Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release

Ardbeg Dark Cove CR

Between the Lore (my reddit review is here – meh! And no my opinion on it didn’t improve) and the Lagavulin 8 (will be included in my upcoming Lagavulin review) this is one of last years Islay special releases – so to say. And pretty much yesterdays news. But I’ve been much busier then I planned to be. Ach life…anyway, I’ve been a bit wary about Ardbeg’s special releases initially because of all the marketing, NAS and their crazy fans. But then the Supernova changed my mind. Then again, the Aligator left me a bit disappointed. But I love the Oogie, which is no special release but just a special dram. The Ten is also pretty good for its money. But it has an age-statement and no funny name. And in walks another funny named NAS Islay release: the Dark Cove. NAS, not even Gaelic funny but just a boring marketing name, (back then) yearningly anticipated by Ardbeg fanboys, “limited”…but then again it’s a Cask Strength Islay and not much can go wrong, right?

Ardbeg | Dark Cove (Commitee Release | NAS | 55% | “Dark” sherry casks (yeah right…)

Situation: Having had it yesterday and now finishing my sample from /u/buddy_dosser (Thanks again for a nice swap and the nice samples!) and tipping my notes for this one as well as some other older reviews on my desk. The office TV shows Super Bowl XXXVIII…

Nose: Pretty Ardbeggy, so ashy, citrus, malt, dark earthy notes (think wet black sand) as well as some – sorry – dark fruits. Also, some other darkish notes like chocolate and coffee, yes both dark of course!, as well as Bourbonish caramel notes. Which isn’t dark unless it’s dark hohohoho…ok I’ll see myself out then…

Taste: Sweet and creamy entry, then black pepper, salty seaweed (well, like I imagine it would taste…), prominent Sherry influence (almost like PX though it probably is Oloroso…) ashy smoke, and then, all of a sudden, a very nice!

Finish: Hard candy-like cloying sweet underneath, brine-y above, spicy and long, smoke lingers above it, darrrrk espresso and darrrrk chocolate, noticeable wood influence at the end! Do we have hints of the age? Guessing mainly in the around 5 year range (as there is some young roughness in this one) plus some noticeably older casks? Then again, does it really matter? Nope, since it’s a nice mix anyway. And really good!

Conclusion: I would say a bit sweeter then Oog, I should have them SBS…for science of course! Though I’m missing the sugar coated bacon notes…very solid release, kicking the Lore into dust and raising my hopes for the Laga 8. Very glad I tried this, if my Oogie was empty, I’d easily buy this! Well, if I could…

Score: A- so 91/100

Other Ardbeg reviews: here Our visit to the distillery: here

Other whiskies with the same score: here

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