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Ardbeg Uigeadail vs Lagavulin 16: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Ardbeg Uigeadail vs Lagavulin 16 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg-Uigeadail
NoseSmoke, bacon, iodine
PalateSmoke, ash, ripe fruit, chocolate
FinishCaramel, smoke, menthol, pepper
Alcohol content108 proof (54% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toArdbeg An Oa, Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Uigeadail, pronounced “Oog-a-dal”, was named “Whisky of the Year” by the Whisky Bible in 2009, receiving 97.5 points out of 100.

This is the highest grade ever given by Jim Murray; so you get an idea of how good it is.

The nose is a blast of smoke, with a heavy meaty note that smells like bacon. There’s also a iodine note typical of Islay whiskies.

On the palate, Uigeadail feels creamy providing a nice mouthfeel. Flavor brings heavy smoke and ash up-front, once you get that initial brick you get rewarded with ripe fruit, bitter chocolate and toasted barley.

The finish is long, bringing pleasing warmth, more smoke and pepper, along caramel and menthol.

Ardbeg Uigeadail is an intense smoky Whisky with warm earthy notes, sherry sweetness and rich in minerality. The finish is long and pleasantly warm and peppery; it gets better with every sip.

If you want to tame it a bit and tune down the peaty notes add a few drops of water; that will allow sweetness to come forward.

Overall, Uigeadail is fantastic dram and the best Ardbeg Whisky reserved for experienced Scotch aficionados that can handle the rich peaty notes, a pleasant bite and the high proof as it was bottled at cask strength, meaning from the barrel and completely unadulterated.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this single malt:

  • Aged in ex-bourbon barrels and sherry butts.
  • The Ardbeg Uigeadail has no age statement.
  • This whisky is a blend of smoky malts with sweet whiskies aged in sherry casks.
  • This whisky was named “Whisky of the Year” by the Whisky Bible in 2009, receiving 97.5 points out of 100.

Lagavulin 16

lagavulin-16
NoseSmoke, vanilla, iodine
PalateSmoke, tobacco, seaweed, fresh fruit
FinishSmoke, fig, vanilla
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toTalisker 10, Oban 14

Lagavulin 16 has a strong aroma of smoke and sea salt along sweet notes of vanilla and caramel.

Flavor is rich, with a delicious blast of smoke, caramel, along fruity sweetness. The peatiness is incredibly well balanced against some caramel sweetness, rich, smooth and delicious.

This whisky is creamy and smooth and pleasantly warm.

The finish is long, sweet and pleasantly warm, with more smoke to it.

Lagavulin 16 is a great malt with a strong but still enjoyable peaty profile with delicious sweetness.

The long aging period diminished the smoky notes a bit whilst adding the sweet vanilla from the bourbon barrels in which it was aged. This is one of the best peaty Scotch single malts in the market.

If you find yourself overwhelmed in smoke add a few drops of water, that will open-up the Lagavulin making it sweeter, while tuning-down the peat and will become easier to sip.

This is a Scotch to enjoy neat with a few drops of water to open it up making it more approachable.

Consider further options by reading my post with the best similar whiskies to Lagavulin 16!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Lagavulin 16:

  • Named the “Best Single Malt Whisky” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.
  • 6 Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Lagavulin distillery was founded in 1816 by John Johnston and Archibald Campbell, is located in the village of Lagavulin on the south of the island of Islay, Scotland.
  • Lagavulin is owned by Diageo and is a major contributor of malts to Johnnie Walker blends.

Ardbeg Uigeadail vs Lagavulin 16: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Ardbeg Uigeadail$90
Lagavulin 16$105

Ardbeg Uigeadail vs Lagavulin 16: Which is better?

Lagavulin 16 is easier to drink

WhiskyArdbeg UigeadailLagavulin 16
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Uigeadail is the best Ardbeg Whisky. A remarkably good whisky that hits hard with smoke, bacon notes and iodine notes and pleasing warmth but quite demanding as it’s hard to like on the first date.
  • Free of caramel-coloring and non chill-filtered ticking boxes that are important to some aficionados.
  • Lagavulin 16 is more approachable as the extended aging diminished the smoke making it easier to drink.

I would definitely start with the Lagavulin 16 before tackling the Uigeadail, which is the kind of pour that becomes a point of no return. Once you become acquainted with it you are unlikely to enjoy lesser drams.