Ardbeg Dark Cove

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Dark Sherry Casks
46.5 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
Added on
23 Apr 2016 11:59 am by ted.striker

Average value

€ 244,99

74 × in wishlist

582 × member ratings

2910 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Dark Cove

72 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.83 points

  1. rottendon scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    Did he like me at the Ardbeg Night at the first moment very well, he is in the set setting in direct comparison to the committee version a bitter disappointment. The nose is still the most similar, in the mouth separate the two worlds. Nevertheless, he likes me better than last year's Perpetuum, the direction seems to be correct in principle, only the dilution concept should be considered here!

    Here's the committee bottling:
    • Nose
      A parallel comparison of Committee and Retail variant

      Starts almost smoke free with bare granite and sweet caramel. Becomes faster dry and mineral. Some life makes the whole thing again sweeter. Caramel, some damp rock, lemon zest, still little smoke. With a lot of imagination there may also be some dried fruit under the caramel. In direct comparison to the committee version he looks thin and boring. The range of flavors is extremely manageable. The whole thing is then heated a little stronger, sweeter and rounded. The mineral notes go back significantly, as well as the citrus notes, for the first time the smoke is a bit more noticeable, it is reminiscent of a tea kettle. The sweetness is getting darker and a little more fruity.
    • Taste
      A little weak-tempered in the start, the consistency rather thin, he can taste fully convincing. Something dark Sherry fruits, from the beginning already mixed with tannins, a hint of menthol and a good dose of fir honey, all nicely integrated.
    • Finish
      The finish is not too long, but not necessarily short. At first the menthol becomes clearer again for a brief moment, before it fades away a bit dry and ashen.

  2. Gatopardo scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Maybe not the darkest Arbeg ever, but this is great, better than I remember when I open the bottle. It's quite different from the typical Ardbeg profile, this ain't a peat and smoke bomb, this is elegant and refined, very well balance. And love the earthy note! Get a bottle if you can!
    • Nose
      Earthy.Wood. Dark chocolate, lemon marmalade,salt and sweet, berries and plumbs. Less peat and smoke than typical Ardbeg. Elegant and creamy. That earthy note reminds me Springbank.
    • Taste
      Sweet orange cream. Oily. Mouthwatering. Delicious!
    • Finish
      Soft spices. Minty. Short.

  3. hs305 scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    [March, 2017]  Why not compare this release against its predecessor Perpetuum (WB id 68370) and successor Kelpie (WB id 86163)?

    I never ever thought (when Perpetuum was released) that Perpetuum will win against its successors as I (like many others) had the impression this was the weakest Ardbeg Day edition so far. But now I must confess: This was the best (to my liking) in three years. Oh, oh Ardbeg - where are you heading to...
    • Nose
      82 82
      The colour of the Perpetuum is clearly the most pale of the three, while Dark Cove (nomen est omen) is the darkest. Kelpie is closer to Perpetuum than to Dark Cove, maybe just one or two shades darker. While Perpetuum has the most Ardbeg trademark nose (surprisingly) Dark Cove is rather shy but much sweeter (due to the dark sherry casks) and Kelpie offers some strange aromas on eucalyptus and camphor (that remind me a little bit of a cough medicine and disinfectant solution). Interestingly I find the Perpetuum best and the Kelpie by far the weakest in this head-to-head.
    • Taste
      83 83
      Perpetuum is based all around sweet and peaty flavours that are not too complex, but somehow balanced. Dark Cove is due to the sherry casks much sweeter, the peat is more in the background. Again it is a little bit hot and peppery. Kelpie is all about this strange eucalyptus/menthol flavour (maybe they should have named it "Koala" instead) - if you love this, than it is probably very interesting (Helmut Schmidt, the former German chancellor, who smoked menthol cigarettes only would like this, probably). But I do not, I hate menthol as it reminds me of bitter medicine... You guess my rating for this round now, don't you?
    • Finish
      81 81
      Perpetuum arrives big and mouth-coating on the palate while Dark Cove is quite sweet, but a little bit hot at the first sip. Kelpie is a little bit hot and peppery too and not as mouth-coating as the Perpetuum. Again Perpetuum wins this round closely followed by Dark Cove. Kelpie is not impressive. The Perpetuum finish is very clean and long, typically Ardbeggian. Dark Cove has a quite long but very sweet finish that is somehow more one-dimensional than the Perpetuum. And the Kelpie: The finish gets dry and bitter (due to the heavy tannins of the virgin oak), I do not like such a profile. It is significantly shorter than the other two as well, so again: Perpetuum first, Dark Cove second, Kelpie last...

