodine. My old L12 206 had a strange duality, with soft pitted fruits on the one hand, and tabasco sauce (spicy-heat) on the other. What's interesting about this L12 134 is that it doesn't really have either of those, but they get blended into what I find "chili powder". I guess I could like more fruits, whereas here they are kind of hidden behind the big smokiness, but this is anyway a good batch for sure. It does have more iodine than other batches, but this only gets obvious when you add water-- which I find is often the case with Islays. So this is one to drink closer to full strength, where it also has a nice thick honey-ness in the palate.

m

A result of a visit to the whisky exchange shop in London (highly recommended if you're in town).

The nose is what's fascinating to me with this bottle. Not the greatest nose ever but it hides it's character so well. You initially think you're sniffing a rich highland, Islay character is well in the back until it hits your mouth.

Nose - Young, fresh pine and oak wood with big alcoholic/varnish hit. Marshmallow, pear, melon and green apples. Peat is there but you almost have to go searching for it. Great complex stuff.

Palate - Initial toffee sweetness with the pear and melon, followed by a dry oak meshed with peat smoke. It's immediately complicated but well balanced. Smoked fish and medicinal tongue numbing. Not as sweet as the 10 from what i remember. Some sea salt and then dark sugar returns. I know it's finished in sherry casks but thankfully this is perfectly married. It lends to the sweetness but does not rule like in many sherried drams. It's perfectly delicate and at the same time robustly masculine.

Finish - Long and incredibly dry which I love. Round and satisfying. Almost perfect balance of salt, toffee and smoke. Minutes later the notes of sweet wood and mild antiseptic are still arriving in waves.

This is a well reviewed and loved whisky and for good reason. It's a classy/powerful bottle no doubt.

It was better when the whisky in it was older

What batch was it?

@Rantavahti

Ardbeg Uigeadail turned out to be just as good as everyone was talking about it. Though bottled at cask strength, I still managed to make it brilliant for my taste with few drops of water (I usually don't like the strengthy ones). Uigeadail was like the movie Seven. I could've used this reference for many other whiskies as well but I wanted to wait for the right moment. And with a track record of 11 over 90 point whiskies so far, I'll make the reference now.

Ardbeg Uigeadail was in many ways very dark, just like Seven. Like Seven had lots of rain scenes and a touch of the well known burning sensation in the story, 'uige' had the usual Ardbegian salt and smoke in it. Uigeadail managed to offer some nice tension between sweet and smoky spots. Just like Seven managed to offer some laughter into it's dark story through the tension between Mills and Somerset. Especially in the scene where Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, is invited to Mills' house for dinner.

After taking few sips of Ardbeg Uigeadail, I could easily relate to all the modern day deadly sins:

  • Feeling lust for the smoky tar and experiencing gluttony with the sugary peat.

  • Feeling greedy and lazy — wanting all the bottles from my local liquor shop and laying at my sofa all day drinking them.

  • Feeling wrath and envy for people who still have a Uigeadail in their cabinet...mine's finished.

  • Being too proud of the fact that I've tasted a whisky this great and I know it's that great...pride is actually something that the makers of this whisky should feel as well.

Nose: Nice touch of smoke and tar that slowly fade away and keep dropping by, like nosing a slowly burning driftwood. Sugar and peat are the main characters here, with barley and wee salt.

Taste: Fruity malt which has a very powerful peat and a touch of honey. After the addition of water I got nice tones of crisp and smoky licorice.

Finish: Long, dry and peaty. Hints of smoke and sugar come flailing away in the aftertaste.

Balance: In great balance with a big finish. Complex, especially for a smoky dram. The sherry influence is nice.

@vanPelt

I would not have imagined that the smell of smoky, rubbery, sweet rose petals would make my mouth water, so this must be a special mix. It took me a long time to analyze this, because there is something very familiar about it I could not identify, while at the same time it's very full and you could identify a hundred components.

Nose: When warmer and new, very much flames and ash, coupled with tobacco and rubber; a raisiny sweetness makes these industrial scents more palatable. If a little cool, not too smoky and the first impression is as if you could smell a sour cherry ice cream: lightly sweet rose, creamy vanilla, faint but deeper notes of dark chocolate bits... and definitely all overlaid with charred walnuts, to impart a more serious aroma.

Palate: Much of the same from the nose (floral/cherry/vanilla/nut/ash), in a potent and syrupy blend. Additionally, some hotness and acidity, like biting into a crisp red pepper maybe further dipped in tabasco sauce-- and then evolving into a thick and deep mole sauce. It is certainly intense, but never losing its smooth sweetness, and somehow never being too much of any certain theme of flavor.

Finish: Long and rich, with the overtones of tar and ash passing into lingering raisin & clove sweetness, and finally a little tobacco/cigar while you enjoy nutmeg sprinkled on mocha cappuccino.

This is obviously exemplary, and I mostly applaud it for being able to provide such complexity across a large flavor spectrum while avoiding bitterness or other extremities. Although different in tone, I can best contrast it with the Bowmore 15-Darkest, another peated sherry malt. In comparison, the Uigeadail does manage to come out smoother: with less toffee sweetness but more vanilla creaminess and walnut musk; with more apparent flames but less woody cedar bitterness. And the Uigeadail leaves me feeling I can find more subtleties the next days after.... It must be all those vowels.

This was batch L12 206, for reference. I have become convinced of the importance of batch variation, especially as the palate sensitivity increases with experience.

Also, here is a follow-up as I finish the bottle. The bottle has been open for 1 year, and for at least the last 6 months it has been less than 50% full. (More than 50% empty, for you pessimists.) My message is: how I wish I'd decanted it! I recently tried to showcase the Uigeadail to some friends, but it failed to dazzle the crowd; and yes, even I was disappointed. Gone were the balancing sweetnesses of tobacco/raisin/cherry/rose, as well as much of the softening vanilla. This probably will not come as a surprise to anyone experienced with keeping a bottle of peated whisky. The new tasting notes were much harsher-- the "dark side" of Uigeadail, which some of you extremists might like: Thick and heavy tar, coal mine, very industrial. Also more medicinal, more obvious salt, and a wallop of black liquorice (the salty kind) that wasn't there before. It reminds of of what I'd expected of peated whiskies before I got into them. Just a little vanilla & grape & sour cherry were still recognizable, especially in the nose.

The point is: take good care of your whiskies, and don't assume your purchase will last for years to come.

@PeatyZealot: Ha! Thank you for noticing that. No, I'm afraid my palate would have become too confused and overwhelmed by 4 Ardbegs in just one evening. I had some drafts ready but decided to wait (until I could get to the Corryvreckan) so that I could compare/contrast. I found that I couldn't understand the differences between them by reading other descriptions independently.

@paddockjudge: Thanks, enjoy "tomorrow"-- and have one for me!

@Chookster

To smell; a medicinal smoke to start; bursts of antiseptic, lashings of band-aids, sprinkle on a little pepper. Mixing in with the smoke rather than distinguishing itself is salted cashews(these tend to always pop up for me in Ardbegs), and plenty of herbs, as well as suggestions of something meaty (those little bacon bits you put in Caesar Salad?).

Given some time in the glass an evolution occurs, something is fighting this uncompromising thick and smouldering smoke. Creamy vanilla gasps for air but the smoke quickly reels it back in. A toffee-caramel screams for help but its cries fall on deaf ears.

