Benrinnes 15yo, Pedro Ximénez Finish, 53.3% – Darkness!

The second Benrinnes from Master of Malt‘s Darkness! series comes from a Pedro Ximénez cask, instead of the previous Oloroso cask. Both are 50 liters, so a lot of wood/booze contact.

Since they are only 50 liters, I thought it might just be so that both tiny sherry casks were filled from one bourbon cask. I asked Ben last Friday and he confirmed it so this wee bit of the Darkness! experiment just got a little bit more interesting. This is, apparently, what finishing does. It’s almost like this is part of The Reference Series!

Anyway, when some label boasts with a PX finish, you expect a lot of raisiny sweetness with, preferably, a lot more dried fruit and sherry goodness behind it. Let’s see!

Darkness! Benrinnes 15 PX finish.

Darkness! Benrinnes 15 PX finish.

A very comparable aroma to the Oloroso cask. It’s big and sweet. Rich and fruity. This one is a tad more sweet with more sherry and raisins. Some spiced cake and dates. After a while I get dark chocolate with orange confit. Like those wedges you get at chocolateries in Brughes.

On the palate it’s surprisingly sweet for a 53% dram. Quite some alcohol. Of course it’s sweet, dry and I get some red peppers. Sherry with baking spices, chocolate, coffee and oranges again.

The sherry and chocolate theme continues here too. It’s lovely. Not very long, and slightly drying but a lot more gentle than expected.

While at first this dram didn’t surprise me, not after the Oloroso cask, on the palate and finish there was a lot more chocolaty goodness going on than I expected and it’s lovely for it. I also like that you can compare a three month finish of exactly the same whisky and I don’t think that’s happened before. Kudos for that!

The whisky on itself is delicious. The flavours are incredible and it never gets too cloying, sweet and sherry-like. So, it still is whisky, with a layer on top of it and I enjoy that. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much of anything when this pack came in but the chaps at Master of Malt know what they’re doing and they’re doing it right!

Benrinnes 15yo, Pedro Ximénez Finish, 53.3%, Darkness! Available at Master of Malt for £ 59.95

Thanks for the sample guys!

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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