Whisky Review – Darkness! Benrinnes 15 year old Pedro Ximenez cask finish

Darkness!
Benrinnes 15 year old
Pedro Ximenez cask finish
No colouring. No chill filtration.
53.3% ABV
£59.95 from MasterOfMalt.

Darkness is a selection of in your face single malts and single grains for those who love sherry monsters. They have been extra matured in small specially crafted sherry casks.

Nose.

Sweet and heavy sherry. Not quite as in your face as the oloroso finished Benrinnes. This is a little more subtle and has a deeper texture going on. You can get your nose into this one and behind the scenes you have some maltiness coming through. A little vanilla and some oak. There’s still the sherry of course, and with this going a Pedro Ximenez, you have a more sticky fruit jam going on. Less of the spice and nuts. A little more on the rum soaked raisins, sugary sweet, with a boiled down, thick fruit jam.

Palate.

Sweet, and thick and all that jammy texture comes through. A little bit of flare from the high ABV. Then the flavours come through. Juicy juicy raisins, fruitcake, some light hazelnuts, chocolate icing, plums, some pepper spice. Rich fruit wines, some sugared rhubarb even. Very tasty.

Finish.

A little short on the jam, although a light layer of fruit sticks around, but dryness is more the theme of this finish, with some oak and a touch of raisin sticking to the tongue for a fair while.

Adding water.

A good few drops added. The nose now has a dustier sugared side to it. More nuts. A little floral oak. Still quite sherry intensive, but a little more variation. Perhaps showing some of the previous maturation before the sherry cask finish. The palate seems sweeter with those new sugars enlivened by the water. Almost thicker on the palate than before. Very juicy and flavoursome, more oranges and orange peel in the mix now. The finish is slightly drier and nuttier. Very engaging stuff.

Conclusion.

Beautiful Whisky. Very tasty, one of the best sherry finishes I’ve ever had. Difficult to not believe it was longer in a sherry cask. It would have been very interesting to try the before the sherry cask finish version, maybe this is something MoM/Maverick would consider as part of their Reference series? Maybe a Darkness and Light series? 🙂

Thank you to Master of Malt and Maverick Drinks for providing the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Darkness! Benrinnes 15 year old Oloroso cask finish

Darkness!
Benrinnes 15 year old
Oloroso Sherry cask finished
No colouring. No chill filtration.
52.9% ABV
£59.95 from MasterOfMalt.

Darkness is a selection of in your face single malts and single grains for those who love sherry monsters. They have been extra matured in small specially crafted sherry casks.

Nose.

Thick, heavy, nuttiness is the first thing to meet you. Then rich dry fruit. Sultanas, raisin, orange peel. The pungent spices are there, peppers, cloves, all spice. Fruitcake in abundance. Some chocolate and coffee round things off. The sherry influence is massive. As you would expect. Absolutely Pinocchio of a nose! As in its huge, not lying.

Palate.

More banging sherry! Which I like! This is most definitely oloroso. Lots of chocolate, nuts, dried raisins, as close as fruit and nut choccie bar in Whisky form as you can get. Deep with pepper spice, all spice, those cloves all as per the nose, a little ginger heat. Lots of dried fruits. Nuts. Honey and brown sugar. The development continues to concentrate on the nuttiness and gives some oak maturity coming through.

Finish.

The dried fruits and nuts stick around for a medium finish. A little drying oak towards the very end, with the dried fruits staying around, in a sweet and sour and borderline savoury way, almost a little meaty.

Adding water.

A few drops added. The nose is a little more subdued now, but in a good way as you can really get your nostrils in there. Spicy dryness and nuts are in the forefront, with a background if sheer dried fruit filth (I mean that very positively!). The palate is thicker, sweeter, and had buckets of the dried fruit going forward. Most definitely chewier and almighty tasty, with the nuts coming through in the development. Tasty chocolate and a little coffee is now prominent during the development. The finish is drier, more of a concentration on the oak, and the fruit slightly silenced, a touch of oak tannins coming in also.

Conclusion.

I’m quite surprised. I was expecting to like this version more than the PX. Especially by the massive nose on it. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic Whisky, a really dig it. But having this alongside the PX in the same tasting session means it has weakened the experience a little. Like I said, awesome Whisky, but between the pair, my vote is on the PX version. Having said all that. If I were to compare this with a good batch a’bunadh. I would be drinking this one all the way!

Thank you to Master of Malt and Maverick Drinks for providing the review sample.

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