Another re-review coming at you from the Ardbeg stable this time. The Oog is classic and almost unbeatable in terms of value, if you like peat.
Ardbeg have been making a lot of noise recently with the brand new Oa, a ridiculously priced 21 and various Ardbeg Day editions but when I find myself trying other things from Ardbeg, I always catch myself thinking how they compare to the core stuff like the Oog. And always find them lacking, like Dark Cove.
So, at the risk of repeating myself. This is a vatting of 90%ish ex-Bourbon matured Ardbeg and 10%ish older ex-Sherry cask stuff, without an age statement. It's heavily peated, its higher strength and its very, very good.
The two other batches I've tried I've given 84 (Bottle I bought at the distillery) and 86 (taster at a tasting, see below).
Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2%
Nose: Missed that smell. Classic Ardbeg of course, with the big peat smoke underlined by the elegant lifting lime juice. There's a little unami meatiness, like an outdoors grill, wood smoke, but this batch seems more mineral than others I've had before- crushed rocks, chalky, hot slate, sea salt, cracked black pepper. Dark chocolate, leather and tobacco now, wah! So good!
Taste: Soft arrival but builds quickly with lime then big BIG smoke and huge minerality, slate and chalk, that salt and lime, tequila and uni nights out, cigerette smoke, the whole combo is very sexy, tobacco, outdoors wood smoke, camping, after 10 secs in the mouth it softens with more soft minerality and smoke. Really complex and balanced.
Finish: Long length. Mouth watering now with a oily smoke and lime citrus fighting to be the last thing left over. Some chilli too! Amazing.
10/2016 Batch. Some of the best whisky you can buy with your money, despite rising prices. Quality and consistency is bang on! Well done Ardbeg.
Unfortunately it means that you'll be disappointed with other 'special' Ardbeg's, but that's a sacrifice you gotta make.
As a bonus, here's my notes for the 2015 batch I've had:
Feb/Mar 2015 batch
Nose: More malt driven nose with lots of oil, kiln and peat. Cough sweet and orange, still some meaty sulphur-y-ness. Water brings out more sulphur, vanilla fudge and toffee, more sherry, brown sugar, tobacco, coffee.
Taste: Peatier taste with a huge driven seemless building citrus smoke, tonnes of orange, tonnes of lime, cough sweets, citrus tang with a medicinal edge, building ginger spice. Bigger than the 2014. Water calms the arrival, but still a huge long development with lemon, cough sweets and lime smoke. Orange soot, which is my favourite Ardbeggian note. Long finish.
Thanks for reading!
Network Average: 74.2
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 22
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.