The following page includes most of the details about the infamous "Canadian" or "BC" (British Columbia) Uigeadail that won Jim Murray's Whisky of the Year for 2009. Follow this (archived) Whisky Magazine Forum link to read the original thread (Uigeadail discussion starts on page 2) that explained the "Whisky of the Year 2009" phenomena! Well, at least as much as can be explained given there is actually no official confirmation (from Ardbeg or Jim Murray) that this batch (L7 325) is the Uigeadail tasted by Jim Murray in British Columbia, Canada. I have received "unofficial" confirmation from Canadian sources that this is the code from the exact bottle. Keep your eyes out for reviews or reports of this batch.

It's also worth noting that upon Jim Murray's return to BC and the Victoria Whisky Festival in January of 2009, radio interviews and internet rumors prompted the Uigeadail to fly off the shelves. It was just weeks before the Victoria Whisky Festival 2009 when the L7 325 was still dominating the Uigeadail "shelfscape".

Update: Read a review of this batch on Whisky Intelligence.

DISCLAIMER: The Uigeadail has always been a favorite of mine, and this page in no way suggests that any other batch of Uigeadail is not worthy of Whisky of the Year. This page is mainly for the Ardnuts, who usually want to know every detail about Ardbeg. In addition, the last bottle of Uigeadail I opened (L8 183 17:45 4ML) was outstanding.

Expression: Jim Murray's WOTY 2009 'Canadian' or 'BC' Uigeadail

Bottled: 21st November, 2007

Age: NAS

ABV: 54.2% (not 52.3%)

Bottle Size: 70cl

Box: Brown: Standard

Insert/Booklet: Tasting Notes

Distribution: Australia, Canada, Europe.

Confirmed Markets: Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden

Importers: Moet-Hennessy (Aus), Moet-Hennessy (Suisse), BCLS

Front Label Varieties: 70cl

Back Label Varieties: TBD

The following video from YouTube (featured on Ardbeg's home page as well as my Ardbeg video page) discusses the WOTY 2009. There are references to the "unique 2007" (2:32 and 2:43 mark in the video), but unfortunately, no reference to Canada.

If you browse the Whisky Magazine Forum thread referenced above, you will see that Jim Murray said he was told this specific Uigeadail was released to Canada. BC residents have confirmed this batch (L7 325) is the only batch that was available in British Columbia, Canada at the time.

In this archive of a Spirit of Islay's forum thread, a member mentioned that he received feedback from Ardbeg that there was no special bottle released to Canada. Subsequently, reports of this batch were confirmed, not only in Canada, but also in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. As for why Jim Murray's "Canadian" Uigeadail may be more well known as the "BC" Uigeadail is simply due to reports that only the Western part of Canada may have received this batch.

Finally, although the Whisky Bible 2009 states the ABV as 52.3%, reports have noted that the ABV was actually a transcription error, and the ABV could only have been 54.2%.

Rachel Barrie and Jim Murray discussing Ardbeg Uigeadail, WOTY 2009.

The following pictures are from a Swiss bottle I obtained, in September 2008, which just happens to be from the same batch. It was purchased at Monnier by a friend travelling to the US.

I'll post pictures of the WOTY from Canada as well as the bottles from Australia, Finland, Sweden, Germany and France when if receive them.

Back (Swiss bottle)

UK/EU Back Label (no date 2007) with Swiss shop stickers added.

Bottle code from Swiss bottle.

Here are bottle codes that have been recorded for the "Canadian Uigeadail" batch as well as any other expressions bottled on the same day. Notice that this batch of Uigeadail was sandwiched by the TEN before and the Airigh Nam Beist afterwards. One of the few days where all three whiskies in the core range were bottled.

Bottle Code Expression Size Market Day Month Year
L7 325 05:36 4ML TEN (OLD) 1000 Germany 21 November 2007
L7 325 11:54 4ML TEN (OLD) 750 US (MH) 21 November 2007
L7 325 14:00 4ML TEN (OLD) 700 Australia 21 November 2007
L7 325 19:09 4ML Uigeadail 700 France 21 November 2007
L7 325 20:04 4ML Uigeadail 700 Australia 21 November 2007
L7 325 20:36 4ML Uigeadail 700 Canada 21 November 2007
L7 325 20:43 4ML Uigeadail 700 Sweden 21 November 2007
L7 325 21:06 4ML Uigeadail 700 Germany (#) 21 November 2007
L7 325 21:31 4ML Uigeadail 700 Switzerland 21 November 2007
L7 325 21:48 4ML Uigeadail 700 Finland 21 November 2007
L7 325 23:28 4ML Airigh Nam Beist 700 Australia 21 November 2007

*-I received confirmation that an Ardbeg fan from Germany bought an Uigeadail (L7 325 21:06 4ML) from his local store, but the label was similar to the Swiss release.

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