  4. GlenSikkes scored this whisky 65 points Connoisseur

    For me the worst Ardbeg I've ever tried, very artificial. Particularly the 'aspartame sweetness' in the finish.

    Like if they lost inspiration and contrived several barrels together until it was somekind of 'doable'. In my opinion it's very overrated and may not even stand next to the Corryvreckan or the Uigeadail.

    A six-and a half
    • Nose
      72 72
    • Taste
      65 65
    • Finish
      55 55

  5. Kensay scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    Very balanced and tasty molt, atypical ardbeg, really liked
    • Nose
      The nose is good, sweet smoke, a dusty attic on a hot summer day, smoked dried fruit and some wine notes. When standing in a glass it reminds even more lafroig than ardbeg. Very balanced and pleasant.
    • Taste
      sweet smoke turning into spices, ripe cherries in liqueur, dried apricots and prunes, salted caramel, rather rich, buttery and dense
    • Finish
      continues the taste excellently, smoked more than prunes smoked on the fire, salty smoke, sherry notes and oddly dark beer, probably Guinness, a slight bitterness is also present

  6. mark-achterhoek scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  7. rolabob scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      87 87

  8. ricallende did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Smoked cream cheese initially hits the nose (which, btw, sounds like a delicious combination). Dark fruit, bruised cherries. Caramel. Cinnamon. Salty. Seaweed. Light pepper. Some burnt rubber. Dark chocolate oil.
    • Taste
      Warm tones of dried fruits, caramel, cinnamon spice, liquorice, zest, and dry bubbly finish. The zest and ginger compliments the peppery spice. Light on smoke. Cinnamon and caramel prominent in the middle. Sharper and younger for the lower proof. Oiliness comes through more so toward the end.
    • Finish
      Absolutly pleasant with a long and warm chocolate & camarel flavours.

  9. whiskyfacile scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    for full review go to https://whiskyfacile.com/2016/06/03/ardbeg-dark-cove-2016-ob-465/
    • Nose
      N: se Ardbeg quest’anno voleva stupire, certo non si può dire che abbia fallito – almeno per quel che ci riguarda. Sulle prime si rimane infatti sconvolti da un lato erbaceo inedito, per la distilleria: e per erbaceo intendiamo erbe aromatiche e balsamiche, tra rosmarino e salvia, aghi di pino (resina da conifere; qualcuno alla presentazione ha parlato di ‘mirto’, e in effetti…). Proprio per questo lato, ci si può facilmente suggestionare richiamando alla mente – quasi – un gin erbaceo (come può essere il gin Mare, per intenderci). Dietro a questa prima coltre, ecco qualcosa di più atteso: spuma di mare, innanzitutto, e poi la torba di Ardbeg, acre ma (avvertiamo) qui tutto sommato ‘delicata’: leggasi, non brutale come al solito. Solo nelle retrovie emerge una vaga ‘dolcezza’, con qualcosa di borotalco, vaniglia e poco più.
    • Taste
      P: ha un buon corpo, bello grasso… Tutto è molto compatto e ben legato: arrivano infatti all’unisono una sapidità marina molto pronunciata, delle speziature balsamiche ed erbacee di cui già al naso (resina, rosmarino – e ritorna la suggestione di un gin tonic molto secco) ed una torba greve, acre, da motore diesel e inchiostro. Poi l’apporto determinante del legno è qui più evidente e definitivo: liquirizia soprattutto, tanto cioccolato fondente; un velo di vaniglia. Marmellata d’arancia. Solo verso la fine si percepisce un fumo…
    • Finish
      F: …che al finale dura a lungo, ricordando certi barbecue, con legna ardente in fiamme, carbonizzata. Un velo di sale accompagna una dolcezza liquiriziosa. Bacon?

  10. Koalafant scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Whisky'n More 2017 => 87/100


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