Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish ~ 53.3% (Master of Malt)
53.3% ABV, £59.95 for 50cl from Master of Malt (Sold out)
What they say:
As Edward Teller probably once said, “When you come to the end of all the light you know, it’s time to take the step into Darkness!”. This intense Benrinnes was finished in fresh, first-fill Pedro Ximénez casks that were specially rebuilt to be just one tenth of the size of a standard butt for 3 months. The greatly increased surface area to volume ratio of these casks helped develop even greater richness and concentration in this magnificent Speyside nectar.
Nose: Rich, deep oak alongside jammy fruit, greengages and nut oil. Soon you’re into crème brûlée, prunes, Corinth raisins and hints of anise, sticky toffee pudding and bread dough.
Palate: Big, sticky dried fruits, wedding cake with a little marzipan, unsweetened liquorice and bitter marmalade.
Finish: Some Christmas spices, dried cherries, clove and stained glass window cookies.
Overall: All the desserts. Dark, delicious and creamy, you could use this whisky to catch yourself a Gregg Wallace.
What I say:
The second sample in our collaboration with Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews was another 15 year old Benrinnes in the Darkness! range but this time finished in a Pedro Ximenez sherry mini-cask (as opposed to Oloroso sherry). The original review appeared here: Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish (Darkness) while you are there check out Tom’s other reviews and the rest of his website too for more Whisky knowledge!
Perfumed, sweet and floral sugar syrup, fruit cake mix, plum jam/sauce, cinnamon and star anise spices, raisins and bitter Seville oranges (marmalade oranges)
Syrupy and sticky sherry mouthfeel, jammy fruits: black and morello cherries, plum, strawberry, date, fig, Seville orange marmalade and bitter hazelnut coffee
Medium/long, nutty, dried fruits (like Cadburys fruit and nut chocolate bars) a little drying
Would I buy it:
I preferred this one more than the Oloroso finish (my taste in Sherry I think). Again this had distinct sherry character (this time the PX) and was a little more savoury and nutty than the Oloroso cask finish. I didn’t try this with water – it went down too quickly/easily as it was.