I remember some fifteen years Ardbeg Uigeadail was one of the must-have bottlings that offered lots of Islay punch combined with rich sherry notes. This popularity led to availability issues at times. In recent years it is more widely available again, but opinions seem slightly less laudatory. I realized I never published tasting notes, so I traced down a recent bottle of this Ardbeg, and here goes.
Ardbeg Uigeadail (54,2%, OB +/- 2019)
Nose: the sherry influence adds tobacco and bacon sweetness to the typical iodine-laden nose. Hints of Lapsang Souchong and walnuts cake. Also a sharper side of ginger and aniseed, with a floral edge. Not as expressive and rich as the earlier batches, but still a nice profile.
Mouth: richer now, this still has richer Oloroso notes with hints of toffee and red berries, as well as chocolate notes. The rich smokiness and barbecued meat is now more prominent than on the nose, along with tobacco. On the other hand the oak feels quite modern, with ginger and cinnamon coming out clearly.
Finish: quite long, on liquorice and tarry smoke, with oak spice.
When you’d place this against the older batches, I’m sure you’ll notice the modernisation which has taken place in the entire whisky industry. But among the current Islay malts this is still a profile that you should experience, in my opinion. Available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt, and so many other stores.