The undiluted nose is deep and rounded – chocolate caramels and barley sugar combine
with dates, raisins and smooth sherry notes. Later, you find leather and linseed oil.
With water, the sweetness gives way to malted honeycomb, with flowering currants
emerging through the smoky sweetness of a well-fired fruit pudding.
Sweet, chewy and oily with a silky mouthfeel. The flavour is initially sweet, revealing
fruit cake and treacle. This is followed by smoked barbecued or honey-roast food with
the slightest hint of olives.
Again long, both sweet and dry with honey, treacle and a trace of lint.
Full-flavoured and rich with a deep mouth-coating texture, the taste is an intriguing balance between sweet, spicy and deep smoky flavours.
The flavour is initially sweet as Christmas cake begins to soak into the tongue. A burst of winter spices sets off a smoky-spicy explosion countered by a sumptuous mid-palate of honey glazed smoked food and chewy treacle. Waves of deep smoky tones and rich aromas build up on the palate like a fine Montecristo cigar.
With water, the deep smokiness increases in intensity, reminiscent of a Christmas pudding on fire. Tarry smoke and diesel engine oil enter the room bringing smells of an age gone by. Rich flowering currants and warm baked banana and walnut bread are served with simmering mocha espresso.
High in the hills above Ardbeg is the brooding, mysterious Loch Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’). This is the loch that supplies Ardbeg’s peat-laden water supply and gives its name to this widely acclaimed expression.
This is a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg, marrying together its traditional deep, smoky notes the luscious, sweet, raisiny tones of old ex-Sherry casks.
Ardbeg Uigeadail is non-chill-filtered at high strength which retains maximum flavour and gives more body and added depth – as good as straight from the cask.
In 2009, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Uigeadail ‘World Whisky of the Year’ – in praise of its “utter silky brilliance” and “complexity on a level only a handful of distilleries in the world can even dream of reaching.”