Events Whisky

Ardbeg Night 2016 & Ardbeg Dark Cove

Saturday 28 May 2016. It was the day that Ardbeg Day turned into Ardbeg Night in celebration of the yearly event that unites Ardbeggians around the world*.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

The lead up to the event was rather hushed. There were whispers of smugglers, darkness and Willy Wonka-esque golden tickets to the event which was to be a little more intimate than previous years.

Guests assembled at Towns Place Wharf East, Millers Point and boarded a boat towards an unknown destination on Sydney Harbour. Then it appeared in the distance, Ardbeg lettering by the water which for a brief moment transported you to the shores of Islay.

Goat Island in Sydney Harbour was transformed into “Smugglers Cove” for Ardbeg Night. The sounds of waves lapping up the shores greeted guests as they entered the cavernous site which wore the smugglers theme very well. Dim lighting, Ardbeg lanterns, bottles of Ardbeg Dark Cove enclosed in a cage under lock and key were just a few of the highlights. There were games to be played, prizes to be won and delicious cocktails by The Whisky Room, Stitch Bar and Ardbeg Ambassador, Garth Foster.

Andrew Derbidge led the tasting of Ardbeg Dark Cove (General Release). The expression was matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and dark sherry casks which the official tasting notes allude to squid ink, coal tar and coffee.

On the nose, Ardbeg Dark Cove (46.5%) is softly peated, with aromas of chocolate, toffee, sultanas and raisins. The palate is soft upfront. There is the classic Ardbeg peat in the background while notes of dark chocolate, coffee and fruit cake dominate. The long and lingering finish makes it a most enjoyable dram to sip on its own or pair with rich food or cheese.

When the event concluded, the celebrations continued at the Official Ardbeg Night Embassy After Parties held at Stitch Bar in the CBD and the Whisky Room in Surry Hills.

With heartfelt gratitude to our “smuggler” who very kindly smuggled us into the deep dark mysterious and unforgettable world of Ardbeg Night.

* See our previous Ardbeg Day coverage: Ardbeg Day 2012 Islay-limpics, Ardbog Day 2013, Ardbeg Day 2014, Ardbeg Day 2015.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.