A Fantastic No Age Statement
Reviewed by John Fegan on
If you need further proof that Age Statements don’t tell you everything you need to know then allow me to introduce you to the Ardbeg Uigeadail. It still places second to the Ardbeg 10 in my books but this is a truly fantastic single malt.
Aroma: Sugar, cereal, tar and with a hint of campfire smoke
Palate: Ripe fruit, toffee and coal fire
Finish: Long and smokey with a treacle like sweetness
Produced by Ardbeg
Average Price £50
Ardbeg Uigeadail, derived from the Gaelic for ‘Dark and Mysterious Place’ draws its name from the distillery Loch. The Uigeadail was Jim Murry’s 2009 whisky of the year and it’s easy to see why.
Ardbeg Uigeadail Tasting Notes with Mickey Heads
This is Ardbeg Uigeadail, which is the name of the loch which supplies the water to the distillery, which this expression is named after. Uigeadail means “dark and mysterious place” and you can see that the water we use here at Ardbeg is very very peaty.
This is the first introduction we do where you can see there is actually some Sherrywood in introduced. Ardbeg Uigeadail is bottled at 52.4% alcohol by volume, it’s a vatting of Sherrywood, that’s Oloroso Sherrywood as well as first and second fill bourbon casks. This is made four or five times a year so we try to get the recipe as consistent as possible. This one is my favourite, one of the Ardbeg expressions that I really really like.
You can see this time in the colour that it’s really really rich, deep gold and amber colour to it so the colour is much more intense from the sherry so its made with 15% to 20% Sherrywood, and mainly Oloroso Sherrywood. Ardbeg and Oloroso Sherrywood go very well together, this is the first time we’ve really looked at this one and this ones very rich, it’s like a really rich fruitcake, dates and raisins and sultanas going through that, that really rich fruity note. The smoke again is still in the background its there but it’s not overpowering and the Sherrywood is really well balanced along with the bourbon.
On the palate the Uigeadail is slightly heavier, it’s really rich it’s a sort of tartness reminiscent of oranges in there and the taste of dates come through with these rich treacle notes come through. There’s a little bit of coffee and treacle notes in the background on the tongue , they just cover the tongue all the way around.
On the finish the Uigeadail is really rich there’s a lot of citrus and aged, older leather notes on it there, there’s tobacco, it’s just one that you know changes all the time. It’s really one of my favourites it’s just you know, to me it doesn’t really get any better than this.
Let’s add a little bit of water to it, I prefer it actually without water, it can stand without it but you know the water really starts to open it out again. On the nose a lot of these fruits really start to emerge from the glass. That saltiness also comes out as well from the sea, I really can’t emphasis enough that we’re making whisky by the seaside, we’re in the warehouse here and we can smell the salt in the air. If you lick your lips you can lick it off your lips in the winter time so it adds a lot of flavour to the whisky.
I keep nosing it and getting a little bit more smoke, that fruit is really pronounced, and on the tongue it’s really relaxing now, just sort of leathery, date & raisin notes come out, the tartness of orange comes out really pronounced on the spirit now and at the back that smokiness is building with a sort of oiliness on the tongue, and that Sherrywood is really giving it an increased depth of flavour. A really really delicious whisky , you should really try this one it’s absolutely perfect.
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