To taste; I’m thinking a BBQ on a hot summer day by the ocean, a thoroughly burnt to a crisp sausage with a hot sweet chilli sauce on top, maybe tasted while chewing on a Redskin and puffing on a cigar next to a newly tarred road, all of the above mixed in with the taste of salty sea air. It sounds all fairly pleasant but imagine the salty sea air and cigar notes are a jab and the burnt sausage/tarred road is a left hook.

It makes sense to me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t to you.

Scratch that, even I don’t understand where i was going with that.

A head-scratcher to be sure. Powerful and assertive, yet strangely approachable, be mentally ready for the kick in the taste buds and no one will get hurt.

@Russ - I did indeed use some water and was mildly impressed, but I found most of the development was due to time in the glass neat.

Full disclosure - my 89 could be someone elses 95. I can see whats good about it, but it didnt blow my socks clean off. Iv still got the rest of the bottle to prove me wrong and improve its score though.

I should have written in my notes, this was the 3rd or 4th dram from a bottle opened in the last week.

Great review! However, I'm feeling a little standoffish now. I planned on picking up a bottle, but I may not be ready for such kick in the mouth. I'll taste the 10 and take it from there. I must say however I still want to taste it!

@talexander

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.

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! ;-)

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.

@WhiskyBee

This whisky is a truly humbling experience. In the words of Wayne and Garth, “We’re not worthy!”

The only reason I’m cluttering up the board with yet another Oogie review is that I’m on a mission to review every whisky in my cabinet. And the only reason I’m doing that is just to do it. As there are plenty of reviews that provide the history and background behind this masterpiece, I’ll keep this short and limit it mostly to tasting notes.

Nose: Every time I take a whiff, I have an involuntary reaction of spasms in my gut, and I can’t tell if they’re from laughing or weeping on the inside. “Damn, that’s good,” I mutter as I take the Glencairn away from my nose, and my wife responds with “You must be having that Arrrrd-BEG (her pirate-ish pronunciation) you like so much.” Of course the peat dominates, but I’ve never smelled a peat so robust yet so smooth. Also sea air and traces of sherry and pepper. It’s not the most complex nose. Its strength is in its strength.

Palate: Buttery, creamy, and oily upon arrival. Turns deceptively neutral quickly, but just wait. Within a few seconds, I get wood smoke, barbeque, old-fashioned rock candy, a bit of malt, and, of course, plenty of peat. The smooth finish grows and grows. All the aforementioned flavors are there and are joined by fruit punch and a nice meaty oomph that suggests…um, pork chops?

The Uigeadail may be a cask-strength whisky, but I like it neat; or, at the most, with one tiny drop of water to open it up slightly. Two drops kills it. My bottle has been opened for about eight months and is now down to the ¼ level, but I haven’t noticed any deterioration. It remains one of the main reasons I’m glad I became a whisky drinker.

When it comes to the three southern islay Giants, i am more of a Laphroaig fan myself, although brand-loyalty as a trend seems to be easing off. Ardbeg is a love/hate story for me, because of the excentric marketing and whisky-snobs. But a dram like this makes you forget about that and focuses on what made you a whisky-lover (as you said) in the first place, a whisky to remember. Excellent review btw, made me.. well... remember it ;)

@whiskyjourney

Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’) is actually the loch from which all the peat-laden Ardbeg waters flow. For this expression though, it is a union of the classic smoky Ardbeg characteristics and ex-Sherry casks. There is an amber and gold hue...definitely darker than the 10 Year, but still a bit pale for how deep this one goes. All of the flavors are harnessed as this one is bottled at or near cask strength, and non chill-filtered…54.20% ABV.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The pungent peat smoke sets the stage, but once it passes you by, there are layers. There are raisins, and an almost meaty scent, like cleaning a grill. Some water opens it up a bit (due to the high ABV) and it kind of smells like banana bread.

Palate: Rich, and full bodied on the tongue. Complex…there is a lot going on here. It is sweet and spicy and hounded by a changing smoke, like charcoal now. More sweet fruits and cocoa on the way down, like chocolate covered raisins.

Finish: Long, it takes minutes for the ashy smoke to fade. A bit of oak and sweet fruit (raisins) on the exhale.

Conclusion

This did not have quite the sherry punch I expected, but boy does it lend some sweetness! I am an admitted member of the Ardbeg Committee, and I always have an Ardbeg on my shelf. I can see what all the excitement is about as this one just leaves you gasping for air, and wanting more at the same time. Just a wonderful ride, and so balanced. If I had to pick an MVP here, it would likely be the nose. I literally stood there and just kept nosing it over and over and jotting down my notes as new things kept emerging. This is truly a gem…I don’t think that I could ever get bored of it

@AKGcandlefish

Color: gold.

Nose: this is ashier and peatier than the Lagavulin, but it shares that whisky's sweet, floral undertones. Not as sweet to me as others have reported though. Mostly this nose is very savory. I pick up smoked cheeses and salted sardines (my wife says bacon). Nothing overwhelming. Very balanced. Water brings out a little grapefruit.

Body: full-bodied with a bite.

Palate: lots of smoke. Probably the smokiest Scotch I've ever tasted. I actually choked on it with my first sip. After I adjust, I'm able to pick up more of the sweetness but still covered in smoke. Something like s'mores. Burnt marshmallow and chocolate.

Finish: billows of smoke to the end with notes of chocolate and coffee.

This whisky is an experience; not a passive drink. Honestly, I think it'll take a few drams before I really discover all it has to offer. The smoke is so heavy, it takes some work to move through it to the other flavors, and with the ABV as high as it is, doing the work before you fall asleep is a challenge! I really enjoyed this, and given some time, I may end up ranking it higher. But at the moment, I rank it even with the Laphroaig Quarter Cask (which is no insult).

Yum, yum and more yum! Reading this got me drooling. Talisker isn't smokey enough for me, and Lagavulin is next on the pick-up list later this year. Hopefully after that I'll give this one a try, it sounds delicious. I'm wondering how this would compare with the regular 10 year old from Ardbeg in terms of smoke/peat. If you ever pick up the 10 year old, it would be cool to see a comparison between them.

Ok, I've just bumped this one up a few. It finally broke for me. It took a few drams before I detected much below the smoke, but it finally mellowed out for me. This really is a Scotch with tons of character.

@MaltySD

Not sure what else I can say about this little old whisky here that hasn’t already been said, one of my all-time favs so far in my short whisky journey. Love the balance between the peat and sherry; the flavors mesh so well together, dropping a bomb of flavor in your mouth. On top of that you get a chewy, heavy mouth feel whisky, two of my favorite attributes of a whisky, what’s there not to love about this one. Enough said…good night now!

@abunadhMatada

This is an amazing whisky!! Peat to sherry sweetness. Very complex, sophisticated, intense, and yet very balanced Scotch. Has all the characters of an Ardbeg 10 - peat, medicinal, campfire, iodine- and at the same time it has that sherry sweetness too.
Lovely dram.!! period.

I have this one. It's a real barn burner, to be sure!

@ewhiskey

Ardbeg Uigeadail stands firm with a powerful presence. It took only a split second to validate the excellence of this scotch.

The nose suggests peat in light smoke consistently throughout. It is full and rich with a unique sweetness original to Uigeadail. Fresh seaweed flows underneath it all.

