Ardbeg is harking back to the 1960s ‘Summer of Love’ with its 2018 Ardbeg Day limited release.
2018's Ardbeg Day whisky recalls the ‘Summer of Love’ 51 years ago with the annual release for Ardbeg Day on Saturday, 2 June, an annual celebration centred on the distillery’s open day during Fèis Ìle, the Islay Festival of Music and Malt.
For this year’s bottling, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks Dr Bill Lumsden has matured part of the whisky in re-toasted red wine casks. These casks were intensely charred to create heavy grooves in the surface of the wood, designed to produce more intense flavours of ‘smoked spices, distant bonfires and chilli-seasoned meats’.
Ardbeg Grooves General Release Official Tasting Notes:
Colour: Berbere (African spice blend of a reddish/orange hue)
Nose: Intense aromas of smoked cinnamon and paprika, antique leather and saddle soap, with classic Ardbeg scents of pine resin, tar and briny sea spray in the background. A distant hint of a fragrant bonfire by the shores of the distillery and, finally, an unusual savoury note, like chilli-seasoned meats. A little splash of water releases some beautiful, unexpected aromas: lavender scented soap, ground white pepper, floral and herbal notes entwined. Fresh flowers mix with coriander leaves and mint.
Palate: A powerfully salty mouthfeel drifts into sweet vibes of treacle toffee, vanilla popcorn, salted fruits with soot and tar. Again, those distinctive savoury notes of smoky BBQ, paprika and mustard spice, fading into an unexpected haze of smoked pears and apples, almost like pear cider.
Finish: Smoked paprika and bonfires with a mellow sweetness throughout.
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