In 2009, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced Oog-a-dal) World Whisky of the Year. Over 10 years later and I think this one is still near the top.
Strong phenolic right off the bat with a meatier ash coming in behind it followed by those hints of candy. Definitely scents of raisin, to be expected from the ex-sherry casks. Finally, noticing more bready notes towards the end. Like Christmas Cake.
Oogie has a deeper, sweeter flavour than the An Oa with a more intense cigar ash to it. That ash follows on through to the palate and the finish.
On the palate, that ash is strong and comes with a sherry sweetness. I don’t want to downplay the Uigeadail but I don’t find as much variety in the notes to this whisky as say, a Bruichladdich. To be clear, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just different and sometimes I’m in the mood for one or the other.
For me, the Uigeadail is very much about the smoke and sweet. I love the smell of the smoke from the beginning right through to the end. I’ll leave the glass on the kitchen counter overnight and it’s like a beautiful candle has been left on when I walk into the room in the morning.
This is one of my favourite Islay scotches and have made sure to have a couple bottles in the collection for backup.