10 November 2008
(c) 2008 M2 Communications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Ardbeg Uigeadail - a single malt whisky from Ardbeg Distillery on the remote island of Islay - has been named World Whisky of the Year. This follows the success of the distillery's flagship expression Ardbeg Ten Years Old which scooped the same honour in 2008.
The award comes with the publication of the sixth annual edition of whisky authority and writer Jim Murray's, "Whisky Bible". A favourite with whisky aficionados, barmen and connoisseurs around the world Jim Murray has nosed and re-tasted a staggering 1500 whiskies over the past year. The Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2009 contains 3,850 whisky tasting notes in all.
Ardbeg Uigeadail received 97.5 points out of 100, the highest ever rating awarded by Murray. The dram was described as being "mind boggling complex", "quite simple: perfect" and of tasting Uigeadail: "one of the great moments in my whisky life..."
During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the distillery was saved from extinction. Since then, the distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.
Hamish Torrie, Ardbeg Brand Director, said: "Jim's accolade of identifying Uigeadail as the best whisky in the world delights all of us who work on Ardbeg. For Ardbeg to get "Top Dog" recognition for the second year in a row, after such a comprehensive look at all the new whiskies that have come out recently, is some feat. It is a tribute to the consistency, dedication and sheer skill of the team at the distillery, and our Whisky creation team, led by Dr Bill Lumsden and Rachel Barrie.
He continued, "What really pleases us about "winning the double" is that both are not rare, unattainable connoisseur whiskies costing hundreds of pounds: Ardbeg Ten Years Old and Ardbeg Uigeadail are core to our range and widely available".
Ardbeg Uigeadail, bottled at a powerful 54.2% ABV, takes its name from the hill loch which supplies the peat-laden water to the distillery on Islay, and is famed for its deep, rich, smoky complexity. It retails at around GBP40 in the UK.
First introduced in 2003 Uigeadail - in Gaelic - "it means dark, mysterious place" - is a regular favourite among Islay whisky connoisseurs. Torrie continued: "We hope this award will raise awareness of Ardbeg still further as the distillery continues to win fans around the world for its powerful, peaty, smoky yet wonderfully balanced expressions."
In his Whisky Bible 2009 Jim Murray said of the whisky: "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".
The award win is further endorsement of The Glenmorangie's Company's decision to re-focus its activities on developing innovative products for its highly successful premium single malt Scotch whisky brands - Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. The recently announced strategy is part of a major two-year investment programme which will see the company relocate its headquarters to central Edinburgh, build a new bespoke bottling facility and expand capacity at Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Distilleries.
Issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of the Glenmorangie Company.