Ardbeg’s island home has a dark past. Centuries ago, at 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. This year, the shadowy history of Ardbeg’s homeland will be recalled as part of the annual festivities of the Islay single malt, when Ardbeg Day becomes Ardbeg Night.
The yearly celebration takes place on 28th May 2016, when Ardbeg’s loyal following – the Ardbeg Committee – and their friends will be invited to attend a series of special tasting events being held at night across the world. As they recall Islay’s past, Committee members can smuggle in a guest to the venue. Events in the UK will be held at Whistling Shop in London and Bramble in Edinburgh, further details are to follow.
Michael (Mickey) Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, said: “Distilling and smuggling whisky was once rife on Islay, and before the Ardbeg Distillery was founded, the coastline roundabout was particularly notorious as a hideout for smugglers. In true smugglers’ style we will be keeping the finer details of this year’s Ardbeg Day celebrations under wraps a little longer, but rest assured they will be as intriguing as Ardbeg’s clandestine past. We will also have a special bottling, called Ardbeg Dark Cove – which pays homage to the shadowy past of Ardbeg’s coastline.”
Ardbeg’s latest expression Dark Cove, launches on Ardbeg Day (28th May), it is made up of whisky matured in sherry casks, married with hallmark ex-bourbon Ardbeg.
Ardbeg Dark Cove Official Tasting Notes at 46.5% ABV
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 mouthfeel 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.
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 mouthfeel.
The limited edition expression will be available to purchase from 28th May 2016 at Ardbeg Embassies* for a two week exclusive period. From June 11th, Dark Cove will be available at Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists and department stores with a RRP of £95.99.
Ardbeg Night will be celebrated at the distillery on Saturday 28th May 2016 and at participating Ardbeg Embassies around the world.
*You’re never far from an Ardbeg Embassy - the distillery’s homes from home. With the warmest of welcomes and the widest selection of Ardbeg, you can experience a little piece of Islay closer to home.
A network of Ardbeg customers who love and have agreed to educate their consumers on Ardbeg, the UK Embassies are:
The Vintage House, 42 Old Compton Street, London W1D4LR www.sohowhisky.com
Royal Mile Whiskies, 379 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PW www.royalmilewhiskies.com
Cambridge Wine Merchants, 32 Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UJ www.cambridgewine.com
The Wee Dram, 5 Portland Square, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1HA www.weedram.co.uk
Luvians Bottle Shop, 93 Bonnygate, Cupar, Fife KY15 4LG www.luvians.com
The Whisky Exchange, Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU www.thewhiskyexchange.com
Gordon & MacPhail, 58-60 South Street, Elgin, Moray, IV30 1JY www.gordonandmacphail.com
Whiski Rooms Bistro, 4,6 & 7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP www.whiskirooms.co.uk