Ardbeg Dark Cove Harks Back To Clandestine Smuggling On Islay

Ardbeg’s island home has a dark past. Centuries ago in the dead of night, the early distillers would smuggle their whisky from the rocky shores of Ardbeg cove to black-painted ships moored off the coast where it would be spirited away to the Scottish mainland. The illicit whisky trade was so prolific between Islay and the mainland that Customs requested that a dedicated cutter be stationed off the island  to intercept the smugglers' vessels. Even after John McDougall took out a license to make whisky legally at Ardbeg, the smuggling continued unabated.  The Excise officers lamented that they could do little to stop it  but, luckily for them, it appears to have mostly died out naturally  during the late 1800s. To celebrate this nefarious history, Ardbeg turned their infamous Ardbeg Day into Ardbeg night this year with people around the world gathering in the darkness to recall the history of the distillery. Ardbeg’s latest expression, Dark Cove, launched on Ardbeg Night and is made up of whisky matured in sherry casks combined with Ardbeg matured in bourbon barrels. Dark Cove is available as a celebration of Ardbeg Day turning into Ardbeg Night. The whisky is bottled at 46.5% ABV and non-chill filtered for extra texture and mouth feel.

 Ardbeg Dark Cove

Appearance: Deep amber with copper and reddish tones, strong legs. 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 mouth feel 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.