Ardbeg Grooves is Ardbeg’s 2018 Ardbeg Day limited edition bottling released during the Islay Festival. For this bottling the whisky was matured in ex-wine casks that were charred to the point where there were grooves in the surface of the wood. Not sure if that is what initially inspired the name, but it could also be that this whisky is simply groovy.
Nose: spices, smoked wood and fruit
Palate: salt, toffee, smoked pear and apples, vanilla and spices
Finish: smoke, salt and light sweetness
Grooves is true to that signature Ardbeg taste with the heavy smoke and brine notes. Although it is smoky, there are hints of sweetness and fruit that give it a well-rounded tasting profile.
If I were to compare this bottling to last year’s 2017 Kelpie release, I would say that Grooves edges Kelpie out, ever so slightly. Kelpie is completely in your face, it is intense and packs a punch. Grooves doesn’t fall behind in the intense factor, but it does have notes of sweetness and fruit that simply takes this whisky a different level.
The price for a bottle is around $105-$110. If you aren’t a person who likes smoke notes, then this is not the whisky for you. If you are a person that does like smoke notes, but the price of this bottle is too steep, you can’t go wrong with the Ardbeg 10 year. You get a similar taste profile at a lower cost.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.