Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Situated along the southern coast of the island of Islay, Ardbeg Distillery was founded in 1815 by the MacDougall Family. By the end of the 19th century, nearly one-third of the population of the island was employed at the distillery, which became notorious for producing some of the boldest and most robust Scotch whisky in the industry. Today, the distillery remains a testament to Scottish innovation and heritage.
Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced “Oog-a-dal”) Single Malt Scotch Whisky takes its name from Loch Uigeadail, which is situated 800 feet above sea level and remains the only source of pure water for the distillery. “It’s one of the raw materials we must have,” says Michael Heads, Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager, of the water sourced from the loch. “Loch Uigeadail translates as ‘the dark place’ – it’s got very deep, peaty water in it and it’s what we require for making our bold whisky. So it’s vitally important.”
Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from malted barley, which is peated to approximately 50 phenol parts per million. Once the peated barley arrives at the distillery, it is milled and mashed with water sourced from Loch Uigeadail before being fermented in washbacks made of Oregon pine. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process and thus, create a lighter and more rich whisky. In addition, the wooden washbacks contribute estery, carbolic compounds to the whisky.
Following fermentation, which lasts for 55 hours, the wash is distilled twice, first through a copper-pot wash still and then again through a copper-pot spirit still. The spirit still is equipped with a purifier, which acts as small condenser and causes a portion of the evaporating vapors to be pumped back into the pot and then re-distilled. This purification process, which is rare in the industry, results in whisky that has a signature fresh and malty flavor.
Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from a marriage of Ardbeg Whisky that has matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. The bourbon casks contribute notes of honeyed oak, cinnamon and baking spices to the whisky, and provide it with Ardbeg’s notorious intensity. The sherry casks contribute notes of dried fruits, berries, figs and caramelized oranges to the whisky, and contribute an unparalleled depth and complexity.
Ardbeg Uigeadail earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011 and 2012, and a score of 95 points from Whisky Advocate. In addition, the whisky earned a score of 97.5 points from the Whisky Bible, which named it the Whisky of the Year.
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