The palate is heavy and oily and tames down this cask strength spirit. Smoke from the nose come through with more intensity and the sweetness lies in the peat. Black licorice and orange pith flirt and fade leaving a cloud of smokiness that lingers for a long finish.

A fantastic dram! Fit to please the most demanding palate.

Cheers!

Mmmmm what a sexy whisky Uigeadail is! So beautiful...you're making me want some right now!!

R

Peaty goodness, vanilla, stewed prunes comin' atcha! Yes, the body is huge and the palate diversifies into dark smoked chocolate, with some white wine vinegar perhaps, and a trace of gasoline fumes, along with bonnie heather. I also catch a passing whiff of the smell of farmers burning their fields in fall to purify the earth for the next crop in spring. In Oregon, the farmers, especially hay, wheat, barley, and lawn turf farmers, burn their fields and if you are not too close to the burning field, it smells delightful in the distance.

The Beist was my favorite Ardbeg, but alas, it is no more.

Galileo is a pale shadow of Beist. It is less "sucking on a charcoal briquette" than Uigeadail or Corryvreckan, which is even stronger.

I would like to try the Alligator at some point. I know in my heart of hearts that Ardbeg makes a great scotch, but my tastebuds just can't get past the tar and charcoal at this point. It tastes even more poisonous than most hard alcohol to me!

Wish I could have tried the Supernova, even though that was probably even even more "scorched earth" than the Uigedail. If the Galileo was cheaper, I'd buy a bottle even though I don't really love it because the complexities aren't in there for me. Still, it's quite good.

I recently aquired 3 bottles of Uigeadail at a very good price, and did so without trying it 1st (so many here rated this whisky so highly I thought it would be a 'no-brainer')...

Well - to say I'm disappointed would be a tad bit harsh, but I honestly believe a score in the 80's is appropriate; all I've gotten so far from this whisky is smoke/alcohol burn/mild sweetness with a bit of water...

Maybe it's me - maybe my taste buds are on a vacation - maybe I need to give it more time?..So far I'm not overly impressed, and if given a choice between this, and a Lagavulin 16 yr - I'd take the Laga each, and every time.

I will amend my "gasoline" reference and replace it with turpentine. I should have said "turpentine" not gasoline

@whiskydallas

This one takes a while to get acquanted with. Great dark,golden amber colour and nose, full of sweet and peaty smoke. tasted without water, a bit too hot as the 54% overpowers. Added a bit of water to calm it down and this really allowed the sweety/smokey flavour to emerge in balance with the alcohol. a nice warm sipper.

@UisgeJon

If you read my last review, of Bunnahbhain 12, this dram followed that one. Sitting at an extensive bar, tasting new things... what an awesome night. So I was talking to the bartender and told him that I've never really explored a peated Islay malt before, so I asked him for his suggestion between the Ardbeg Uigeadail and the Coal Ila 12. He suggested the Ardbeg.

Well, alrighty then Mr. Barkeep, lets do the damn thing! I'll take it.

So he turns and climbs his rolling ladder to the very tip top, reaches for the bottle and brings it down. He pours me a rather healthy dram in a nosing glass, and leaves the bottle with me to continue my exploration.

Arbeg Uigeadail (pronounces "Oog-a-dal"):

Nose: Holy cow, this is great... Smoked meat, heavy, calm, a ton of personality and swagger here, like John Wayne. What's the ABV here... reaches for bottle 54.2%?! Never would have known.

Palate: Oh this is good... it's very warm, smokey, coats the tongue nicely with a bit of a syrupy viscosity. A mouthful of campfire and smoked meat, light raisins and dried plums. Simply awesome. Looking at my notebook from my notes a couple nights ago, I wrote "like taking a bite of smoked ribs with a bit of tangy BBQ sauce, all while sitting around a mesquite wood fire." I am a huge, huge fan.

Finish: More of that soothing warmth, smoke and meat. Some light hints at Raisins or other dried dark fruit. Maybe plum. It's all real subtle. Like a good BBQ sauce, those flavors aren't subtracting from the flavor of the main course, which is that awesome smoked meat.

This is one of those drams that takes you on a journey to a different time and place. I couldn't shake images of the Wild Wild West as I was drinking this - images of sitting around a fire at night, smoked ribs, mesquite wood. So great.

Balance: Amazing. Simply stunning. Not a single flavor out of place here... everything is remarkably tuned and refined, and I'm in love with this dram.

Man this is a great review. I just want to grab a bottle of this while reading. I am salivating... Unfortunately I just had a little bottle to taste it but this is definitely a whisky I am looking forward to buy a bottle in the future. It's a little pricy, so I am going for the Ardbeg TEN first. Also great stuff, you should give it a try.

But in my memory the Oog-a-dal is one of the best I had so far. So great it is in the standard range of Ardbeg, no time to hurry then. As you might know this isn't usual for Ardbeg...

@WhiskyJoe and I went back to the Uigeadail this past Saturday (bottle now one week open) and we both found that the bottle had indeed 'settled down' with the heavy charcoal presence lightening to 'only' heavy smoke and peat (distinct notes, and with more integration of the various notes in the profile). The integration/blending of notes seems to be replacing the seafood with grilled meat (more airy smoke notes, less citrus-like notes, and less brine).

A great bottling that will likely produce more intrigue as it develops further.

@Johnny

This is the most complex whiskey I've tasted so far. Amazing.

Nose is full of spice, citrus with hints of creosote, some iodine and honey. Not much smoke but peat is there.

Taste is full and syrupy with the spice taking front and center with orange and honey (maple?) I'm also noting some clove and cinnamon or/and ginger. The finish is very long with my mouth becoming slightly numb due to the high ABV.

I could taste this all night and I think my notes would change and lengthen each time. I guess this is good an excuse as any to keep this on my shelf and keep trying :)

@11four

Having always enjoyed the occasional dram, about a year ago I began to broaden my horizons and investigate the varied delights of this mysterious golden liquid called Whisky. With roughly a year's worth of exploration now behind me, I tentatively embark upon my first review.

Even in my whisky infancy, the Ardbeg 10 was a staple choice, an old friend I would return to - which is appropriate, as it was first introduced to me by an old friend, and we have shared many a peaty dram by an open fire since. With this history, and a broader taste for Islay, I began my personal collection with the much acclaimed Uigeadail. The Ten will remain a favourite. How would the Oogie compare?

Upon first opening the classic algae-green bottle, the aroma of fiery peat quickly filled the room. (Having been open for a year now, the potency of the nose seems to have diminished slightly - is this a typical phenomenon?) The fiery theme continued as the first dram was poured, the liquid a deep amber colour, that of a glowing grate.

And now the bit I'm most nervous about... Tasting notes! I take solace in the fact that this is entirely subjective.

Nose: Big peat, but not excessive. Oily and dank, an open fire in a damp pine forest. And spicy, cloves and cinnamon. It also reminds me of one of those historical information museums that pump out "authentic" rustic smells... Except the Uigeadail begs me to linger!

Taste: To quote my wife, "It's like drinking a bonfire!" Smokey, fiery, with possibly some sweet rum and raisin? Man alive, then the spice roars in like an accelerant! Yet it remains astonishingly balanced throughout. I had no idea such extreme flavour could be delivered with such balance. This was a new experience for me. As the embers die down, it's chewy, so chewy, like munching on a bit of old boot.

