Ardbeg Dark Cove
Ardbeg Day 2016

70cl / 46.5%
  • Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Distillery Bottling
Ardbeg Dark Cove / Ardbeg Day 2016
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Customer Rating

Dark Cove is a limited-edition whisky released on 28 May in honour of Ardbeg Day 2016 – the distillery's open day as part of the yearly Islay Festival. Matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, this is smoky and spicy with a hint of sweetness.

Distillery Bottling
Bottling Date


  • Body
  • Richness
  • Smoke
  • Sweetness


  • Ginger Ginger
  • Raisins Raisins
  • Dates Dates
  • Tar Tar
  • Smoke Smoke
  • Meat Meat

Ardbeg Dark Cove Reviews

Tasting Notes

  • Tasting Notes by Billy A

    • Nose:

      A sweet and savoury combination of new leather, creosoted fences, char siu pork, sultanas and raisins, with lemon and orange oil, treacle toffee, a touch of tar and burning heather.

    • Palate:

      Softer than expected, with lots of char and ash up front. Coffee grounds and singed citrus lead to bitter dark chocolate and tar, before fruit cake, candied ginger and liquorice sweeten things.

    • Finish:

      Burning pine needles and black coffee fade to blackcurrant and liquorice, and Hall’s mentholyptus. The menthol lingers for minutes, along with a background of peaty smoke.

    • Comment:

      A complex nose leads into a surprisingly easy-drinking palate – there’s lots of flavour, but little in the way of boozy burn. However, the finish took me by surprise – it lasted happily through my washing up of my tasting glass and the making of a cup of coffee, and is still just hanging on as I type this, five minutes later. It may not be as dark as the name suggests, but it is classic Ardbeg.

  • Producer's Tasting Notes

    • Aroma:

      At first meaty, earthy and spicy, with bold notes of dark chocolate emerging against orange, treacle toffee, coffee and oak, a smoky background and a mysterious floral note.

    • Taste:

      The mouthfeel is almost tart, with raisins, dates, ginger and pepper spice surge and waves of smouldering charcoal, wood polish and creosote notes, leading to cured smoked ham and squid ink noodles.

    • Finish:

      Long, spicy and rich with notes of toffee, coffee and tar.

13 Customer Reviews

  • Add Your Review
  • 5
    9 June 2018

    Please bring this back. Top notch. So many notes to please the palate.

  • 5
    12 February 2018

    Mind blowing

  • 5
    25 October 2017


  • 5
    9 February 2017

    Love peaty scotch from octomore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, etc. and have tried nearly every Ardbeg big release over the past few years and must say this has become one of my all time favorites. Has something for everyone from peat to sherry. An absolute must try and one I'm hoarding/stocking up on. Great dram!

  • 5
    25 January 2017

    Absolutely love it. Best heavy Scotch I've had the pleasure to enjoy since discovering Talisker, Dalwhinnie, Oran and other peaty single malts.

  • 5
    17 September 2016

    very good but preferred the perpetuum

  • 4
    30 July 2016

    Meant to add, could be some PX in here, but not for long. Aromas are almost a u shape. Sherry prominent declines after 15 minutes with peat reek strong. Very clever use of casks, but still think slightly longer in the Oloroso cask might have helped a little, but only my opinion. Still a great whisky. No matter what finished Ardbeg do, IMO the 10 year is supreme, but the NAS add great variety.

  • 4
    30 July 2016

    Ex Jack Daniels cask finished in Oloroso sherry cask. Has it worked? Well, it changes after sitting for 10-15 mins. Suggests that sherry finish is not long enough, but.....what do I know lol. Nose - Starts of very Sherried, sweet, figs, dates, sultanas, maple syrup, strong Smoke of course. Dark Chocolate in the background. Sherry influence diminishes in 15mins. Becomes similar to Uigeadail. Palate - char, smoke, ginger, fruitcake but not as prominent as Uigeadail. Not as tannic as Corryvreckan. Finish - smoke, spice, dark chocolate, ash, coffee after a while. Slightly tannic. Conclusion - Ardbeg don't make bad whiskies, but IMO Dark Cove could do with longer in the Oloroso cask.

  • 5
    16 July 2016

    Exceptional tasting whisky; deeply dark, complex but easy to drink , pleasantly releases the flavours; slowly , pleasurable. Toffee , coffee, chocolate , sherry to almost oloroso . A wonderfully balanced whisky with peat going on beneath lingered for easily 5 minutes after tasting. By far the best tasting whisky I've tasted in 10 years equalling only the Glenturret 18yr malt.

  • 5
    15 July 2016

    Gift from my groomsmen, I picked it out. Phenomenal. Obviously peaty, but you don't need to be a peat fiend to appreciate this complex whisky

  • 5
    24 June 2016

    OMG this is like super awesome. A totally epic whisky which rivals the best even of our totally super Bourbon here in the States. Like I never new you made whisky this super good!

  • 5
    7 June 2016

    Stunning, gorgeous, well balanced whisky with lots of interesting flavours and aromas. Easy to drink, medium smoke/peat, chocolate, coffee, citrus, sweet fruit. Doesn't feel too young.

  • 5
    31 May 2016

    The first thing you smell is turpentine. I'm not saying that in a bad way, it's like fresh paint only it's pain thinner. Ok, kidding aside, this whiskey is an easy drinker. You could polish a bottle off in two sittings, it's that easy to drink. The nose, for me at least, was maple syrup, leather couch (think Cake as in the musician), it has a rubbery smell to it, like when you're blowing up the inflatable raft by the river, you know when you suck in the air after blowing for like a minute? Yeah that's it. That's pretty much it. I mean the beauty of the Dark Cove is it makes your imagination fly when you smell it and then start drinking it. You'll remember high school, hanging out with friends, college where you're boozing it with friends and everything in between. Buy yourself a bottle, sit yourself down, and enjoy a bit of the Ardbeg experience.