Ardbeg is, perhaps, the most peaty malt whisky in the world - certainly of all the Islay malts. Not to mention beautifully balanced, complex and deep. It's unthinkable now, but in 1981 production ceased and the distillery was mothballed. Happily in 1997, this beautiful malt began to flow again. Uigeadail is a fine drop of Ardbeg that's bottled at cask strength. A marriage of Ardbeg from bourbon barrel and sherry butt which gives a sweet and smokey finish to this malt. Uigeadail is the loch from which all Ardbeg water flows.
If the stories are to be believed (and why not?), the inhabitants of Islay had been enjoying the effects of strong wines and aquavitae for many years. Even attempts to suppress the unruly islanders with a heavy malt tax could not deter illicit distillers and smugglers operating around Ardbeg's rocky cove. This was perhaps an inevitable consequence for a remote island, so difficult for the excisemen to reach, yet blessed with an abundance of natural resources needed for producing whisky - fertile soil, peat bogs and unlimited supplies of soft peaty water. Somehow, against a backdrop of raiding Norsemen, inter-island clan battles and English taxation, Ardbeg emerged as unquestionably the greatest distillery on earth.
Deepest gold. Rich and weighty with heady and smoky aromatics, this expression of Ardbeg is both intensely flavoured and perfectly integrated. At full strength, the initial aroma is a beguiling mix of warm Christmas cake, walnut oil and parma violets fused with fresh ocean spice, cedar and pine needles falling from the Christmas tree. A smouldering smoky coal fire and the deep scent of well-oiled leather brings warmth to the scene.