Ardbeg Dark Cove Standard Edition

This is a great whiskey, but there are better whiskies out there for less money. Ardbeg routinely puts respectability to the NAS sku. However, I feel like this Ardbeg falls a bit flat in that respect. It’s good, just not what we’ve come to expect from Ardbeg. There’s an odd doughy or yeasty quality that lingers in the background that, to me, signifies some incredibly young or poor batch that is steering too much of the ship. I feel like if they decided to do the Dark Cove/sherry finished Ardbeg 10 year, then this would be far more interesting to me. However, on the spectrum of worst whiskey I’ve ever tried to this, it’s still a damn fine whiskey.

Bottle Info

Distillery: Ardbeg

Barrel type: ex-bourbon, finished in ‘dark sherry’ casks (googling around says this is heavily-seasoned sherry casks)

Age: n/a

ABV: 46.5

How this was acquired: store

Cost: $110

Year purchased: 2016

Tasting Notes

Nose: spicy, peppery, peat, uigaedaelish?, brine, salt, hay, wet grass, sugary - almost caramel, vanilla cream, soft ocean brine

Nose[water]: salt, brine, less, caramel, peaty, softer, more tight, grape, fig, dark fruits, berries, confectioners sugar

Taste: soft peat, hay, caramel, brine, salty sweets, peppery, earthy, vanilla

Taste[water]: more grapy, light fruits, peat, caramel, yeasty

Finish: caramel fading into salty peat, doughy, long argbegish finish, vanilla, salt, earthy hay

Finish[water]: dense sugary peat, long salty caramel, delicious

Binary Score: 1

Value Notes

Would I buy this (or if already bought, would you buy this again): No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

Value For Money: 2/5

My Scoring System

0 | I didn’t like it | It doesn’t mean you won’t

1 | I liked it | It doesn’t mean you will