Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ardbeg Day becomes Ardbeg Night 2016

Ardbeg Day, Dark Cove - image via offical Ardbeg website
Yes Ardbeg Night (Day) is back and things are changing up a little for this year in Australia.

As previous years Ardbeg Day is something unto itself. Originally created out of the Ardbeg Open day for Feis Ile, Islay Festival of Malt and Music, Ardbeg Day had become a world encompassing event celebrated simultaneously in major cities around the world. Sydney was no exception with each year this celebration gradually growing bigger and bigger in popularity. Last year’s event was by far the biggest for Sydney as Ardbeg celebrated its 200 year anniversary.

Things were different though for Ardbeg Day 2015 and a sense of Ardbegians coming together felt less  together. I was surprised at how many people I met on the day that admitted to never tasting Ardbeg which was a real curiosity to myself. Ardbeg Day and you have never tasted Ardbeg... what?! Often I would hear Ardbeg being pronounced “Ard-Berg” and it certainly felt a far less sense of reuniting with long lost old chums than as previous years experiences. Since that day last year I have hoped to see a return to the Ardbegians unite culture and maybe 2016 will be just that.

Ardbeg Day 2016 sees the event still cloaked in curiosity as to what is offered but it has been announced that the Sydney event is to be renamed Ardbeg Night. Not only that but there is harder criteria to fulfil in order to have the potential to attend the event. That is correct… potential to attend the event. Ardbeg Night (Day) Sydney 2016 is to be balloted tickets and ONLY accessible by Ardbeg Committee Members. Are you a Committee Member yet? If you want in on the action, following are the 3 primary criteria that must be fulfilled if you want to go into the ballot:

1. Register as an Ardbeg Committee Member or be an existing Committee Member.
2. Purchase a bottle of the limited released Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release online and include your Committee Member code + password at the time of purchase.
3. Purchases must be completed by 17th April with ballot announcements on the 20th April.

If you are an Ardbeg fan and not a Committee Member then you can register here at now. Be sure to do this before purchasing a bottle. Bottles of the Dark Cove Committee release can be purchased here at Moet Hennessy online shopping website with a limit of 2 bottles per Committee member. This Committee release is bottled at a higher 55% ABV. Any Adbeg fan will know the higher the proof the better an Ardbeg it is. Authority says this Committee release is in short supply so jump in quick. Full terms and conditions for the competition can be viewed here.

Always with a good theme this years Ardbeg Committee Release bottling titled Dark Cove looks to “pay homage to the shadowy past of Ardbeg’s coastline” and it is also the theme clearly to suit Ardbeg Night. Smuggling, illicit whisky trade, dodging excise officers and fast ships to traverse the Scottish coastline all link into the Dark Cove concept for Ardbeg Night (Day) for 2016."

Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release 

Official tasting notes released for Ardbeg Dark Cove are as follows. I, as of yet, have not tasted Dark Cove but will be soon enough. What you should consider in reading these following notes is that they are created to profile the 46.5% ABV please and not the 55% ABV Committee Release. I cannot confirm or deny how accurate they are:

“Ardbeg Dark Cove is a limited edition Ardbeg available as a celebration of Ardbeg Day. Ardbeg Dark Cove is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46.5% ABV. Its nose is 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. 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. The finish is long, spicy and rich with notes of toffee, coffee and tar.”

For those that miss the ballot, and I am guessing there is going to be a lot of us, Ardbeg Day will still be held in the offical Ardbeg Embassy’s around Australia. These embassies are:

Whisky and Alement, 270 Russell Street Melbourne
The Killburn, 348 Burwood Road Hawthorn
1806, 169 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

World of Whisky, g12/2 Knox Street, Double Bay
Stitch Bar , 61 York Street, Sydney

The Gresham, 308 Queen Street, Brisbane

Helvetica, 101 St Georges Tce, Perth

Good luck with your chance in the ballot and I very much hope to be involved in Ardbeg Night or Day to fly the Arbegian flag so many of us carry.

The Baron

Information quoted in this post has been provided to us as an official media release by EVHPR on behalf of Ardbeg / Moet Hennessy