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 11:18 am by ted.striker

Average value

€ 241,88

76 × in wishlist

624 × member ratings

3019 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Dark Cove

75 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.92 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. 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

  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. 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...

  5. face scored this whisky 82 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      80 80
    • Finish
      81 81

  6. nat3123 scored this whisky 85 points Member 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! (I REALLY LIKED THIS DESCRIPTION FROM THE GUY 2 DOWN) good daily sipper for me, I have 4 because I liked it so much.
    • Nose
      86 86
      similarities to Ardbeg Uigeadail on the nose, sweet honeyed smoke, tar, slight medicinal note, a tart citrus note – lemon-lime furniture cleaner (WJ); salt, chloraseptic, cereal note with baking spice
    • Taste
      84 84
      salt, slight tingling on front of the tongue, smoke and more smoke, a charred toffee sweetness, some pepper spice, the smoke and ash note mutes much of the sweetness
    • Finish
      85 85
      not as long as I expected in this case, charred oak, some leftover ash, a bit of bitter chocolate, coffee

  7. MattDoobie scored this whisky 84 points Member Senior

    Ash, seaweed and peat backed by sherried sweet fruits; bananas, apricots and peaches. Very medicinal and saline. Underneath all that there’s a creaminess with vanilla and custard and some citrus. Very nice. 22/25

    Again ashy, lots of smoke and honey everywhere coating the mouth. Very nice texture and arrival. Not very sherried on the palate and not as much fruit although bananas are definitely there for me. On the third pass the apricots come out as well and there’s tons of fresh vanilla beans there as well. Nice and round and a pleasure to chew on. 22/25

    Very strong on the ash, it’s a long finish that reminds me of my days as a smoker. There’s a residual honey sweetness that give you something to chew on for a bit but not much else. 20/25

    Value and presentation
    These Ardbeg day NAS products offer a poor value, with an original price of 230$ CAD and a now inflated secondary price markup... there’s just no way this whisky competes in this price range. For perspective, the same shop that sold it for 230$ sells Glendronach 21 for 203$...The presentation is mostly good, it’s being billed as the darkest Ardbeg yet and I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re smart enough not to add E150 to the whisky after saying that (wink wink, Bowmore) but I do wish that information was on the packaging, same with chillfiltration, I had to confirm online that there wasn’t any. The 46.5% abv is great and goes a long way towards giving us the nice mouthfeel present here. Overall I think this is a great whisky that’s bogged down by an absurd price point. 20/25

    Total score

  8. detachedblue scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Sherry-peat, kind of working here, well integrated I have to say, young, inky, dried plums.
    • Taste
      Rich, sweet and sour, new oak, modern style sherry.
    • Finish
      Long, modern oaky sherry.

  9. Kensay scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    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

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

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


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