Årets bästa whisky 2008!

Ardbeg UigedailI årets version av sin »Whisky Bible« har Jim Murray återigen nästan förstummats av en Ardbeg, precis som förra året då han utsåg deras 10 YO till 2008 World Whisky of The Year.

Ardbeg Uigedail (10407, 599 kr) är en blandning av en specialtappning från 1993 som sedan i sin tur blandats med avsevärt äldre whisky lagrad på sherryfat. Den är buteljerad år 2003 i Cask Strength (54,2 %) och är givetvis inte kylfiltrerad.  Namnet har den fått efter Ardbegs vattenkälla och det lär uttalas «oog-a-dal«. Murray kallar den tappning han avser kort och gott »perfect«. Att översätta Murrays smaknoteringar är inte bara näst intill omöjligt, det vore också rent av hädiskt, därför citerar vi dem på engelska:

»Ardbeg Uigeadail (Distillery Bottling) (97,5) Nose, 25, quite simple: perfect. The smoke is dry, something akin to the ash from a cold peat fire; there are hints, though no more, of fruit, possibly sherry. There are hints, though no more, of slightly overdone roasted potato. There are hints, though no more, of coffee-stained old Demerara rum. There are hints, though no more, of sweet grist falling from the mill. There are hints of perfection: that is stated loud and clear… Taste, 24,5, from the utter silky brilliance of the delivery to the multi-layered middle this simply oozes complexity, and on a level only a handful of distilleries in the world can even dream of reaching; a molecule or two of over enthusiastic oak takes this away from a full mark, but I am being harsh; the fruit and barley are in an embrace that only the purest of lovers would know… Finish, 23,5, some serious caramel from the cask, and a fruity follow through, perhaps robs the whisky of some of its more intricate notes, but again I am being ultra picky. An unusual oiliness for Ardbeg, though only slight, helps further the finale and encourages some mocha to develop. Balance, 24,5, massive yet tiny. Loud yet whispering. Seemingly ordinary from the bottle, yet unforgettable. Is is snowing outside my hotel room in Calgary, yet the sun, in my soul at least, is shining. I came across this bottling while lecturing the Liquor Board of British Columbia in Vancouver on May 6th 2008, so one assumes it is a Canadian market bottling. It was one of the great moments in my whisky life on a par with tasting for the first time the Old Malt Cask 1975 at a tasting in Denmark. There is no masking genius. The only Scotch to come close to this one is another from Ardbeg – Corryvreckan. That has more oomph and lays the beauty and complexity on thick… it could easily have been top dog. But this particular Uigeadail (for I have tasted another bottling this year, without pen or computer to hand and therefore unofficially, which was a couple of points down) offers something far more restrained and cerebrel. Believe me: this bottling will be going for thousands at auction in the very near future, I wager. 52,3 %