Plus Ardbeg Day 2016.. or should we say, Ardbeg Night
It’s that time of year again when Ardbeg start to tantalise us with cryptic clues of their yearly celebration that is Ardbeg Day. Last year they took us to the future. The year before that saw a human foosball tournament and that infamous golden bottle. They’re always bucket loads of fun and the team are promising that this year’s event will be like no other!
Things will be done a little differently in 2016 though. For starters, Ardbeg Day is now Ardbeg Night and to keep it exclusive to true Ardbeg fans, only select Ardbeg Committee Members will be lucky enough to attend. To be in the running to score yourself tickets, you first need to be an Ardbeg Committee member. It’s simple and it’s free, so if you’re not one already, what are you waiting for!? Visit this link and sort yourself out post-haste!
Secondly, you need to purchase yourself a bottle of the new, Ardbeg Committee exclusive Dark Cove, only available through the Moet Hennessey Collection site (hint: you’ll need your Ardbeg Committee details handy to make your purchase). Each bottle purchased up to 17 April will put you in the running for tickets to Ardbeg Night 2016 and the lucky recipients will be notified by 20 April.
If you happen to miss out, or if your hip pocket doesn’t permit a bottle purchase at the moment, fear not! Other events will be held at Ardbeg Embassies nationwide and you can find your nearest embassy here.
Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release 55% ABV
This year’s celebratory Ardbeg Day bottling is Dark Cove, which is said to pay homage to the shadowy past of Ardbeg’s coastline. Traditionally, the Ardbeg Day celebrations have been the launch pad for the annual celebratory bottling, with all bottles being well and truly embargoed against early release.
As you’ve probably gathered from the opening though, Committee members have been a bit spoilt this year and can actually purchase the special Ardbeg Committee version of Dark Cove now! That being the case, let’s see how it tastes.
The second that sample bottle was cracked I had an ear-to-ear smile. Sweet, smoky peat notes waft out of the glass immediately. Campfires, sweet sooty embers and savoury smoked meat served with quince paste and sweet onion jam. There are some caramelised berry notes, but the sherry doesn’t dominate. Nicely integrated.
Sweet, sour, salty and peppery on the palate all at once. It has that drying herbal Ardbeg backbone, but with a certain zesty fruitiness. There’s hay smoke, more aged meat notes but with a drying, crisp smokiness to the finish that lingers for a long time.
Too often these days whisky fans online get a bit too caught up in the numbers game. When any new release comes out the same questions come thick and fast; how old is it? How many bottles were produced? How many bottles are available in our country? etc. I’ll be the first to admit that I too wonder about these things. But the one question that people don’t seem to ask nearly as much is ‘does it taste any good?’. At the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing? It is to me and the new Dark Cove is a winner in my books. Very, very enjoyable.
The Dark Cove Ardbeg Committee release (55% ABV) is available exclusively to Committee members through the Moet Hennessey Collection now. The general release of Dark Cove (46.5% ABV) will be available from 28 May at a recommended retail price of $169.
I pounced on a Committee bottle the day it was released and after tasting this sample generously supplied by Ardbeg Australia, I’m so very glad I did. Here’s hoping my full-size bottle comes with a winning ticket to Ardbeg Night 2016!