The current Ardbeg distillery on Islay
dates back to 1815 but there have been records of legal distilleries on the same site since 1794. Ardbeg was closed in the 1980’s when it belonged to Allied Domecq, who also owned Laphroaig. In 1990 they started to run the distillery for a few months each year to get filling for the blend Ballantines. In 1997 the distillery was sold to the Glenmorangie Company for £7.1m, including stock. They had to spend at least the same amount again to update the distillery, which reopened fully in 1998. Moet Hennessy brought the whole company in 2004 for £300m. They built a new still house in 2019, which is now running to capacity of 2.1 million litres of Alcohol per year.
Here at The Wee Dram, we are proud to have been an Ardbeg Embassy since 2011.
Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’) is Gaelic for “a dark, mysterious place.” Named after the distillery’s water source, this whisky is a marriage of sweetness, spice and deep smokiness. The peat-laden waters of Loch Uigeadail provide the smoky tones in this whisky. While maturation in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks imparts rich, warm flavours – perfect for a dramatic, stormy night. But the secret behind Ardbeg Uigeadail's success is a unique vatting method. This method marries the deep, smoky notes from ex-Bourbon American Oak with the luscious, raisin-like character of ex-sherry Oloroso casks.
Official Tasting Notes
Rich and weighty, this whisky unfolds with heady and smoky aromatics. At full strength, the initial aroma presents a beguiling mix of warm Christmas cake, walnut oil, and parma violets, seamlessly fused fresh ocean spice, cedar, and pine needles gently falling from the Christmas tree. Moreover, a smouldering coal fire and the comforting scent of well-oiled leather bring an added layer of warmth. Amidst the rich tapestry, the sweetness of treacle toffees and chocolate-coated raisins delicately emerges through the smoke. Transitioning to the addition of water, the deep smokiness intensifies, evoking memories of a fired Christmas pudding. Notably, rich flowering currants and warm baked banana and walnut bread are elegantly served. In addition to a simmering mocha espresso for a truly multifaceted experience.
Full-flavored and rich, this whisky boasts a deep, mouth-coating texture that subsequently transition into an intriguing balance between sweet, spicy, and deep smoky flavors. Initially sweet, the taste takes a captivating turn as a burst of winter spices sets off a smoky-spicy explosion. A sumptuous mid-palate artfully counters this with honey-glazed smoked food and chewy treacle, creating a harmonious symphony of tastes. Notably, waves of deep smoky tones and rich aromas gradually build up on the palate, akin to the experience of savoring a fine Montecristo cigar.
Amazingly long and chewy with lingering raisiny, deep mocha tones and rich aromatic smoke into the perfectly integrated finish.