husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Environment:

My experience with this one comes from multiple Whisky Guild tasting events.  I never shy away from it, rather I seek it out.  In 2009 Jim Murray’s Whisky bible named Ardbeg Uigeadail “World Whisky of the Year”!

Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’) is actually the loch from which all the peat-laden Ardbeg waters flow.  For this expression though, it is a union of the classic smoky Ardbeg characteristics and ex-Sherry casks.  There is an amber and gold hue...definitely darker than the 10 Year, but still a bit pale for how deep this one goes.  All of the flavors are harnessed as this one is bottled at or near cask strength, and non chill-filtered…54.20% ABV. 


Tasting Notes

Nose:  The pungent peat smoke sets the stage, but once it passes you by, there are layers.  There are raisins, and an almost meaty scent, like cleaning a grill.  Some water opens it up a bit (due to the high ABV) and it kind of smells like banana bread.

Palate:  Rich, and full bodied on the tongue.   Complex…there is a lot going on here.  It is sweet and spicy and hounded by a changing smoke, like charcoal now.  More sweet fruits and cocoa on the way down, like chocolate covered raisins.

Finish:  Long, it takes minutes for the ashy smoke to fade.  A bit of oak and sweet fruit (raisins) on the exhale.

Conclusion

This did not have quite the sherry punch I expected, but boy does it lend some sweetness!  I am an admitted member of the Ardbeg Committee, and I always have an Ardbeg on my shelf.  I can see what all the excitement is about as this one just leaves you gasping for air, and wanting more at the same time.  Just a wonderful ride, and so balanced.  If I had to pick an MVP here, it would likely be the nose.  I literally stood there and just kept nosing it over and over and jotting down my notes as new things kept emerging.  This is truly a gem…I don’t think that I could ever get bored of it.

Score:  87
Tasting Notes from 2011 & 2012

2 comments:

  1. Joe,

    You have to try the Supernova. Best Islay scotch I've ever had. It costs quite a bit, ($150 for a fifth), but I think its worth every penny. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Best,

    Brandon

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  2. Hi Brandon,

    Thanks so much for visiting, and funny you should mention that!

    Just a few months ago, my little sister got married, and I was fortunate enough to find a bottle of the Ardbeg Supernova 2010 to help celebrate it.

    Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure I even took some nifty photos of the bottle with the dress and things like that…

    I’d be honored to 'take a request', post my notes on that one, and put up some pics.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts in greater detail too…I’ll get to work on that post.

    Cheers,

    Joe

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