Finish: Long and leathery. Begins slightly salty, then bitter orange. Eventually all that remains is the warmth telling of the recent furnace.

This is undoubtedly my favourite whisky to date. I love the power and balance. My ridiculously high score reflects this but allows for something even more astonishing to trump it in the future!

@Wills thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. And thanks for the tip - that's useful to know.

@Victor I'm willing to devote a long time to finding something to beat it! But I take your point. My wife certainly is my main whisky buddy which is definitely a blessing, but I have a broader taste than her. Her comment quoted here was not meant in favour of Uigeadail! However I expect she will show up again in future reviews that I write - especially for sweeter, unpeated whiskies.

Thanks both for your comments.

@11four, also, you might want to note for reference the specific batch of Ardbeg Uigeadail which you liked at 97/100, and perhaps to put away a couple more bottles of it while it remains for sale. The batches do vary, sometimes a lot. Please note my Ardbeg Uigeadail review and extensive comment trail for both information on Ardbeg batch identification and on the range of differences that can be present. When Jim Murray named Ardbeg Uigeadail World Whisky of the Year a few years ago, that one ONE PARTICULAR BATCH of the Uigeadail to which he was referring.

If I were to rate the three different batches of Uigeadail which I have bought and sampled with a single number, for INITIAL first bottle-opened quality, they would be 98, 95, and 82. Happily, the 82 initial quality batch (bottle #2 from the review) oxidised quite well and after about a year had worked its way all the way up to 89 for me.

@jwise

Mmmmmm...... Peach cobbler in a Dutch oven over the coals. Maybe some of the coals blew into the cobbler, as there is distinct smoky goodness throughout.

Nose: it definitely changes after you've had that first sip or three. At first it is a bit harsh to the uninitiated, while lively with a strong whiff of alcohol and smoke. After tasting, the nose loses its smoke and edge and becomes sweet fruit with butternut. Christmas pudding, ginger, cinnamon cloves in front of the wood burning fireplace. Don't forget the slight salt and brine. It is faint, but there.

Palate: Oh boy! Spice comes in strong, and the brine comes out stronger than on the nose. Less smoke, more peat. Faint sweetness with a fruity hint.

Finish: Lots of spice through the long finish. Citrus lingers.

So, my wife and family refer to this whisky as "dragon's breath" as the smoke is obviously overpowering for them.

Love the breath of THAT dragon!

Out of curiosity, which bottling are you reviewing, @jwise? (the white letter bottling date codes)

@MaltActivist

How does one even begin to review what is arguably the best single malt in the world from arguably one of the best distilleries in the world.

Of course the nose is peaty and full of smoke! But what a brilliant nose. Underneath all the pettiness lies the sweetest, most delicious aromas of a citrus pudding. On top are the salty, iodine sea waves that keep lashing the shore and give this malt the most delicious of all noses.

The palate is simply perfection. It is sweet. It is salty. It is strong. It is gentle. There is spice. There is sweetness. There are salty oils caressing juicy nectarines. I don't know where to begin. After tastes of tobacco and leather remind of sitting in a smoky gentleman's club. Exactly the kind of place where the Uigedail would feel right at home. Finally there is the faintest hint of aniseeds to round off what is most definitely the way whisky was intended to taste.

@markjedi1

A year and a half ago, I tasted the Uigedail (say ‘oog-daal’) for the first time. It was the 2003 batch. Today, I am going to try the batch that was bottled on 12 March 2009. Wonder if there is a big difference. All batches, from 2003 and 2011, are bottled at a strength of 54,2% ABV. It is a mix of young bourbon casks and older sherry casks.

Ooh, yeah, this is good. The nose reveals hardly any peat, but emphasizes the dark sweetness of the sherry cask. Vanilla, banana, some Arcane rum and even some nougat. Only then does the Ardbeg profile reveal itself in all its glory with some coastal elements (sea, salt and the like).

On the palate, it is again the sherry cask that speaks the loudest. First the fruit in the form of caramelized oranges with icing sugar and some figs, before the peat and sea salt are allowed to come out. Dried fish and tar. A lot of liquorice. A rascal. Playful, naughty and strong. What is not to like?

A wonderfully long finish on liquorice and figs, leaving you with a big smile on your face.

The Uigedail was voted best whisky of the year by Jim Murray in the holy scripture of 2009. Sometimes he just gets it right. A cracker dram, if you ask me! And for that price? Around 65 EUR. Well, you just have to get that Ardbeg (unless you can get your hands on the Corryvreckan, of course).

J

Nose: Peat and smoke, raw dark sugar, thick honeys, roasted malt, expresso, sweet fruits, rich sherry, toffee and caramels.

Palate: Sherry sweetness up front, very large entry, very juicy fruits, honeys and dark sugur, roasted malts, peat rises and overthrows the sweetness with notes of big peat and smoke and earthiness

Finish: Smooth Peat, milky expresso, dark sugur, honey, figs and some fruit, fading sweetness and smoke.

Awesome whisky. Though I have a funny story in that I've had this whisky from 4 different bottles and while 3 of the bottles where great (this review is for those bottles) 1 of them the sherry sweetness in it was really flat in comparison this bottle I'd have only given a mid to high 80, not bad but not anywhere near as good as the other 3. So just be aware of possible batch variation.

@SquidgyAsh

So my wife and I have been planning on going to the whisky bar in our city for months now. Every time we make plans SOMETHING always come up. I get called into work a day early, we can't afford to go out, a public holiday that we forgot about is occurring on the day we're going and they're closed or as just happened this last time around, my wife and I got sick.

This has been extremely frustrating for me as this bar has quite a few whiskies I've been meaning to try for a while and so as the day was ending yesterday I was feeling a wee bit down. To the rescue comes my brother in law! I get a text message from him saying "If you can't go to the whisky then the whisky shall come to you!"

A couple hours later my brother and sister in law arrive at the house and he brings with him a bag of whisky. In this bag are a couple whiskies I've never had before along with a couple I've tasted.

Now the first 4 bottles of his collection I just recently reviewed. The Macallan 10 yr old Sherry Cask, Sazerac Straight Rye Whisky, Johnny Drum bourbon, and Lagavulin 16 yr old. The last bottle on the tasting block tonight was the highlight of the night: Ardbeg Uigeadail!!!

Now as you may have noticed in my last review which was the Lagavulin 16 yr old, I'm not a huge smoke and peat head. Amusingly enough if you've ever had Ardbeg, pretty much any Ardbeg, you know it's ALOT of smoke and ALOT of peat hahaha.

I poured myself a hefty dram as I was going to be tasting this tonight and tomorrow for this review. I handed the glass to my wife who took one whiff and went "Whoa!! Burnt bandaids!!"

As I smell this dram I get sherry with smoke and peat and quite a bit of phenols. Now this is the second time I've had this whisky, both from the same bottle. At this tasting the bottle had been open for several months and was down to just a few drams left. At the first tasting smoke with sherry and TONS of phenols and burnt bandaids came through. As I immediately noticed this bottle has opened up and oxidized and the nose profile has changed abit. I'm very curious as to how the flavor profile has changed.

My wife immediately declined to taste this bottle this time as she is very much not an Islay fan. So I'm blessed with just having this to myself!

