In honor of Ardbeg Day 2012, I’ve chosen to review the Ardbeg Uigeadail. But wait! I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I get on with this review, let’s find out what Ardbeg Day is all about. Ardbeg has the following to say about this worldwide celebration…
Every year hundreds of fans make the long pilgrimage to Islay to join the island’s Festival of Malt and Music, held the last week of May through the start of June. The final Saturday, June 2nd, is Ardbeg Day when the Distillery throws open its doors to welcome fans from all over the world.
This year is no different, except that we want everybody to join in the party – so Ardbeg Day is now a worldwide celebration! Whether you are in Islay, Scotland, Chicago, Illinois or Costa Mesa, California, we will all gather together the week of May 29th to June 2nd to experience a wee bit of Scottish fun!
I picked up this bottle of Ardbeg’s Uigeadail at Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ. Since I had some birthday cash and an interest in this whisky due to some very positive reviews, I decided to treat myself to a bottle, cause you know, I am so worth it!
Here is what Ardbeg has to say about this expression…
Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’) is a special vatting that marries Ardbeg’s traditional deep, smoky notes with luscious, raisiny tones of old ex-Sherry casks. It’s non chill-filtered at high strength, which retains maximum flavour and gives more body and added depth.
And now for the review…
- Appearance: Golden clover honey.
- Aroma: When nosed at full strength, you definitely get those alcohol vapors tickling your nose, but it’s not as strong as I expected. Letting it open up a bit in the glass, and giving it a few swirls helps to alleviate this. Once the alcohol fades, that classic Ardbeg smokiness is there, but this time around, it’s backed with a healthy dose of fruity sweetness. Brown sugar coated figs carmelizing over an open fire (a peat fueled fire!), rum soaked raisins, and let’s not forget those herbal and medicinal notes lurking in the background. Adding a good slosh of water tones down the smoke and fruit while amping up the herbal and medicinal notes.
- Taste: Medium bodied with a somewhat oily texture. Coats from the middle to the tip of my tongue. Peat smoke and iodine flavors in the beginning. Sharp black pepper notes kick in at mid-palate, but the peat and iodine flavors never let go. Towards the end, those sweet, fruity notes become more apparent. i.e. brown sugar and dried fruit. Long and warming sweet/spicy finish. Somewhat astringent and medicinal aftertaste (picked up some licorice notes too).
- ABV: 54.2%
The Ardbeg Uigeaddail is a deliciously complex and flavorful whisky. It has the fire and vibrancy of their 10 year old and Corryvreckan expressions (read more about these whiskies by clicking here and here), but the addition of older, ex-Sherry casks adds a healthy measure of richness, and helps to round out the flavors. I really enjoyed this whisky and look forward to sharing it often with the rest of the crew.
Happy Ardbeg Day!