So, the much anticipated Ardbeg Day release arrives. Thanks to Nicholas who helped me to pick up the bottle and we did an intense tasting session before we make our way to Ardbeg Night. There was a lot of enthusiasm and expectation as the Dark Cove Committee Release was considered a success with some good sherry injected into it. To my surprise, the style of this (general release) is different to the Committee release. That’s probably due to the reduced proportion of sherry in it. This may spell bad news to sherry heads, but perhaps Dr. Lumsden managed to pull a magic Ardbeg rabbit out of the hat? Try it for yourself!
Ardbeg Dark Cove (Ardbeg Day 2016 General Release)
Style: Demi-Sec and Smoky
Lemon and earthy peat marches in, dry smoke and dark cherries slowly unveiled. Mossy and musky aroma humming energetically at the back. Impressively raw and damp, while bonfire smoke slowly clouding the scene… I can enjoy this nose for another ten minutes. Ended with some vanilla, extra burning smoke and pepper notes.
Mossy rock catapults through with a bang. Followed by lemon, thinned-honey and vanilla notes. Bright citrus touches with a lightest flick of ripe cherry runs for a while, until it succumbs to the unforgiving earthy peat surge. Hay smoke and white pepper leaving a drying mark, sweetness is again brought back by some delicious malt and milk chocolate. A nice ending to it.
Finishes with more milk chocolate topped with a a strip of lime zest. Peat smoke all over the places. A light stain of vanilla and dry dates to the end.
The natural reaction is to compare this with the Dark Cove Committee Edition. Less sherry, but a much bigger character. Neat structure through the process, bold with extraordinary balance. Showcasing a muscular, dry and raw Ardbeg when the sherry wanes. Now just let me pour another dram of this and I am not going to make it to the Ardbeg Night…
✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]
[46.5% • Bottled in 2016 • Official Bottling • No Age Statement • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Edition • T+]