Now this bottle is sitting at around 108.4 proof. And it does have that taste but it's not overpowering. On first sip the peat jumps to the front of my tongue and then smoke with the phenols, specifically the burnt bandaids. There is the taste of sea air on my tongue and some brine. For sweetness the sherry shines through. This is quite an enjoyable whisky. I've not had the Ardbeg 10 yr old or the Corryvakin yet and I'm keen to try them after this bottle. I'd be quite keen to also try this bottle just after opening and see how the flavors differ.

The finish is quite long with the alcohol biting quite abit and the smoke, peat and bandaids linger on the tongue for a while.

This is a very nice whisky and another one I wouldn't mind having on hand when I really want to taste some heavy smoke. However the price might be a little out of my range for a casual bottle. This bottle sits at around $135 AUS and can be a little difficult to put your hands on over here.

This is a good complex whisky, but I'd NEVER use this or any Ardbeg to introduce any whisky novice to Single Malts.

Now the ratings on this review are given based upon a bottle that has been oxidizing for quite a while and does tempt me to buy a bottle or try a newly opened bottle as soon as I can get a chance!

Hello my friend Wills!

The big reason for the difference in score was I think more due to oxidization then anything else. The bottle of Lagavulin had semi recently been open and was still opening up so the flavor profile was for me extremely concentrated and was quite enjoyable even more as it opened up in the glass the next day. The Ardbeg was good, but I had a dram from the same bottle shortly after it was opened (somewhere along 6 months ago) and the flavor profile was quite different and much stronger when I tasted it compared to the last couple nights drinking the Ardbeg. The flavors seemed a little . . . wishy washy for me? It is still a very good bottle, but I'd like to do a tasting/review on a freshly opened bottle in the future as I believe the Ardbeg would score higher then 86.

The other difference in score for me was price. The Lagavulin was roughly $100 to purchase while the Ardbeg was picked up at around $135. They're both VERY good whiskies (I have some good recollections on the Uigeadail from when I first tasted it) but in this tasting the Lagavulin won out.

As I can purchase them I'll be doing updated reviews on both the Ardbeg and the Macallan as I felt that oxidation had affected both bottles pretty severely. And I'd like a retaste where the nose and flavors were more concentrated without months exposed to the air.

Greetings Ash. It seems you had alot of fun tasting those drams last night. What I dont understand is that the Lagavulin gets 96 and this nice Ardbeg "just" 86 points. I was only tasting the Uigeadail and liked it alot, although I'm neither that kind of a big smokehead. So for me there has to be not JUST peat and smoke and this Ardbeg made it really nicely. Is the Lagavulin really THAT good? Especially from the view of a speysider-fan ;)

@shimaaji
@Devo

Nose: Peat-smoked bacon with maple syrup. Cherry pipe tobacco. Call me crazy... but I'm getting a fleeting whiff of rich dark ponzu sauce in here. Sweet rubber and a slight chalky note on the nose as well.

Taste: Dang. I love this. The flavour invades the mouth... not a hostile takeover but a takeover nonetheless. Uigeadail is runnin' the show up in here! Rich, sweet, creamy, sweet malt and then BAM a blast of smoke coats the entire mouth along with a really pleasant heat. Like spontaneous combustion. This whisky is great neat, and not unpleasantly agressive considering the ABV%. Mingling with the peat smoke is chocolate and toffee and BBQ and pepper and pipe tobacco... oh my!

Finish: Smoke and spice recedes but is always present. As it smolders the aforementioned sweet flavours really take front row center now and here the sherry makes its presence known, along with some and grassy notes-dry hay and sagebush. Some nutmeg and leather in there as well. Sticks around for a loooong time--and even then, it's still sad to have it leave.

So I picked this up finally. I have yet to try an Ardbeg that I didnt like. I agree with Victor regarding the "sherry influences" here. It is a very enjoyable dram. In all honesty though, I prefer the simple 10 year Ardbeg as much, although they are clearly different. I found the 10 year to have more of that sea salt bite that I love so much. Now where I enjoyed this oogie more was when I paired it with a nice Cuban Monte Cristo #2...this is where this scotch shined over the 10 year. For some reason, the smoke from the cigar blended so well with this. My brother and I ended up polishing the whole bottle, along with two #2's each. needless to say, the next morning when i realized we canned a whole bottle, along with about 80 dollars in 4 cigars, I paced the floor a bit. :)

@Devo, when I have gotten a taste of the Alligator I will come back here and post some comments on it. There has been more of a division of opinion on that one than on most of the rest of the main Ardbeg line, it seems. That largely lukewarm initial response to Alligator upon its first release is the main reason why I have a dozen bottles of Ardbeg, but no Alligator yet. I wanted to try a dram before investing in a bottle. So far I have been frustrated for a year trying to find some place to sample a dram.

M

A really complex peat and smoke monster. Very strong smoke and leather scent on the nose, with a definite marine tang. Almost overwhelming. Keeping a sip in the mouth brings out the sweetness and spicy pepper. Hints of vanilla at the back of the palate and leaves a leather aftertaste. Long, lingering smoke in the mouth. Really, though, a hard one to figure out on the first glass. I must keep sampling this bottle (purely for research purposes, of course).

@MaltActivist

Intensely smoky. Reminds me of being at a barbeque. The palate is sweet caramelized oak with a flurry of fruits and then the pleasant spices come roaring out in full nutty splendour. Beautifully balanced. I had to try it a second time after a while and fell in love.

S

Nose: campfire, new leather, Smoke. Palate: Starts off sweet and then the smoke comes through. Intense, full, smokey flavor. Finish: long lasting and peaty with a hint of vanilla.

A Delicious Islay. A couple of drops of water bring out more of the sweetness.

@nycadman

Simply the #1 Scotch I've ever had. I can't stop raving about it. Peaty, yes. Balanced, yes. Incredibly long finish, yes.

My all time favorite. If u see it, grab it.

This is a fantastic dram. Personally I prefer this to the Supernova, it is more refined and has more character. It is fantastically peaty without getting too chemical like the Supernova. The body is full on and the finish keeps going on and on. My personal score: 93

I rate this whisky right up there with Lagavulin 16yr, but at a much more reasonable price.

@chrisrbarrett
@GT2

Served neat, cut and uncut. The pour is a little bit darker than the Ten and the Corryvreckan. Widely spaced, weak tears. Nose is much more spicy alcohol than the Ten or Corryvreckan. Almost as hot in the nose as Supernova.

Nose (uncut): Lots of ginger and Christmas spice. Mulled cider comes to mind. As it opens up I get coconut curry. Maybe very subdued smolder and fireplace. Smoke is nearly absent on this one. Toasted cherrywood. Spicy citrus and potpourri. New leather comes to mind, but a little too much spicy alcohol burn at 50% abv+. It is obviously complex, but it is tough to get all the complexities out with any water added.

Nose (cut): With water, the aroma becomes more grapefruit rind heavy with white grapes and gold raisins. Baked raisins and black cherries in some sort of dessert. Actually, quite delicious. Smoke is pretty much absent.

Taste (uncut): Very sharp and spicy alcohol with mild burn. Lots of wood tannins and heavy Christmas spices: cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. A little oily and nutty.

Taste (cut): Loses the heat and focuses pine, cedar, black cherries and raisins. Very nice wintertime Scotch.

Palate: Lightly viscous. Finishes with soft burn and mulling spice.

