Ardbeg’s latest Ardbeg Day Committee Release is here (or at least it will be in June): The funkily named Ardbeg Grooves. If you’re thinking music has something to do with it, you’re not wrong, as the whisky is inspired by the life and times of livin’ on Islay in the 1960s. Says Ardbeg:
From the experimental folk at Ardbeg, comes this intensely mellow dram – Ardbeg Grooves.
Here at Ardbeg, we’ve always been passionate about the benefits of an alternative lifestyle. We dig peat. But we also dig crofting, crocheting, Celtic crosses and campfires.
And for this Limited Edition Committee bottling, we’re rolling back the years to an Islay time gone by – back to village of Peat & Love.
Produced using our grooviest casks ever, aromas of smoked spices combine with distant bonfires fading into a mellow haze of apple and smoked pear.
Ardbeg Grooves – It’s just good vibes…and good whisky, man.
That’s not a lot of information to work with, but it turns out those “groovy casks” are actually re-toasted red-wine casks, of which a portion of the whisky has been matured.
We received a sample of the cask-strength Committee Edition (as always, a lower-proof version will also be available in wider release). Let’s taste.
The aroma of the whisky isn’t immediately expressive of what’s inside. Saline and seaweed dominate, with more of a wood-burning campfire smoke heavy on the nose. The palate is a different animal, showing complexity immediately. On top of the peat comes a rush of fruit: pineapple, orange slices, and a hint of lemon. Maritime notes build in short order, but the salt spray takes on a sweeter note, akin to salted caramel. The finish sweetens the picture even further; I get a note of banana pudding, though the kick of smoke at the tail end reminds you, hey, this is Ardbeg after all.
A- / $123 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]