Ardbeg Grooves

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Limited Edition
Ex-Wine Casks
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L69554 23/01/2018
Bottled for
Feis Ile 2018
Added on
08 Mar 2018 4:09 pm by Dirk

Average value

€ 304.48

63 × in wishlist

637 × member ratings

3280 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Grooves

82 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 86.30 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    [June, 2018]  I had this dram during this year's "Feis Ile" tasting session.  For about five years in a row I found every new Feis Ile Ardbeg edition weaker than the one before so I am curious if the Grooves can change this unfortunate legacy…

    The first impression on the nose is very Kelpie-ish with lots of peaty, herbal and eucalyptus notes (I do not like these because they remind me of bitter cough medicine when I was young).  The initial mouthfeel is warming but without any coating effect and a minor astringent feeling (heavy tannins from virgin oak).  Most probably the distillery owns a lot of virgin Caucasian oak casks that provide the eucalyptus notes and heavy tannins (you know, the owners of Ardbeg do not have a bourbon distillery in their portfolio so they have difficulties to source enough bourbon casks for the ever increasing production due to the ongoing whisky boom.  Consequently, they have to use virgin oak casks instead and they sourced some wood from Caucasia what is cheaper but it adds different flavours to the whisky than American or European oak.  Nobody tried this before so this flavour profile was unknown so far - but what can you do else if you run short of high quality oak supply from the traditional sources?).  The taste is very sweet with flavours of red fruits and dry peat.  Better than the nose, for sure.  The finish is of medium length and very chalky and mineral with a drying end (papers).  With water the dram gets less sweet and more peaty but the chalky and mineral notes increase too, what I do not like.  By the way, there is not much wine influence to detect at all neither in the nose nor the taste or finish.

    Okay, this one is better than the Kelpie but still I do not really like it (I find the standard 10-years old much better, without doubts).  My best guess is that Ardbeg desperately looks out for ways to get rid of the virgin Caucasian oak casks that do not fit into their standard editions like the 10-years old or the Corryvreckan because of the strong unusual flavours they impose.  But the good news is, the second fill of the Caucasian casks will be much better and less aggressive, for sure...
    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  2. Archer scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    So in the garden on the grill or just in between times (eg on a fair ;-)), he can not necessarily score big. But tasted with peace, he already shows his qualities. Whether he is priced or just in the frame, ultimately everyone must decide for themselves and their wallet.
    • Nose
      88 88
      There is something sweet, unspecified, which starts at the first moment ... the wine barrel? Possibly. Anyway, it sets itself above the distillery character, at least at the beginning of Verriechens. Red grapes, a little lemon, cold smoke. Then also old, cracked leather, the grapes become raisins in rum. Smoked ham, some furniture polish. Coffee beans, freshly ground. Always the raisins as a sweet companion.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Very oily onset, on the tongue like the bite in a floury apple - without the apple flavor, because the raisins are also found on the tongue. Cold and ashy smoke, lemon peels. Yeah, the lanky Ardbegaschenbecher, also in this groovy thing here.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Not too long, not too dry, with raisins, dates, cocoa, espresso beans, wood and fine-seasoned spices.

  3. Mankut scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Great Ardbeg
    Round pleasantly sweet and balanced.
    Nice charcoal smell and taste.

