We Celebrate Ardbeg Day With a Review of the Ardbeg Uigeadail


Photo courtesy of http://www.islayguide.com/.

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!

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19 thoughts on “We Celebrate Ardbeg Day With a Review of the Ardbeg Uigeadail

  1. This looks amazing, and something I can never afford. But it’s good to dream about things. Dreaming for things like world peace is stupid and unattainable.

  2. I was lucky enough to share a dram of this with G-Lo on Ardbeg Day. While I usually fear the smoke, this was quite nice. It was every bit as full-flavored and complex as G-Lo has noted. And, with ice, the flavor changes again.

  3. This is the only Ardbeg expression I have had, and it is superb. I actually bought this as part of a tasting with my friends and they all hated it. I think I probably shouldn’t have thrown them into the deep end since none of them had any experience with peated scotch before. The upside was that I got to take home the rest of the nearly full bottle, and I wondered with each and every glass how they could hate such a wonderfully complex spirit.

    • Hi Allen!

      Although it’s a pity that your friends didn’t like it, I see it as a win/win for you. I REALLY like this whisky and with time, I suspect that it may become a top 5 Islay for me. Thanks for the comment!

      Cheers!
      G-LO

      • Nope – not kind – just truthful … at least that’s the truth the way I see it! :)

        Wish I could continue unpacking! The new place is still under renovation so I’ve only been able to undo a few boxes (though yes, the whisky was at the top of the unpacking list so at least that’s done!) I enjoyed some of Smooth Ambler’s Old Scout 6yr Bourbon (craft distillery from West Virginia) & Oban 14yr. Don’t have any Ardbeg in the collection right now so couldn’t really do yesterday justice but I at least had a Scotch! ;)

      • Eek. Living under construction is irritating. I just hope the people doing the work at your place are cleaner than the slobs we hired a few years back. Construction dust ruined my TV and multimedia receiver. Those bastards!

        I had quite a few beverages on Saturday night. It ranged from a Yuengling Lager, several jelloshots, and a fruity rum drink (little league fundraiser), to a couple wee drams of Single Malt which of course included the Ardbeg. All good fun!

  4. Yikes! I hope so too … I’m hoping it will help us that I work from home and am totally OCD about having everything protected and covered – especially from that awful plaster dust (which really is terrible! I’m sure that alone killed your TV) Oh well – these are lucky problems, right?

    As for Saturday… sounds super fun! I can’t remember the last time I had a jelloshot, let alone “several” lol! Dare I ask how you felt Sunday morning?

    • Definitely a good thing to have an upgrade opportunity. And yes, I would hope that you being home during construction would minimize the mess.

      We were very apprehensive about Saturday night since most of the people we know weren’t going to be there (Mr. + Mrs. ROK and Mr. + Mrs. Limpd), but after that first beer, things livened up quite a bit. I think this is a big night out for a lot of the little league parents, so they definitely get lively and make the most of it (Beer Pong, Flip Cup, and some other games were going on). As far as the morning after, with the exception of too little sleep (had to meet the in-laws for breakfast at 9AM and pick up the kids), I was feeling pretty good. I definitely paced myself, plus, all of this happened over a 6 hour period. All good fun!

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