Overall, one meant to be appreciated and takes a lot of time to understand. Much harder to decipher than Ardbeg Ten or Corryvreckan and with more rewards to the patient than Supernova.

Well, I finally got a bottle. I agree that this is a very difficult whisky to figure out! It is expensive here at Vancouver, cheapest is $134. Had my first drink last night. When I opened the bottle and nosed it, I got the smoke and peat just like Laphroaig. After I poured it, the smoke and peat seemed to disappear, and I was left with a sherry taste, but the usual sherry sweetness was not there, I think because of the smoke and peat. Strong but not at all unpleasant alcohol bite to it. Still prefer my Laphroaig Quarter Cask. But this is a real difficult one to judge, so I will leave it for a few days and have another shot. I have to say, somehow it does taste like a very refined and expensive whisky. Don't know quite how to explain it, but that was my reaction. Very glad I did get a bottle, if nothing else it will be interesting to see my reaction as I get through the bottle. Definitely one of the most interesting whiskies I have tried. And I must say that I do not regret having purchased this bottle.

80 points for Uigeadail? Wow, you must be a real Ardbeg hater ;-)

N

Nose: peat, iodine & phenol, strong cherrywood smoke notes, campfire and firm barbecue. With water, additional oaky vanilla comes through and sweet perfumey aromatics. Taste: distinctly smokey. Hardwood smoke and more of the phenolic notes and ocean water. Orange and cherry blossom and sweet vanilla. Soft sherry note in the background. Long finish and sits on the palate evolving over time. Body: full and rich. Slick on the palate. Overall: Worldclass and simply spectacular.

@Dellnola

Nose: Obviously peat, distinctly Ardbeg. As I nose this I can hear the crackling of burning wood. Very elegant. After the first initial sniffs, a nutty sweetness arrives. Almond nougat, almonds sauteed in butter, grilled lemons, sea air, a hint of sweet tea. There's another bit of sweetness that I keep wanting to describe as meringue cookies. This is peat and sweetness woven together beautifully.

Taste: The peat and sweet nuttiness create a flavor of roasted peanuts. Perhaps chunky peanut butter? Deliciously creamy and thick. The charred bits from a barbecue and brine.

Finish: Quite long and intense. Billowing smoke, medicinal, hot and satisfying.

This is my favorite Ardbeg and quite possibly my favorite Islay whisky. I was lucky to be in London when The Whisky Exchange had a bottle of Ardbeg Alligator to share, and while it's a wonderful whisky, I'm still convinced that the Uigeadail is the crown jewel of Ardbeg. Get it while you can!

@Rosal

Nose: Smoky and peat. Leather. Salty ocean air. Raisin and Christmas Cake. Freshly brewed Espresso.

Taste: Start out fairly sweet leading into a powerful smoke and peat.

Finish: Very long and chewy Raisin. Mocha and sweet.

d

This expression of Ardbeg is simply the best single malt Scotch I've had to date. It has all of the best attributes of typical Islay Scotches, but also has a uniqueness all its own that is a pure delight.

The nose is peaty and smoky, with a hint of seaside air after a storm. The palate is complex and unique. There is definitely strong smokiness and the earthy peatiness that comes with Islay whisky. But there is also a subtle fruitiness and even hints of sweetness to it. Then it grows into a lovely (but not at all overwhelming) hotness the endures into the finish. The finish eventually mellows into a salty, briny flavor.

This Scotch is strong and powerful, but worth every penny. It is a great representative of Islay Scotches while also having something to it that sets it apart.

@Victor

Ardbeg Uigeadail is my favourite malt whisky. When I tasted the first bottle which I bought in September 2010 I went back to the store 5 days later and bought 3 more bottles from the same store off of the same shelf, because I was astonished at how good the Ardbeg Uigeadail was, and I wanted to have that wonderful drink available for drinking for a very long time. Three months later, as my first bottle was nearing the end, I purchased 1 additional bottle from a different liquor store. When my first bottle was empty I opened the single lone bottle which I had purchased the most recently. I sipped first in surprise, then in increasing horror as I did not experience what I had remembered of the flavour and the feeling of my first bottle. Upon further tastings over a couple of weeks the second bottle continued to give me exactly the same less than impressive flavour as it had with the first taste of it. First I asked myself whether this was the flavour that I had experienced from bottle # 1 and maybe my taste had changed in the interval that had elapsed. Finally I decided that I should sample bottle # 3, which had come from the same shelf as the sainted bottle #1. Low and behold bottle # 3 tastes exactly like all of my memories from bottle # 1 and gives me the type of transcendent experience that leads me to rate this whisky at 98 pts. To bottle # 2 I would give about an 86 pt rating, decent, but not at all head of the pack, or close to being an all-time favourite whisky.

Nose: for bottle # 1 & 3, the nose is very brightly perfumed, like carnations with rosewater, peat, pleasant sherry and some briny and medicinal elements. For # 2 the nose is duller, lower pitched, less floral, and sort of muffled in its expression.

Taste: for # 1 & 3 the sweet sherry and the strong peat, medicinal, and briny elements combine into an amazing bright integrated fabric. There is a sort of harmony being played out here between the very high soprano notes of the sherry, and the bass earthy notes brought out through the peat and the briny/iodiny elements. You can still taste some nice malted barley here, sort of closeted between the high winey and low earthy notes. For bottle # 2 the sherry notes fall completely flat. They are not soprano or even alto, but more bass-baritone range. The sherry here is not bright, is not very tasty, and does not offer the beautiful contrast to the bass note elements that is afforded in the other bottles. The overall effect of sipping # 2 is heavy, almost leaden.

Finish: for bottles # 1 & # 3 the finish retains all of the spectacular flavours equally strongly for a very long time. For bottle # 2 the sub-par sherry flavour actually deteriourates somewhat into the finish, and becomes both sour and less tasty. The finish here is also rather long, but it is not balanced, and not so very pleasant.

Balance: # 1 & # 3 have everything going for them in all departments. Bottle # 2 is not very balanced, not nearly as pleasant tasting or as appealing to the nose, and then gets somewhat less appealing on the finish. At the end of this experience I am extemely optimistic about the quality of my remaining 3 bottles of Ardbeg Uigeadail, but am completely in doubt about what I will encounter if I am to buy an additional new bottle of that whisky. This experience has led me to reassess some others' lukewarm reviews of Uigeadail, or those who felt that it needed water to open up. I go to water as a last ditch attempt to find a way to enjoy a whisky when I am not satisfied with what comes straight from the bottle. Maybe those others were drinking from the stock of bottle # 2. The summary observation I make from this is to remind myself that whiskies are living beings and not standardized widgets off of an assembly-line. There are definite batch to batch variations, and sometimes bottle to bottle variations. Sometimes those variations are of a very significant magnitude and can make the difference between an outstanding whisky and one which is merely mediocre. (My rating is of bottles # 1 and # 3)

@WillyPete, thank you for your kind comments. Influencing others to join Connosr is one of my greatest joys! This review started a much-needed conversation about batch variations in whiskies. Now we on Connosr are getting in our more recent reviews the very useful detail of frequent identification of the individual batch of whisky being reviewed. People like the simplicity of seeing things, including whiskies, in black and white terms. With whisky, 3 batches of the same product can well turn out to be black, white, and gray. Facing the reality of the variations and complexities tends to have the effect of slowing down our runaway enthusiasm quite a bit...but those variations are quite real, and sometimes their magnitude is quite great.

