Monday, June 15, 2009

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Thank goodness the bottlers often include pronunciation guides with the harder to pronounce Gaelic-named Scotch Whiskies. I couldn't even imagine how badly I would have butchered this (Oog-a-dal).

Anyway, I'm starting off my blog in the deep end of the pool. I recall tasting the Ardbeg 10yr when my taste preferences favored lighter and more delicate whiskies. It was my first experience with an Islay whisky and I remember thinking it was possibly the most horrible liquid I ever put in my mouth. The peat was absolutely overwhelming... not to mention the seawater flavor and consistency. Surprisingly, after beginning to crave the Islay peatiness, my perception of Ardbeg's flavor profile hasn't changed much. It's still intensely peaty, but not nearly as devastating as my first run in with it.

Ardbeg Uigeadail. Bottled at cask strength at a whopping 54.2% ABV and seemingly corrected the shortcomings of the Ardbeg 10yr.

Appearance: Pours quite dark if this is indeed a natural colored whisky. I immediately noticed how much more oily it was in my Glencairn glass compared to other Ardbegs.

Nose: Ardbeg. This, the 10yr, and the Nam Beist all have that unmistakable Ardbeg scent of peat, a campfire with an old tire roasting on top, seawater, and what I'm guessing is Iodine. Unlike the other Ardbegs, this one sizzles your sinuses with its alcohol vapors. After a healthy splash of water, something different comes alive. It's sweeter, creamier... more toffee.

Taste: Intense. Peat explosion. Coats your mouth and will also numb it without water. Sweet notes like toffee and fruitcake. Mouth-feel is more rich and creamy than the 10yr. Flavor is less medicinal. Finish is a drying campfire.

The only Ardbeg I've tried that I'd buy again. If you're having a session with friends, finish with this one otherwise all other Scotches will taste like water.


  1. Nice detail. I might hire you on when I start up my blog on sub $12 1.75L spirts. But those might affect your palette for future Scotch appreciation.

  2. Let me know. I'd gladly do guest reviews.

    On a similar note, I did a tasting of Chartreuse VEP over the weekend. The owner of the bottle was surprised I gave it an in depth tasting... most don't make it past the nosing stage. Honestly, I can't see myself trying it ever again.