Today was one of those days where you just want it to end and go to bed, but just as I stepped through the door from work I find a parcel on the floor. As I opened it I realised what it was and just had to smile, Ardbeg, Dark cove.
Ardbeg has a massive fan base, the big peated expressions really do pull you in and whack you round the face several times before you drink it. This expression is due to be released on Ardbeg day ( 28th may 2016 ) This expression takes the name from the islands past, the island has always had a reputation for smuggling, the smugglers would take the illicit whisky from the islands via the rocky shores of Ardbeg cove in the darkness of night.
Michael Heads ( the Ardbeg distillery manager ) says ” Distilling and smuggling whisky was once rife on Islay, and before the Ardbeg distillery was founded, the coastline around was particularly notorious as a hideout for smugglers ”
This special bottling is made up from whisky matured in sherry casks and married with ex-bourbon casks that Ardbeg is so well known for..
This is bottled at 46.5%abv and is NCF.
Nose.. This really does boast some big aromas, masses of dark fruits, dates, raisins, plums, candied orange and dark chocolate. Then comes the slap round the face, that typical Ardbeg peat, but it carries such a delicious fruity, oaky, spicy character that is so so good.
Palate.. Again the sherry carries itself fantastically well, it blends in so well with the peat, those big fruits are like an explosion of flavours in your mouth, the peat carries a lovely oaky note, and once the sweetness gets through there is masses of vanilla and natural fruit sugars, candied orange, dark chocolate, liquorice and cinnamon just keep coming in wave after wave of flavours.
Finish.. This is a long, dry , peaty finish that just refuses to go away.
Dont need to say anything else !!
A big thank you to Sophie from Quercus for the generous sample..