Ardbeg Dark Cove (Review)

Ardbeg Dark Cove (Limited Edition Annual Bottling Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Peated Sherry Cask Matured)

Each year, Ardbeg releases one out-of-the-ordinary whisky as a strictly limited special edition. In the past, these treasured bottlings included such legendary drams as the Supernova, the Alligator, the Galileo and most recently the Dark Cove. Matured in ex-bourbon and dark sherry casks, this sublime peat bomb is an homage to the historic smugglers of Islay. Long before the Ardbeg distillery was built, these fearless fellas braved the waves to hide their unlicensed spirits in the dim caverns on the rocky South coast of the isle. In accordance with its telling name and shady source of inspiration, the Dark Cove is neither a light nor a quick dram. It has a solid color, a robust body and a distinct taste. Oh, and it is an Ardbeg. So it should come as no surprise that it is also really damn great!

by Tobi

Eye: Weather-beaten copper.
Nose: Deep and meaty with intriguing notes of dried berries, moist stones, salty air and roasted boar.
Palate: Fruity at first, but with a certain gloom attached to it. Later, the liquid becomes more beefy and hefty. Towards the end, the peat smoke unfolds like a sooty puff from a old captain’s pipe.
Finish: Ahhh, this is good! With a “reward” as strong and steady as this, the smugglers’ efforts have definitely paid off!

Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Islay)
Age: No Age Statement
Alc. volume: 46.5%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~150.00 Euro
More info:


  1. Nice review Tobi, and thanks for following and liking my blog! I assume you’re an Ardbeg committee member? All set for the bun fight this spring for their next special release? I tried it for the first time last year to get the Dark Cove. 8am arrived and the Ardbeg website crashed under the strain. Hopefully they’re better prepared this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, David! Actually, I only just got a letter from Ardbeg yesterday, confirming my entrance into the Commitee. So this year, there will be one person more trying to score a bottle of the next special release.^^ The regular Dark Cove, I got at the Ardbeg Night in Hamburg. It was a really awesome event, held on an old freight ship in the harbor. There was great food, fun company, lots of laughter and, of course, many a good dram! :)


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