@WillyPete, I am delighted to hear that you are greatly enjoying your bottle of L10 194 Ardbeg Uigeadail. I also would sooner drink from a bottle of L10 194 Uigeadail than from my current bottle of Lagavulin 16. Now 3 years ago, I had some really GREAT Lagavulin 16...from a DIFFERENT BATCH....

@11four Agreed, fantastic and insightful discussion here on Uigeadail batch variation following a typically great review by @Victor. This almost needs its own discussion thread. Before I go out to pick up a bottle of Uigeadail I'll jot down the "better" bottle codes and will definitely not be shy about checking each bottle on the shelf!

Also @Victor I note your comment here RE: scoring a whisky 95 or greater in that for you it must be a "transcendental" experience. I have the same criteria essentially - such scores are not given lightly. I have a grading scale which I refer to for every tasting, 90+ must be "moving" in some way and a 95+ would leave me with the experience of drinking "liquid gold" and only a step removed from perfection (the almost impossible 100 points which I hope to never award a whisky. Even 99 would be tough to award. Maybe on my death bed I'll let my highest scoring dram up to that moment be bumped up to 100 and all others adjusted accordingly for the sake of ultimate completion ;-)

@Gold

Oh yes indeed. Ardbeg is of course a must for all of us phenolophiles / peatmaniacs. Oh how I would like to go to Islay and pay homage (and money) to sample from the springs of eternal amnesia...but I digress (as usual) - this is a remarkable whisky - managing to meld the immense peatiness (you can smell this whisky metres away) it deftly contains, with a sherried richness of finish. Its around 56-57% and to my taste buds is all the better for bringing down to about 46-47% where the balance and flavour improve still further. The whole Ardbeg range is impressive. I have yet to try the Supernova 2010 but until then this is a serious swig of peatpotency to satisfy most people's peat cravings.

@jwise

Ardbeg. This is known for being one of the peat monsters of Islay. I haven't ever tasted an Ardbeg, so this is my first introduction. I am very excited!

The Ardbeg Uigeadail is non chill-filtered and bottled at 54.2% ABV, and is described by the distillery as being"a special vatting that marries Ardbeg’s traditional deep, smoky notes with luscious, raisiny tones of old ex-Sherry casks."

Nose: Intense smoke, iodine and peat of a Laphroaig or Lagavulin. Coming back after the first taste, I am picking out more of the sherry characteristics that were undetectable at first. While it is definitely true that more comes out after a sip, it is also true that some whiskies need to rest for a few minutes to reveal some of their character. Whichever was the case, it is definitely showing off a bit more of its sherry influence now. Very enjoyable!

Palate: Yum! Some of the medicinal flavor from the phenols is in there, but it is mixed with some fruitier and nuttier notes, that make this whisky swim in my mouth! Delicious. Some prunes coming out.

Finish: Very smooth finish, releasing more of the phenols that showed up on the nose. Quite long, indeed. I'm not getting a lot of ripe fruit on the finish, but just a faint hint.

Honestly, this is VERY similar to Laphroaig Cask Strength. In fact, in a blind taste testing, I'm not sure I could tell them apart. This one might be a bit smoother, and a bit fruitier on the nose. Perhaps.

This is a very good thing, as my bottle of Laph CS is nearing empty. I was looking at a bottle of Laga 12yr CS or Laph 18yr to replace it when it is finally gone, but no longer. This bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail will fill that profile in my cabinet just fine. This is a monster whisky, no doubt. This is for those who have developed a taste for huge, powerful peat monsters, and enjoy the taste of medicinal brine in your mouth! I am already feeling like I smoked a cigar, and I've only drunk about 15ml of whisky!

@badams

I like peaty whiskies. In fact, I love peaty whiskies. But I love complicated whiskies too, with layered flavours and intense characteristics.

Uigeadail is not a complex whisky. In fact, it's a very simple whisky: peat (and lots of it) and sherry sweetness. Drank unwatered it's probably too rough and simplistic, but when you dilute it with a bit of (cool) water it turns in to an explosion of peat and sweetness that just made me go "oh my god" and left me wanting more and more of it. Despite its peat and alcohol strength it was remarkably smooth and easy to gulp down.

I can't remember the last time I drank a whisky that was this good.

I like this so much without water that I have never yet bothered to try it with water. Nothing rough here by my account. Just ecstasy.

It's one of my all time favourites too.

@markjedi1

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.

To me, the Supernova is ahead of this one. The pricewinner in Jim's Bible was a rare Canadian bottling. At Ardbeg, they marketed a new batch at the pricewinning ABV. At least, that's what I presume. I cannot believe though, that this is the pricewinner. To me this is similar to the other Uigeadail in the Bible, which gets a 89. Still an absolute must have, but no comparison to superb old/rare drams, for example This I say, being an Ardbeg fan and committee member, and aware of the fact that tastes differ. I agree about your tasting notes and the water. The red fruit and grape of the sherry influence is also a note that I got.

Thanks very much for your useful link, Galg. I rated it 'excellent'.

Finally some thoughts about consistency in marrying whisky and the influence of the place where you drink it. The Ardbeg Uigeadail 2010 of 54,2 ABV I have at home, seems different from the Canadian awardwinning 'Batch' and also different from the one I tasted in Islay in 2009. All at the same ABV! The one I drank in Islay ended up my #2 Islay journey dram (only surpassed by an exquisite Port Ellen at Lochside Hotel). The one I have at home seems to have less chocolate, less sharpness, less wood influence. Together with Galg's OOgling, I'm discussing 4 Uigeadail experiences here, so I'm kinda puzzled.

Supernova and Corryvreckan are on top of my Ardbeg-list at the moment. And of course the 10YO, a must have. At this moment, I wouldn't say the Uigeadail (at home) beats the 10YO.

@rwbenjey

Robust, complex scotch. Though not quite as sweet as I would like with the sherry influence; it struggles with the peat.

p

At 54.2%, this dram is fairly high in alcohol, so exercise caution; I usually pour myself quite a small serving. It's extremely warming. Sip it slowly.

Ardbeg is peated, but the rough Listerine flavors are not quite as intense as, say, the Laphroaig Quarter Cask; instead there is a long and complex smokiness going on. There is some vanilla sweetness. It is not as malty-smelling as the Laphroaig -- I'm not reminded of a vanilla sandwich cookie, which is one of the aromas I smell in Laphroaig Quarter Cask. There is a seashore saltiness -- I'm reminded of saltine crackers, actually. There is citrus -- in the case of the oogie, it isn't orange, but lime.

On the tongue, the texture is enormously silky and smooth, almost gelatinous. It is not as sweet as one might expect with the sherry cask aging -- I'm reminded of quinine in tonic water -- it somehow makes me think of a gin and tonic. That must be some aromatic compound in there that is reminiscent of juniper.

The finish is very long and there are some meaty notes -- Jim Murray is very accurate when he says it is "like standing downwind of the barbecue while steaks are char-grilled on the beach." I'm also strongly reminded of a smoked kippers, packed in oil, on caraway seed crackers seasoned with a little black pepper.

