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Malt of the Month October 2023

16th October 2023

  • Ardbeg Uigeadail MOTM

Whisky: Ardbeg Uigeadail – NAS – 54.2% - 17.10.23 (Date Tasted)

"The Ardbeg bottles always provide such a satisfying glug! Deep liquid gold emanates from my Riedel glass, the smell of sweet peat and bacon so immediately noticeable from a mile away. Bringing the glass to the nose; bright and welcoming, sea salted milk chocolate interwoven with a light peanut brittle, toast salty phenols and bursting with fresh red berry sweetness. Maybe a slight walnut there too… and Cherry Bakewell mingles with the reminiscent Bonfire Night embers so typical of Ardbeg.

In the mouth, a literal explosion of raspberry sorbet… wow! Warm, filling, oily, spicy, chocolatey… just delightful. There’s a slight demerara sugar note there too balancing a meaty/maple-y bacon and enticing cigar box aromas. With water (around 7-8 drops for me…) the brightness of the red fruits dominates with a tingling spiciness on my lips. The mouth is round and full of an astringent vibrancy that is without-a-doubt beneficial, not damaging. The sherry becomes more obvious with time, drawing the dram away from its initial freshness and vibrancy to a beautifully mellow, warm and bacon/treacle centric dram. An ever so slight saline towards the very back of the mouth is so reminiscent of Islay.

The finish just lingers on and on, maybe in part to its high ABV, but the level of alcohol never dominates against its aromatic intensity! Bacon, sugar-toasted almonds, bonfire flames and sherry nuttiness. A proper, hair-on-chest kind of winter dram, simply delicious!"

Oliver Pinel