The Ardbeg Uigeadail is a no-age-statement single malt Scotch whisky. It is produced by the Ardbeg Distillery, a prominent and revered distillery on the Isle of Islay best known for their peaty single malts.
The Uigeadail is bottled at cask-strength, and was first released in 2003. It is pronounced as ‘Oog-a-dal’, and has been named after a ‘Loch’ situated near the Ardbeg Distillery.
The Ardbeg Distillery is an eponymous distillery named after the small town, and was founded by John McDougall in 1815 on the South Coast of the Isle of Islay. It is speculated that distillation at the site dates back to 1798, although it was commercially licensed only as far back as 1815.
Ardbeg’s heavily peated single malts, alongside other peaty monsters from the region like Laphroaig and Lagavulin are considered to be top-notch among Islay single malt loyalists.
After McDougall established commercial distillation, the distillery was taken over by Thomas Buchanan in 1838, who allowed McDougall’s son, Alexander to run day-to-day operations. Years went by as Ardbeg continued to rise in prominence in Scotland for their product. It is believed that after Alexander McDougall passed, the distillery operations were taken care of by his sisters, Margaret and Flora with a man named Colin Hay.
Until the 1977 acquisition by Canadian conglomerate, Hiram Walker, Ardbeg remained in the hands of Alexander McDougall & Co Ltd. The firm had acquired the distillery in 1922, eleven years after the Ardbeg name was trademarked.
Production was brought to a halt in 1981, resuming two years later only to distil single malt for blenders. The Glenmorangie Company acquired the Ardbeg Distillery in 1997 while the firm was in dire straits.
The Ardbeg brand was slowly resurrected over the years, building strength-to-strength through some robust releases like the Ardbeg 1975, the Ardbeg 10 Year Old and the Uigeadail.
Named after the water source for the Ardbeg Distillery, the name is roughly translated to ‘dark and mysterious place’.
Ardbeg’s briny, maritime character is well-known and well-liked among whisky enthusiasts that prefer Islay whiskies. The whisky is created by marrying some of Ardbeg’s finest old whiskies with some of their great young whiskies. These ‘source whiskies’ are matured in two different types of barrels, ex-American Bourbon and ex-Sherry.
Bottled at cask-strength, the Ardbeg Uigeadail was one of the first cask-strength expressions to ever hit both mainstream release, and acclaim. The Uigeadail is also non-chill filtered, which gives it a natural texture and look that most whisky purists prefer. It is one of the stars of the Ardbeg core range, and represents a sublime combination of the Islay character with an intense Sherry influence.
The Ardbeg Uigeadail is bottled at 54.2% ABV, which is quite higher than the 40% ABV standard limit for Scotch whiskies.
World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in 2009
Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the Distiller’s Single Malt Scotch – 12 Year Old category in 2013
Gold Medal at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014
Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017
Silver Medal at the International Spirits Challenge in 2017
Gold Medal at the World Whiskies Awards in 2017
Silver Medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in 2017
Heavily peated, with a lot of fruity aromas. Rich Christmas cake, soft warm spice and slightly sweet
Full-bodied, very rich and peaty. Sweet fruitcakes, raisins and salty brine. Peat is mixed delightfully with spice like barbecue
Long finish with salty caramel, sweet fruit and lots of peat