There are just so many notes here -- a licorice, butter. There are hsome things a little less savory, like lighter fluid, pine solvent, charcoal, and a used ashtray. One writer noted that it is a bit like licking someone's sweaty skin, and I think that's accurate; the flavors are a bit erotic, actually. The smokiness is not a simple thing, but hides all kinds of complexity -- burning sea grass, driftwood, and pine needles. That extremely smooth texture, and light but not cloying sweetness, ensure that you will come back for another sip.

With a little water, the citrus aromas come down a bit, and it's more prominently tobacco smoke and iodine. On the tongue, it's a little sweeter and more conventional, although it doesn't seem to lose any complexity -- all those sea flavors are still there on the finish. I get a new, definite note of hot, candied ginger. The finish does become slightly less pleasant when it is wet, though -- we're left with a little more of the pine solvent flavors at the end. It is better straight up.

It is certainly one of the best whiskies I've ever tasted, a true benchmark in complexity, and a step up from the very fine Ardbeg 10. I highly recommend it for anyone who has tasted at least one Islay and wants to try another one. I just may have to try all the different expressions of Ardbeg now -- it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

I got a bottle of this yesterday and feel as I’ve found my holy grail. Just wonderful on so many different levels. Even with a dictionary full of adjectives and I’m still lost for words. Just a happy man…

This is my out-and-out favourite dram. If you like Islay malts, it's a must buy.

@chrisrbarrett

Colour is pale burnished gold. Nose is completely muted, a little soapy. First taste is smoke, unbelievably subtle and continues to increase as it rests in the mouth. With a drop of water it shows more peat on the nose and the smokey flavour becomes more obvious.

One of the best whiskies around for it's price range

This is my personal favourite dram, recommend it to anyone!

@mdelmarter

The nose is a combination of smokey sweetness and old leather. In the mouth it is smooth and oily, peaty with a touch of smoke. The finish is long, sweet and slightly dry with peppery overtones.

One of my favorite Islays.

We haven't had an Uigeadail review in a while. Great whisky, what a shame its not going to be available any more :(

This is a lovely whisky, worthy of nine stars, even the later bottlings.

Does anyone know if Uigeadail is going to be available again in the future e.g on special release?

@sbl

Bottled in 2009. This is reviewed at about 48 % ABV

Some tearing on the glass and it is quite oily.

Nose: Leather, charcoal and some peat. The alcohol is a bit sticky on the nose and it is difficult to sense any details. With more water the leather becomes the only smell and the alcohol is more protruding. This is not as complex as I expected.

Palate: A lot of leather and charcoal. I find a tiny bit of iodine but it isn't taking over. But there is also something a little bit bitter in the back that is not flattering. The alcohol numbs the toung a bit. It is less oily on the palate than the appearence in the glass. With more water the taste of charcoal is dominating the peat disappears and only a little bit of leather is left. It starts to taste a bit of alcohol but the bitterness is gone.

Aftertaste: Long and lingering. At first there are heavy charcoal and some charcoal smoke. Develops to peat and leather. More water makes the charcoal smoke come out more but it is flatter than with the higher alcohol level.

Balance: The somewhat bitter taste, although it is only peripheral, is a disappointment but other than that there is not any tastes that sticks out. The leather and charcoal is what marks this whisky. On the other hand this is not as complex as I expect from a high profile Ardbeg.

I also tried this at my local favorite pub and that one was much more complex and much better than my bottle. I remember clear tones of licorice that is not present here.

This is not a bad dram but this bottling can not be what Jim Murray gave the Whisky of the year award.

I've heard a few people say that the later bottlings aren't as good as the earlier ones. It would add up.

Its funny you mention it, I've picked up on that bitterness at the back of the mouth too but its only just come back to me.

@blrbwmn
@jeanluc

Here's my two bob on the matter. I'll keep this to the point; I get marzipan and figs on the nose with a bit of sweet rubber, like a new Wellington boot.

This whisky is quite an assault on the senses. Sea salt, smoke, aniseed, cured meats with hints of dusty wood, flaked fish food and mint Matchmakers.

Oily and rich of body. Its fairly arresting to take in at first but the finish is very smooth for the ABV.

Not sure if this is the coolest thing to say but I MUCH prefer this without water.

Connosr

I've been on the lookout for this one. Hard to come by in Texas. I really enjoy the 10yo and want another Ardbeg to sample.

It won't disappoint if you can get hold of it.

@jdcook

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.

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.

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.

@hojt

Probably the best Ardbeg, at being an Ardbeg! The taste hits you like a punch in the face with lots of complexity and then slides away almost as fast, leaving you wanting more...

@gstuessi

Nose: rum-soaked fruit; oranges; faint smoke and alcohol Body: medium Palate: light smoke; raisins/dried fruit; notes of Sherry from the cask; lots of rich complexity Finish: very pleasant and long-lasting

Really a whisky where you need to take your time. For me it seems it offers something new each time I have a sip.

I think thats the general feeling; its a complex beast that you can come back to time and time again.

@yossiyitzak

I picked up this bottle mainly out of peer pressure. My peat head buddies and twitter friends love it. Every blog I read has nothing but good things to say so hey, I picked up a bottle.

Initial whiff - Huntington Beach circa 1981, low tide, me on a boogie board falling face forward in a pile of rotting seaweed. This was not a fun memory. 2nd whiff, same thing with a little sweetness. Last whiff, my sister's suede jacket after a Bon Jovi concent, 1988 with a 7-11 big gulp slushy sweetness.

On the mouth -- sweet smoke, iodine, salt, cigarette butts and raisins. Smooth for the ABV

Finish, nice, long, smokey and sweet.

This is not an every day dram for me. Have to be in the mood. Like the A'bdunah, I think this is one to drink when pissed off. I will say, this has to be one of the most complex drops I've ever sniffed/tested.

In the right mood, this is a 10 star dram for me. Tonight, it's an 8 star.

Great review! I bought my bottle mostly because of all the rave reviews. Must admit, after the first shot I don't know quite what to make of it. The sherry is a lot stronger that I imagined, and so is the alcohol, but the sweetness of the sherry is overcome by something, which I guess is the smoke and peat, but hard to define. The smoke and peat were really apparent when I opened the bottle,much like the Laphroaig QC, but after I poured it, the smoke and peat seemed to disappear. One thing for sure, this is probably the most powerful whisky I have tried. I am not disappointed in the least that I got it, and will eagerly await the next surprise! Cheers, Carl

Love your review! Agree that this could be a drink to have when angry. It's not a small drink for sure. Your review forced me to pour a dram for comparison.Definitely iodine/seaweed at first, then leather, raisins, plum, fig, and tar. it's wonderful. very long smoky, oily and acidic finish. blood and raisins.

@galg

i love ardbegs. enjoy the enormous peat. this one is still the best i've had. peat,smoke,leather all combined with sweet smoke. like a smoked desert. but still go that punch. best ardbeg yet.

@WhiskyApostle

The nose on Uigeadail is smoky, peaty, and briny with hints of leather and honey. All put together, it smells like a well-worn shoe (perhaps a shoe that you wear while you barbeque on a beach by the North Sea). This a bold whisky, firm and almost chewy. There is a sweetness I have never tasted before. I can taste the usual tar, smoke and licorice, but they are balanced and dance on the tongue (although with a heavy step, like a reel or polka rather than a waltz). The finish seems to go on forever. Indeed, I can still taste it the next day.

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