If you woke up this morning with a still, small voice in your head seducing you with desires to find online whisky reviews for bottles not even available anymore, then you’ve arrived in a good spot, cause that’s what we’re going to do today. Buckle up, buttercup.
Today’s review is for Ardbeg’s Dark Cove bottling for the 2016 Ardbeg Day celebration. We sampled the Committee release, however there may be a few bottles of the lower 46% ABV still lingering on store shelves. The slick marketing tagline for Dark Cove declared this the “darkest Ardbeg yet” due to aging in “dark sherry” refill casks. A quick survey of online reviews were all in agreement that the precise explanation of what “Dark sherry” casks are prove non-existent. But since I am a complete moron, like many other Ardbeg fans, I buy anything they put out because I am also a sad person with no principles. If they bottled water from the bubbler in Ardbeg Distillery’s employee break room, me and hundred’s of millions of others would just give them our debit cards with a delivery address. Please someone help me.
Anyhow, Dark Cove reminded me of Ugedail, which is basically what every special release of Ardbeg essentially is, more or less. This one clocks in at 55% ABV, and as previously mentioned, a 46.5% version was released shortly after. Both bottles were NAS, because of course they were. Dark Sherry is just another way of stating Pedro X casks were used, amongst the standard ex-sherry casks as well as the trusted ex-bourbon casks. On to our notes….
Nose- The usual Ardbeg suspects of refined peat smoke, smoked meat, lemon. In addition we find sweet tobacco, leather, hints of molasses, seared steak, black pepper and, ahem, sweaty sock (Islay, we love you and always will).
Taste- Salt lick on an Islay coastline, viscous and smoky. Dark chocolate (nice) and savory sugar glaze. Virtual repeat of nose.
Finish- Long and mature. Salted meat with chocolate and tobacco.
Comment- Pretty much the entire club pledged their love and devotion to Ardbeg forever more after drinking this, so, you get the point.
SWC Rating – 92/100
Feel free to leave some comments below on this bottle that you probably will never get a chance to buy ever again. Cheers.