Review: Ardbeg Uigeadail

by Ernie Ayres on August 7, 2011

Ardbeg Uigeadail – 4 out of 5 Noses

There’s a reason this whiskey was named “Whisky of the Year” in 2009 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.  It’s an unbelievably smooth sip, followed by the usual heavy hit of smoky, rich flavor that Ardbeg is known for.

The best way I can describe tasting Ardbeg Uigeadail is as follows:

You reach in your golf bag and pull out a new tee and ball // You pour the whisky into a single malt glass.

Next, you step up to the tee-box, slowly bend down to tee up the ball // You spend a second smelling the aroma, then take a small taste.

Finally you take your stance, pull the club back keeping your hips straight, then use your hips to pull your body and club back and hit the ball with all the controlled effort you can muster //  At first you get a smooth, sweet flavor and then BAM!!  A heavy, heavy smoke, thick honey, light vanilla, and a very subtle nutty flavor rear back and smack you in the palate!

I read a post on a whisky blog that tasting Uigeadail is like licking a campfire.  I’m not sure that it’s that smokey but it’s pretty darn close.  I love smoky, peaty Scotches and this one pushes the envelope.  Compared to Ardbeg Supernova which I reviewed a few months ago, I’d have to say that both run pretty close to peatiness although Supernova probably wins by a nose.

Packaging:
The bottle is in typical Ardbeg fashion.  The same formatted label and green bottle color as most of the other flavors offered.  Normally this would be boring but it comes off as being classy and, as the Scotch is, smooth.  Since I tasted this at a friend’s house I didn’t see the box it came in, just the bottle.

Color:
Just like Supernova, I found the color to be deceptive of the flavor.  With an unassuming light gold color, you’ll be fooled into taking a bigger sip if you aren’t careful to take a big sniff first.

Aroma:
Of course, the first aroma to hit is the smoky goodness.  It stays for a while, covering almost all of the other…wait…there’s a little vanilla in here…hold on…I think I’m getting a nutty aroma.  Walnuts, definitely walnuts.  This whisky is as complex as it is smooth.

Taste:
**I normally taste whiskey straight, with ice, and with a splash of water; this whisky was only tasted straight.**
The sweetness really sticks out at first, fooling you into thinking this is a slow uneventful ride.  Then, almost out of nowhere the smoke flavor rears its massive head and looks you right in the eye then takes a bite out of your face!  Eventually, if you haven’t doused your mouth with water yet, you’ll get an intricate weaving of more honey, some vanilla and a little nuttiness.  I didn’t get the heavy alcohol overtone with Uigeadail that I usually find with very smoky Scotches.

Finish:
I found the finish to be the best quality of this whisky.  The taste stays in your mouth for a long time.  A long, long, long time. Did I mention a long time?  After 10 minutes I found the taste still lingering.  Wow. Plain and simple.

Ardbeg Uigeadail gets 4 out of 5 noses.
Uigeadail should really get 5 noses but it’s such a specific taste that most scotch drinkers just aren’t going to like it.  If you do like Laphroaig, Lagavulan, and other Islay whiskies then you will LOVE Uigeadail!

Have you already tried it?  What do you think?  Be sure to leave comments below

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