Ardbeg Dark Cove
Ardbeg Dark Cove, NAS, 46,5 %
On Ardbeg Day (May 28) the Ardbeg Dark Cove was released. I was invited to a release party here in Oslo, but I was unable to attend. I how had the chance to try the Ardbeg Dark Cove now though, and you can find my verdict below.
First off let us see what Ardbeg say about their new whisky:
Take this whisky and hide it well. For its heart has been matured in DARK SHERRY CASKS, imparting waves of treacle toffee, coal tar, squid ink, noodles and toasted coffee grounds.
Inspired by our turbulent past, this whisky is a clandestine meeting of Ardbeg matured in ex-bourbon casks and a heart matured in dark sherry casks. The darkest Ardbeg ever.
Let me just tell you straight away that this is far from the darkest Ardbeg ever. In fact it is not very dark at all. It is somewhat 'dark' on the nose and palate, and that might be what they really meant to say, but even there I have had far 'darker' Ardbegs before.
There was a limited Committee version released as well, at the much more appealing ABV of 55 %. I hope to try both versions head to head one day.
The Ardbeg Dark Cove is not yet available to buy in Norway. I am guessing it will be available on Friday June 10 (today), but I am not sure. You can buy it in Sweden at SEK 999 (40440). It is available to buy at around GBP 100 in the UK.
Nose: Dry-ish nose. Coffee notes, wooden pencils, milk chocolate and mustard. Medium and soft peat - I know it is heavily peated but that is not how it presents itself on the nose. Soft maltiness, a bit green and relatively complex. Promising start.
Taste: Medium body and still tending towards dry. Pepper and oakiness. Dry nuts, and hints of dust and cold ashes.
Finish: Medium to short finish. Caramel and more sugary sweetness on the finish. Not as dry any more, and at the same time it feels more watery.
Comments: The nose is quite OK, but the palate is very ordinary. A bit young and not terribly exciting. Crossing my fingers and hoping for a better release next year.
Sláinte! - Thomas