Ardbeg Uigeadail  2012 (Moet-Hennessy)

Islay single malt scotch whisky

NAS, 54.2% ABV, £49.38 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score 90/100

Ardbeg-Uigeadail-single-malt-scotch-whisky

What they say:

The Ardbeg Distillery lies on the most southerly part of Islay and on the rugged shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Arbeg is revered around the world as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex whisky of them all. Yet it does not flaunt the peat; rather the peat gives way to the malt, the natural sweetness of which subtly intrudes, producing perfect balance. The unusual spirit still with its purifier, the only one of its kind on Islay, is what we believe contributes to this balance and complexity, making Ardbeg the malt to which all others aspire… truly the ultimate Islay malt.

Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced Oog-a-dal), takes its name from the brooding, mysterious loch which provides the peat-laden water fro Ardbeg. This is a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg, marrying together its traditional deep, smoky notes with the luscious, sweet, raisiny tomes 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. With water a little cloudiness may occur which is perfectly natural. Winner of World Whisky of the Year 2009 (Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible).

Nose:

Deep and rounded – chocolate caramels combine with dates and smooth sherry notes. Later, you find leather with linseed oil. Withe water, sweetness gives way to malted honeycomb, flowering currants and a well-fired fruit pudding.

Taste:

Sweet, chewy and oily with a silky mouthfeel. Initially sweey, revealing fruit cake and treacle. Then comes smoked, barbecued honey-roast food with a slight hint of olives.

Finish:

Again long, both sweet and dry with honey, treacle and a trace of lint.

What I say:

I bought this from World of Whiskies at Edinburgh Aiport for £48.99. Already a big fan of Ardbeg after buying the Corryvreckan and also dining out on their Alligator [sorry – trying to think of some snappy remark to follow this…]. There is oodles of peat in these but at a chewy, meaty, complex level – not the take your breath and tastebuds away instantly kind of level. You can really taste the mediterranean in this from the sherry influence, this is superbly married and balanced and I just love it and can’t get enough.

Laser spray code L12 185 17:57 6ml 12006140

Colour:

Copper – quite light, in fact incredibly light considering the amount of sherry influence in this [I love a whisky that lulls you into a false sense of security with a light golden colour then a wallop of flavours]

Nose:

Sweet peat smoke and a hint of peanuts, I also get the linseed oil from the notes

Taste:

Warm raisin and sultana fruit cake, cinnamon and nutmeg, pepper spice then a hint of fiery charcoal, treacle toffee then subtle chocolate. This also reminds me of membrillo [quince paste] with a barbecued smoky quality on top – like on a good smoked cheese e.g. smoked Lammermuir.

Finish:

Extremely long prickly warmth with sweet and smoke in equal measures and lots of juicy fruit jams.

Would I buy it again:

Nom nom nom, here is a whisky to chew over. Oh yes! This is like Christmas mince pies and washing them down with a good Sherry [i.e. what we called Santa’s share in our house] by a smoky log fire. Every taste seems to either reveal something new or the flavours evolve in your mouth and draw out memories and reminiscence. For a no-age statement whisky this is superb, and perhaps some of the youth that goes into this gives it the fire and ever-changing character that makes it so special.