Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Ardbeg Uigeadail Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

- $80
- 108.4 Proof
- 2020
- Islay

I've kept no secret about the fact that I love the mix of peat and wine, particularly when that peated scotch is aged in sherry or port casks. Something about that smoky flavor mixed with the rich berry notes I get from those fortified wines just hits right.

So, it was a must that I try Ardbeg's Uigeadail. Not only is it known for its heavy smoke notes, but also the prominent sherry cask notes. It has a reputation as big and strong and bold, but also as being absolutely delicious. This was one I knew I had to try for myself, even if I had no clue how to pronounce it (and still don't). 

The nose was an absolute smoke bomb on this. The peat absolutely dominated over just about every other note. With some effort, though, I was able to get some other aromas, including a yeasty wheat bread note. There was a certain mustiness or even a mossiness to it, like a damp forest. I also got something bright on the nose, however, like a rich blackberry note.

Of course, the peat smoke was front and center on the flavor.  No question about it, and it was very campfire-like.  However, immediately behind that was a strong and bright raspberry note from the sherry cask. It was such a sharp but inviting contrast to that smoky flavor.

The sherry added more depth than that, though, also providing notes of plum and currant.  Along with that I did get that sort of musty note, but musty night not be the right word. It reminded me of the way the air tastes when the sun comes out after a rain. That sounds very hippie-ish, I know, but that's what I was getting. There was also a touch of salinity to it, as though it was sea air I was tasting.

The finish was phenomenal, giving off this bright and jammy raspberry sweetness that lingered forever. There was also a bit of maltiness to it, giving off a note of sweet crackers with raspberry jam. I absolutely loved it! Of course the peat smoke carried through here as well, though it seemed a bit more subdued by the time it got to the finish.

I think what I loved the most about this was that it wasn't that normal barbecue sauce type flavor I often get with that mix of peat and wine. Rather, it had those two distinct notes of peat and bright raspberry, which each held their own but completed each other incredibly. This is an incredible whisky!

Grade: A

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