I'm damn sure Ardbeg needs no introduction. Famously touted as "unquestionably the greatest distillery on Earth"; a sentiment with which I agree (sorry friends of Laphroiag, don't fight me), Ardbeg has amassed a cult following. Here is Ardbeg Uigeadail. Named for the body from which Ardbeg draws its water, Loch Uigeadail (meaning dark and mysterious), this peated whisky is a blend of 1st and 2nd fill ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.
Neat in a Glencairn, notes taken throughout the life of the bottle.
Well *apparently*, in lieu of copper pot stills, Ardbeg used a literal barbecue grill to distill this mash...right after using that grill to smoke all manner of meat at the annual company picnic. Plenty of Ardbeg peat smoke here, emphasis is on the smoke, I get some Applewood smoked bacon. Raisin in the back which becomes more prominent over time. Slight hints of leather and coffee. Sweet and spicy.
Thick, oily, whole mouth coated. Needless to say it's smoky, but it's so much more than that. It actually attacks with a sweetness before the smoke rolls in. Nothing is overpowering though, the balance here is a serious accomplishment. Sweet, spicy, smoky. Honey-BBQ is easy to grab onto, since this was grill distilled...grillstilled. Sweet and salty, really this is just a masterclass in balance.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the finish is good and long. Smoke and raisin through the finish line and then some. Chew on this for a hot minute.
I've yet to come across a better whisky, or rather a whisky more suited to my taste. Uigeadail is as close to perfection as you can get. Dr. Lumsden and company have hit on something very special, they set a standard and created a benchmark.
93 / 100