Ardbeg Dark Cove

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Dark Sherry and Bourbon Casks
46.5 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
Bottled for
Ardbeg Day 2016
Added on
23 Apr 2016 11:18 am by ted.striker

Average value

€ 270,02

88 × in wishlist

668 × member ratings

3152 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Dark Cove

85 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 86.05 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. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    A total Schlabberwhisky, I practically breathed it in at that time during the Ardbeg Barbecues, it was so easy to drink and still is. Of course, due to the lack of barrel strength, he doesn't quite make it against the Committee Release. But he doesn't have to hide.
    • Nose
      A combination of bacon smoke, sweet and creamy sherry and grated lemon peel suits you, whole milk chocolate, sweet raspberries, raisins, very creamy, pleasant, the smoke is a well-fitting overtone, a little salt, bacon, a pinch of pepper, a light touch of Peppermint, which then stays cool in the nose when you stop smelling, after the first sip also a touch of lovage
    • Taste
      sweet, sherry, raisins, slightly effervescent, floral, chocolate, espresso, medium smoke, creamy, slightly watery, nuts, pleasing, warming
    • Finish
      Nuts, a little bit tart, the mouth feels drier, raisins, ashy smoke, peppermint, salt on the tip of the tongue, medium length, pleasant

  3. Gatopardo scored this whisky 89 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.

  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. 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...

  6. Paedi75 scored this whisky 82 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      82 82

  7. lustaufwhisky scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    Typisch Ardbeg - der Rauch dominiert und andere Aromen haben es zu Beginn schwer sich zu entfalten, wobei ich den Dark Cove weicher im Rauch als die Standards wahrnehme. Ich gebe dem Dram ein paar Minuten und rieche dann nochmal. Jetzt kommt die kalte Asche und der Torfrauch wirkt leicht medizinisch mit etwas Seetang. Nun wird er süßer und Honig sowie Trockenfrüchte kommen zum Vorschein, auch Vanille und Zitrusnoten sind da. Hinten raus wird der recht komplexe Tropfen blumig und würzig.

    Der Rauch erscheint mir im Mund etwas milder. Jetzt schmeckt man die Sherry-Reifung mit getrockneten Rosinen und Pflaumen sowie die dunkle Schokolade- und Kaffeenoten. Insgesamt sehr cremig auch wenn der Dram nun etwas herber (aber nicht bitter) wird. Durch die feine Würzigkeit mit leichter Pfefferschärfe wird der NAS noch spannender.

    Mittel bis lang mit intensivem Rauch und etwas Süße.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  8. WhiskyFan2112 scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    Sherry helps this but not enough to my tastes.
    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      79 79

  9. Malthead19 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    - contrary to some opinions, I find the DARK COVE a very successful special bottling,
    - a very complex smell, really awesome!
    - taste maybe a bit "thin" but not annoying for me, but rather very pleasant and very tasty
    - significantly better than, for example, an AN OA with comparable barrels
    - from the aroma it goes in the direction of Lagavulin Dest. Ed.
    (I tested in 1997/2013)
    • Nose
      strong smoky and sweet, light sherry flavors (more sweet than fruity)
    • Taste
      Directly full of "Ardbeg" smoke but very harmoniously integrated in a subtle fruity environment, toffee, malty-sweet, a little plum, berries, raisins, a little oak
    • Finish
      medium-long very soft, harmonious smoky finish, long smoky-sweet

  10. schengel10 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A pleasant, pleasant to drink Ardbeg.
    The sherry flavors suit him well.
    For about € 95.00 (2016) not super cheap but ok
    [Color] full gold;
    • Nose
      typical Ardbeg nose: peat, charcoal, campfire, sweet bourbon notes, fruity (berries, raisins), sherry, salt;
    • Taste
      malty, sweet appearance, slightly watery, fruity, berries, sherry, only light smoke, coal, cold ash, gradually becomes dry, coffee, pepper, salt;
    • Finish
      medium-long finish, peppery, peaty, sherry and sweet smoke linger;


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