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The name is a nod to an aspect of this whisky’s maturation. The spirit was laid down in casks that had formerly held wine and were heavily – and intentionally – charred to the point that grooves formed on the wood’s surface, all for the sake of new and potentially exciting flavours. The name also inspired a cool packaging concept. Flavour descriptors printed all over the box that holds the bottle are printed in a curvy-wavy typeface that calls to mind a psychedelic poster that might have been designed by graphic artist Wes Wilson in the 1960s.

To put it in the parlance of that much-missed bygone era, everything is groovy about this whisky, especially the flavour. It’s big and oily and explodes with myriad flavours and scents. As in: smoke, cooked peach, orange rind, toffee, leather, vanilla, bacon, toasted Weetabix cereal and spices. Very fruity for an Ardbeg, though it stays true to the distillery’s trademark profile. What a beauty.

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