Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish ~ 52.9% (Master of Malt)

52.9% ABV, £59.95 for 50cl from Master of Malt (Sold out)

Score: 85/100

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What they say:

Are you afraid of the dark? You shouldn’t be, with the Darkness! range serving up a whole variety of delicious bombs worth savouring! Each bottling is finished in tiny first-fill Sherry casks for 3 months with these casks having a much greater surface area to volume ratio than ordinary butts. This brings buckets more dark goodness to the table, in this case delectable dark berries, liquorice and walnut.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt
Nose: Some fresh dark berries support dried fruit and pepper, with touches of kiwi, dried toast and toffees as well as orchard fruit and a little citrus zing.

Palate: Apricot jam, Christmas cake and brandy butter – both rich and sweet. Drying Sherry mouthfeel.

Finish: Sweet, juicier fruit cake with walnut and Champagne.

Overall: Embrace the Darkness!

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What I say:

Born out of a chance conversation with Tom Thomson (of Toms Whisky Reviews), I happened to mention that I am a real sherry-head / sherry-bomb lover when it comes to whiskies, Tom recently had a non-too pleasant experience and was (hopefully temporarily) avoiding heavily-sherried whiskies. So a collaboration was entered into as Tom had several samples of heavily-sherried whisky from the Darkness! releases to review. The original review appeared here: Benrinnes 15 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish (Darkness) while you are there check out Tom’s other reviews and the rest of his website too for more Whisky knowledge!

Colour:

Golden Brown (almost Rum-like)

Nose:

Treacle, treacle toffee or fudge, figs, Parkin cake with ginger & orange marmalade, elderberries (tart and earthy), walnut, wood polish, cherry liqueur (Kirsch), and cocoa dusted almonds

Taste:

Intensely fruity: strawberry, blackberry and plum jam, sweet molasses, zingy ginger spice, treacle with a little burnt/over-caramelised sugar crystals, Christmas pudding flambéed with brandy butter, rich syrupy sherry

Finish:

Sweet, Medium/long, with date & walnut cake and dried fruits With water a distinct rubbery/sulphuric (car tyres) was unmasked in the finish – much better straight as this was masked by the fruits

Would I buy it:

There is a lot of the Oloroso sherry character in this (more so than more conventionally ‘sherry-finished’ whiskies) almost like you have mixed the whisky and sherry in the glass. The fruity Oloroso flavour was prevalent but integrated well with a sweet toffee flavour