Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky
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.