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I recently wrote a review about the standard ten year old bottle of Ardbeg which I said is one of my all time favourites. A few years back I decided to treat myself so I went to our local wine shop where they have a massive selection of whiskies. There is also a bloke who works there who is very helpful and really knows his stuff. You tell him what you like and how much you have to spend and he will recommend a bottle for you. So on this particular day I told him I loved the Islay whiskies and wanted something a little bit special, so he suggested this one, Ardbeg Uigeadail. As I was already a massive fan of Ardbeg I didn't take much convincing and I quicky bought a bottle of the stuff.
I had really high hopes for this one, it had a sticker on the bottle telling me it had won various awards and as I had paid a fair bit more than I would for a ten year old Ardbeg I assumed it was going to be pretty special. I opened up the bottle and poured myself a wee dram. The first thing I noticed about this one was that is a lot darker in colour than the standard Ardbeg. It also smells a little different, not as mellow. I took a drink and enjoyed the flavours bursting in my mouth.
So any kind of Ardbeg is well known for being very peaty and smokey. The Uigeadail is certainly no exception to this rule. Straight away you get hit with the full on peaty flavour and then the smoke starts to settle over you. Then though a new flavour comes in, a sweeter taste than I'm used to, almost honey like. Then the finish which as always with Ardbeg is very long and drawn out, however this time I found it not overly smooth. The taste it leaves is certainly not unpleasant but it is not as good as what I was hoping and expecting.
This Ardbeg is made is Bourbon casks which explains why it tastes that little bit different. There is also mention of sherry in the description on the bottle and this hints at why it tastes a little bit more sweet. I am not really a big fan of sherry or bourbon casks so this explains why I did not enjoy this one as much as the standard version. Some people I know rare about this one and a lady who I met in a whisky shop a few months ago declared this was her all time favourite. But for me it's just not quite my cup of tea.
The Ardbeg Uigeadail cost me £46 when I bought it and after having a quick look online it looks as though that's about the cheapest you can get it for. So it's certainly not a cheap one. For all round value I think it is a little bit more expensive than it should be although I am sure some other people will be happy to pay that much.
So overall although I am not a massive fan of the Ardbeg Uigeadail I would still say it is a very good whisky. If you like Islay whiskies and enjoy whiskies that are that little bit sweet then this could be perfect for you. I will not be buying this one again anytime soon, but having said that I did enjoy drinking it even though I was a little let down that it was not quite as good as I was hoping.
Nose 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. Taste 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. Finish Again long, both sweet and dry with honey, treacle and a trace of lint.