Darkness! is a new brand of whiskies launched by Master of Malt last week. This week they launched something else again so I wonder how they keep track and don’t mix things up.
With Darkness! they are labeling their whiskies as sherry bombs and that’s the only promise they make. The whiskies in the series have been finished for three months in Oloroso or PX casks to give them a dark hue, and impart a severe amount of sherry flavours on them. And they did.
Of course, Master of Malt wouldn’t be Master of Malt if they did this halfheartedly, so on the day of release there were 12 different bottlings available. The Ardbeg has already sold out but will still be reviewed here shortly. First, one of the two Benrinnes drams!
As promised, this has a massive sherry hit. And by massive I mean massive. F-ing big. Rich, nutty and dry. Sweet and full of dates. After a minute or two there’s a lot of fruit assaulting your nose, but all in a good way. There’s a hint of orange, but most fruit is a bit more thick. Think papaya, mango and other tropical fruits. The bite of the alcohol and a hint of oak are never far away though!
Do notice: No fennel scent this time!
The palate is sharp and rich. The sweetness and dryness are present, but there’s an oaky tang going on too. Slightly nutty with a tropical fruity sweetness going on. A toasted oak graininess is also present, but that gives it all a bit more depth. Peaches, mango, papaya. With raisins and sherry too. Not too winey.
The finish is suprisingly gentle and goes for the tropical fruit mostly. It’s not all that oaky and the dry, nutty flavours are going fastest. After that there’s a lingering flavour of fresh fruit juice.
I am so delighted with the lack of that fennel scent that is present in a lot of the Master of Malt bottlings. I guess that scent has to do with some of the blending aparatus, and since this is not a blend of casks, it’s gone.
Anyway, the whisky itself is delicious. Really so. I expected it would be overly sherried and while it does live up to the sherry bomb promise, it’s not just that. There’s more to be discovered and the heat of the alcohol never lets you forget that. Well done, Master of Malt!
Also, in the current climate I find a sherry finished whisky at the price of 60 quid not surprisingly expensive. Even though it’s only 50cl.
Benrinnes 15yo, Oloroso Finish, 52.9% – Darkness! Available for £ 59.95
The sample was given to me by Master of Malt. Thanks a lot guys! Much obliged!