By now you’ve probably heard the marketing schtick for Ardbeg Grooves. I won’t repeat it here, but I’ll instead give you the bare necessities. To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of information on the content of Ardbeg Grooves, except that (and I can barely get myself to type this) some of Ardbeg’s ‘grooviest casks ever’ were used for maturation.
What this actually means is this: part of Ardbeg Grooves has spent time in re-toasted wine casks. These casks were intensely charred to create heavy grooves (get it?) in the surface of the wood. The intention is that these grooves produce certain intense flavours. Had enough? Okay, let’s get on with it then.
Ardbeg Grooves (46%, OB, 2018)
Nose: A fair amount of brine to start, with hints of smoky barbecue notes. This is quite meaty actually, but with bursts of blackcurrants and red berries. In the background there’s a layer of soot, iodine and rubber. Taste: Fairly big bodied, with a good viscosity. Quite ashy and somewhat burnished to start. The oak certainly isn’t shy, as this is a reasonably dry whisky, with a good amount of spices too. In the background there’s some darker, roasted fruits. Finish: A syrupy sweetness with smoke, ash. A pinch of salt, as well as some lemon peel. Long.
Good, well-engineerd whisky from Ardbeg, that offers an interesting drinking experience. However, as with almost all the Ardbeg Day releases, their core range offer much better value for money.