Late again… you know, vacation and such.
Ardbeg Grooves was the yearly release for Ardbeg Day 2018. It is made with some red wine casks that were intensely (re-)charred, resulting in heavy grooves in the wood.
Ardbeg Grooves (46%, OB 2018)
Nose: sour berries, eucalyptus and hints of rubber shoe soles at first. Vanilla pastry, toasted wood and salted popcorn. Strawberries in the background. A bit of a funny mix so far. Pine resin and briny notes. White pepper too. Youngish and you feel the aromatic wood trickery, but nothing’s out of balance so it kinda works.
Mouth: bittersweet notes and heavy soot, kippers and plenty of brine. White pepper, cloves, ginger. Even a mustardy sharpness. Then back to citrus, pear drops and vanilla. Fades on burnt herbal notes.
Finish: quite long and warming. Smoked pimentón. Tarry and briney notes.
This is very sooty but also fairly dry and oaky, with plenty of spices. It feels a little doctored. This wouldn’t work in the core range (especially at this price) but it’s nice to try as an experiment. Still available from The Whisky Barrel for instance.