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Ardbeg Dark Cove

(70cl, 46.5%)

Ardbeg Dark Cove

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Ardbeg Dark Cove Bottling Note

Ardbeg Dark Cove is matured in ex-bourbon and "dark Sherry casks" for "The Darkest Ardbeg Ever". If the Committee Release is anything to go by (which it is), then the hue isn't actually terribly dark, but those 'dark' casks provide plenty of oaky depth. Undoubtedly a terrific single malt, there are interesting comparisons to be made with the partly Oloroso matured Uigeadail.

This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos just get in touch!

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Producer's Tasting Note:
Nose: 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.
Palate: 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.

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Ardbeg Dark Cove Reviews


Dominated by a weird taste of cardboard. Lacks depth.

27th March 2019

Proves NAS whiskies can be superb

Your review hits the nail on the head. A lovely expression from Ardbeg with none of the acetic acid or ethyl acetate notes found in some NAS and Young whiskies. The peaty smoke merges with the sherry casks probably OLOROSO and the ex bourbon casks probably Jack Daniels alligator char to produce, spicy, dry fruit, sun dried fruit, Chocloate, mocha. Earthy notes dissipate to be replaced by these other flavours. Didn't get much orange but a little Chocloate Orange note. The finish is long slightly sweet yet tannic but not strongly so.

5th March 2019


This is a 5 star whisky all day long. Beautifully balanced between sweet, rich, smoky, fruity, complex flavours. Ardbeg nailed it with this one.

8th April 2018


Mind blowing

12th February 2018

If you see it buy it, do not hesitate

If you love Ardbeg 10 thrn you’ll love this. It’s like a dark chocolate covered ardbeg with more snokey fruit. Absolutely a favourite. So sad it’s gone

5th January 2018

Excellent malt.

Incredibly rich, a truly splendid Ardbeg. Too bad it's a limited release.

23rd September 2017

missed the mark

Ardbeg distills my some of my absolute favorite whisky and I am a big Ardbeg fan. This one has missed the mark slightly. Not a lot of depth here. Smooth but not nearly as interesting or flavorful as Uigeadail, Corryvrecken or Galileo. It lacks maturity and complexity. Hard to measure up when the bar has been set so high, but still a very drinkable dram.

30th June 2017


Had a nip of the cask strength 53.1% whilst in Edinburgh and this is much better than the 46.5%. The cask strength has a lovely tobacco taste in the mouth that its smaller brother may misses. As the bigger man it's comes with a bigger price tag but worth every Penney more.

4th June 2017

Different and powerful

At first, a splendid amber colour. A fantastic nose (smoke like an estinguished fire in a cavern, also discretly something like the acid sherries in alcohol made by my greatfather ! iode and peat pushed by smoke). Palate : great, some olive perhaps. And finish on smoke, long smoke, small bitterness. A good and surprising test, enough to think about buying a bottle even quite expensive (seen two in "caves" around 150 €). I compared immediatly with "the ten" : another wolrd, nothing in common. This Dark cove is really on the old smoke and peat. (if any occasion to test Kildalton to compare).

4th June 2017

Good. An 'effort'whisky from Ardberg. Not for beginners

An ardberg that should find a place in your collection if you love whiskies.

Sherry & fruity with the Ardberg smokiness. Ardberg has put a lot of effort into this with the sherried whiskies but a little more alcohol and matured whiskies would have made it an all time great like Uigeadail.
Beginners or new comers wont appreciate the complexity & the style. Islay whiskies with sherry cask influence are the best whiskies to drink. This is a good attempt from Ardberg.
Nose: Sherry. Fruity. A bit of toffee. A lot of smokiness. Needs a bit of time to discover things. Would recommend a good 10-15 mts for the nose.
Palate: Raisins. Lacquer. Mocha or dark chocolate in the sips aftermath the first one. Not too oily. A bit of mediterranean herb in the distance. (not sure if its the olive flavour as another reviewer mentioned or the mysyerious floral notes as MoM mention) Good balance though.
Finish: Nice. But medium. Not the sweet sherry but more bitter like dark chocolate.

A bit more alcohol & avoidance of young whiskies would have made this an all time great whisky. The committee release should be spectacular. Perhaps I might like that more.

10th March 2017


I always have Ardbeg on hand in my collection and am a huge peat fan from all islay. That said, this is in no way a watered down Ugi. Anyone that says so is incorrectly remembering, has not had them side by side, had a bad bottle or is just full of it. If anything it's closer to Cory than Ugi but so Dark Cove is its own fantastic critter. For me, this is on my top 5 list with octomore (peat rep) and Revival 15 (sherry rep) filling in as well. Dark Cove is the perfect blend of peat and sweet in my book. Palate is subjective but this is a must try in my book.

9th February 2017

A strange Ardbeg

Had my hopes up for this one given many great reviews. However, not at all like any Arbeg I have tasted. Agree it tastes a bit young and "watered down". My major complaint is that I get a strong taste of green olives. Not something I want in a scotch. The smooth vanilla cake flavours I like in the 10 and Uige and completely missing here. Will give away the almost full bottle.

3rd February 2017

Awesome whisky

Anyone who describes this as watered down Uigeadail should take the trouble to do a side by side tasting. Honestly the two whiskies are worlds apart in character. I am forever in love with Uigeadail. The Dark Cove is a beast in it's own right though. It's really dark and heavy on the nose especially. Oily and rich with beautiful notes of well salted fudge and iced christmas cake, with smoke of course. It is a really special experience. My last side by side comparison was between the Ardbeg 10, the Uigeadail, the Dark Cove and the Airigh Nam Beist (yip still have a few bottles stashed away). All og these are phenomenal drams, and the Dark Cove was slightly more subdued on the nose than the rest, but defintely held it's own next to the others. Of course the ANB was the clear winner, but Dark Cove made itself yet a new Ardbeg soft spot in my heart.

17th December 2016


I have to agree with a previous review regarding comparison with Uigeadeil. For its price, it has to bear no resemblance to a watered down U. and for my palate that comparison can be made. Nonetheless, a delicious drink.

12th December 2016

Love it

So well balanced and a really long lingering taste. I can imagine people that aren't usually fans of peated whisky would even like this fantastic dram.

I wish I had bought more!

9th November 2016

Richy Rich Rich

Great Whiskey. A splash of cool water helps you get the most out of it.
Nose: Thick smoke and peat
Mouth: Carrot Cake and Toffee, Raisins and Smoke
Finish: Peat and Coffee
This is probably the most richly flavored whisky I've ever tasted. Complexity is not lacking.

19th August 2016


Taste like a watered down Uigedail, too expensive for what its worth.

17th August 2016


A perfect balance of sherry and peat....well done Ardbeg

1st August 2016

Super Awesome from Scotland!

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!

24th June 2016

Very good

Well balanced between peat and sherry notes. A peated whisky to taste for sure

15th June 2016


I was glad to see this finally make the shelves here in Las Vegas. This is not cask strength, but delicious nonetheless. Probably more in common with the Oogie than the Corry or Ten, owing to the sherry. It is probably overpriced, unsurprisingly, but the taste is ten stars.

12th June 2016

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