Dec 102018
 

Ardbeg Grooves

46% abv

Score:  91/100

 

Past due here, I know, I know.  Betcha thought I’d be jumping at the bit to share a few words on the latest Ardbeg.  Being a so-called ‘fanboy’ and all.  Every time I review one of these releases I kinda feel like I have to duck and cover.  So be it.  I hold steady to my opinion that no distillery in the world is putting out this high a level of distillate year upon year.  Not every release is a knockout, but not a single one is bad.  Ever.  Actually, not one is ever less than really good.  Contentious, I know.

Some out there are saying that this profile is a little too ‘manufactured’ (or some such sentiment), but this deep fruitiness is spectacular with the big smoke behind it.  Really.  Think smoke-infused jam or something of that ilk.

Grooves was matured in charred ex-wine barrels.  As opposed to that wet-fill wine casking that all too often results in that weird sour winey tang at the back end of the development, in this case the sugars have been caramelized into the wood and come forth in a beautiful charry sweetness.  Gotta say, I think Grooves is probably my favorite of the recent Ardbeg releases.

Nose:  Surprisingly soft and jammy fruits behind big smoke and savoury BBQ notes.  Charred pork in some sort of berry reduction.  Smoked apricot (if only there were such a thing).  Some ashy, sooty notes.  A whiff of caramel.  Jam on well-toasted bread.  Damp smoke (as from wet wood).  Hard cherry candies and real vanilla bean.  With enough time in the glass…a whiff of well-toasted marshmallow.

Palate:  Coastal and, yes, very Ardbeggian (that is a word.  I refuse to hear otherwise!).  Warm rubber and salt licorice.  Dry and dark.  Ash again.  Smoked meat bark.  Beautifully gooey and sweet.

Thoughts:  Love it.  No two ways about it.

 

 – Image & words:  Curt

 Posted by at 12:38 pm
Dec 062018
 

Hey, friends.

Appreciate the outpouring of support over the past week or so.  The site went down, as many of you know, and the amount of people I had contact me was a little overwhelming.  I’m beyond flattered.  Especially in light of my utter delinquency of late.  You’re good people, and I appreciate you.

AS for the issue itself?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  The message you would have seen referred to the account being suspended or something.  It was nothing more than a technical f___-up.  A buddy of mine hosts the site for me, for which I pay him and he pays on further.  Unfortunately, he had migrated to a new host and the direct billing to CC didn’t go as planned.  Oops.

Alas, all is well.  Up and running.  Well…walking.  Errr…limping along.  Alright, let’s face it.  I’ve been at a complete standstill.  Priorities are elsewhere right now.  I do have intentions to come back to this (at least part time) in the very near future.  Next review will almost certainly be Ardbeg Grooves.  But in the meantime, I’ve been busy.  Work, yes, but it’s more my free time I’m referring to.  If you care for the reason, read on.  If not, rest easy, the site is still here and under no threat of disappearing.

Last week I finished the first draft of my third novel.  It’s called “The Colony” and it’s the biggest and (IMHO) best yet.  It’s been a monster to undertake and I’m not finished with it yet.  I’ve been working through the rewrite as we speak, so that I can turn it over to my ‘editor’ and the select few that constitute my ‘peer reviewers’ at some point in the next couple of weeks.  The story itself is a blurring of lines between historical fiction and folk horror.  It’s a split narrative that alternates between present day Oregon/Massachusetts and 1690s Salem.  Yes, for those of you historically-inclined, that was indeed the time of the Salem Witch Trials.  But, of course, the tale couldn’t be that simple.  Let’s just leave it at that.  Wink and nudge.

I’ve yet to really do anything with my second novel (“Rotten Soil”), but I will be either shopping it or self-publishing soon.  My first short story (“Sadie”) and my first novel (“Darker Things”) are both on Amazon.  “Rotten Soil” will have its time in the light too, but I’m not sure exactly when.  In the meantime, however, this new one has my heart.  I need to wrap it up.  Not least because book four has been conceived.  It’s itching away in my noggin and wants out.  It will be called “Balance” and it’s already kinda disturbing me.

Anyway…something had to give.  There are only so many hours in the day.  That something was whisky reviews.  I’ll try to do better for you all going forward.  Bear with me.

More to come.

Thanks a million for all of your support.  Sincerely.

 

C

 Posted by at 11:08 pm