Ardbeg Uigeadail comes from the Ardbeg Distillery and their story is chronicled on their website, but in short it is full of ups and downs. During their history that dates back to 1815, Arbeg went out of business twice. The company finally found stability in 1997 when purchased by Glenmorangie.
The distinct Ardbeg taste comes from the malted barley received from Port Ellen and is peated to a level of 50 ppm (parts-per million). It is then combined with the water from Loch Uigeadail, which is about three miles from the distillery.
According to the label, “Ardbeg Uigeadail takes its name from the brooding, mysterious loch which provides the peat-laden water for Ardbeg. This is a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg, marrying together its traditional deep, smoky notes with the luscious sweet, raisiny tones of the ex-Sherry casks.”
Scotch Review:Ardbeg Uigeadail Islay Single Malt Scotch
ABV: 54.2% ABV (108.4 Proof)
Type: Single Malt Scotch
Color: Deep Gold
Age: At least 3 Years (Most likely, 10 years)
Mash Bill: 100% malted barley dried over peat
Casks: : First and second fill ex-bourbon oak casks and sherry butts
Distillery: Ardbeg Distillery
Location: Port Ellen, Islay (UK)
The Nose: Ardbeg Uigeadail has an aroma of bacon which is easily identifiable. There is no second guessing, no searching the mental catalog. In addition to the bacon there is an abundance of smoked wood and peat present as well.
The Tasting: The first sip presents what you would expect from an Islay single malt. There is a fair amount of peat present along with a very smokey component. Once you get past the core notes of the initial sip you realize there is a lot more going on. There is a saltiness that meshes with caramel and cashews on the front end. The finish serves up leather, tobacco and of course, peat.
The Pairing: I opted to pair this with a Guardian of the Farm Cerberus for no other reason other than that is what I wished to smoke. By itself the Cerberus has notes of earth and nuts. Pairing it with the Uigeadail, taking a cigar puff followed by a sip delays the peat finish showcasing notes of pecans on the libation along with a touch of coffee bean. For me, the cigar adds a +2 to the final score but as always, the pairing does not affect the overall score.
The Finish: I would have never bought Ardbeg Uigeadail for myself as I am not a fan of peat and even less a fan of sherry. Recently, a friend gifted me with this bottle in an effort to get me out of my comfort zone. I did not expect to like this single malt scotch as much as I did. It was so enjoyable that I believe this is a bottle worth keeping on hand.
Price: $89.99 (750ml in New Hampshire)