  4. Dris scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Finally a twist on Ardbeg, lovely apple-pecan-pie on the nose. A bit too thin on the palate though.
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  5. edhunter15 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    These grooves with 46% vol. really does not have to hide behind the cask strength version. Especially in nosing, the malt has a lot to offer very interesting, intense and of course delicious flavors. The combination of the typical Islay notes, the pepper-BBQ aromas, the oak-leather spice and the creamy vanilla and berry notes simply make for a great overall package, making it even more voluminous than the CR for me. I think that's amazing, because I'm really totally fassstärkenversaut. Of course, the malt pushes slightly less forward in the mouth, which I do not consider a disadvantage.
    • Nose
      The first nose is characterized by steamy and creamy-sweet vanilla pastry or cheesecake flavors, which are very quickly covered by a very aromatic spice. This is characterized on the one hand by oak wood aromas and old leather notes, on the other hand, however, are also the often mentioned notes of grilled peppers. Coupled with the typical maritime-salty Ardbeg smoke, the association with BBQ or gypsy schnitzel is very present for me. In contrast to the committee release, I also perceive a sweetness of red fruits (maybe strawberries or cherries?), Which is very much interwoven with the other flavors.
    • Taste
      The variety of aromas is also reflected here, with the typical Ardbeg smoke now presenting itself a little more of its maritime-salty and simmering side. In addition, the flavor is characterized by the spicy-charred wood notes, wet moss, the BBQ character and quite a bit away from the berry sweetness.
    • Finish
      Now in the finish, the oak pushes back properly and leaves the mouth filled with melting dark chocolate and a pepper-ethereal seasoning. In addition, the salty-maritime notes and in the background, the flavors are complemented by refreshing sweet vanilla.

  6. wisekycourse scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    On the nose, intense fruit and not only on lemon, peach, strawberries, yes a little candied but still! and toasted wood, grilled, return of dry peat, which comes a little tidy up in the house!

  7. zerg1129 scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    The aroma without water is more distinctive, but the aroma after adding water is more rounded, but the spiciness of the tail is more obvious. I like the aroma of the charcoal grilled meat before adding water. The mouthfeel is soft with some dryness. It is not as good as you think of the flavor of too many wine barrels. You can still feel Abbe's peat, peat and smoke more than berry fruity fragrance at the end.
    • Nose
      84 84
      Aroma: A soft smoke and a light peat aroma bring out berries and raspberries. The middle part is salty and sweet, and the back part is leather, pepper and spice. After being left for 15 minutes, the aroma of the front section is smokey, peat, berry, and salty. The middle and back sections are charcoal grilled, woody, obvious leather aroma and roasted pepper.

      Add 6 drops of water: the first part of the aroma is soft and salty, smoked, grape skin, grape fruit, the middle part is meaty, woody, mint, light leather and roasted pepper. After adding water, the overall aroma becomes rounded, the original charcoal grilled barbecue aroma becomes soft and sweet, and the leather at the back also dissipates a little, but the spice is more obvious.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Taste: Soft and dry taste. A slight salty taste, peat, peat, smoke, berries, berries, apples, fleshy, leather, wood, licorice and mint can be felt at the entrance.
    • Finish
      84 84
      Medium and slender. Peat, peat, smoke, walnut, wood, leather, mint, licorice, pepper. Peat and saltiness stay in the mouth for a while.

  8. peatbogger scored this whisky 80 points Specialist

    Just a small sample at a fair. Did not convince me to buy a full bottle. A good old TEN is far better value.
    • Nose
      85 85
      The nose was promissing.
      Definitely Ardbeg, peaty, dry smoke, ash, cured meat, slightly medicinal.
      Some underlying sweeter and fruityer notes.
    • Taste
      80 80
      Total let down from the nose.
      Thin mouthfeel, almost watery compaired to what was expected.
      The peat is faint, so is almost everything else.
      The sweet and fruity notes do not suit the basic Ardbeg profile, something is clashing.
    • Finish
      75 75
      Hardly medium lenght.
      Bittersweet and dry.

  9. ctu scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    For me it's rather virgin oak than ex-wine casks. Slightly thin at 46%. But not bad.
    • Nose
      Peat, herbals, citruses, camphor, spicy oak and sweet fruits.
    • Taste
      Oily. Bourbon vanilla, tannic oak and sweet fruits. Peat, citruses and salted caramel.
    • Finish
      Medium length, bittersweet, spicy, smoky.

  10. wisekycourse scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    the almost caramelized toast side, the almost sweet peat, the more prominent fruit than usual in Ardbeg and the meaty meat side, then the sensation of cold grilled meat and cold ashes next to it make a singular spectacle!
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84


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