Benrinnes 15 Years Darkness PX

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Distillery/Brand: Benrinnes | Region: Speyside | ABV: 53.3% | Colour: Old Sauternes
Nose: 23 | Palate: 23 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 23
Strength: 25 | Variety: 23 | Quality: 23 | Harmony: 23
Final Score: 93

Master of Malt, apart from being a fine whisky shop, are quite accomplished independent bottlers too. I’ve tried a number of their offerings and they seldom disappoint.

With Darkness! they’ve decided to do something quite bold. Taking existing spirit from different distilleries they subject it to 3 months in 50 liter casks previously filled with Oloroso or PX sherry. The smaller surface area created a far greater interaction between liquid and wood and out came sherry monsters.

This Benrinnes was 15 years old before being dropped in a PX cask and left to darken for 3 months. My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at a cask strength of 53.3%

Nose: Jam. Jam. Sticky jam. Caramel marchiatio. Brownies. Tamarind. Brown sugar. Black pepper. Becomes beautifully crisp over time. Even takes on some rose petals. It’s like literally sticking your nose into gooey, sticky jam. Definite sherry bomb. 23/25

Palate: Burst of cinnamon. Oak. Dates. Fudge. Chocolate. Hint of coconut oil. Black pepper. Gets savory mid-palate. Coffee beans. Burnt toast. Betel nut. This is very chewy and quite thick. Lovely. 23/25

Finish: Long. Oak. Cinnamon. Warm coffee. 23/25

Balance: 23/25

Strength: Yes, please. More cask strength the better. 25/25

Variety: Lots of flavors. Right across the spectrum. 23/25

Quality: Certainly no expense spared here. 23/25

Harmony: On point and consistently solid. 23/25

This is a lovely little experiment and given that every single bottle on MoM’s site is sold out can only mean they’ve done a fine job with this.

Rating: 93


Glendronach Cask Strength – Batch No. 1


Distillery/Brand: GlenDronach
Region: Speyside
ABV: 54.8%
Colour: Old Sauternes

Nose: 24
Taste: 23
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

I am increasingly impressed by the expressions this distillery produces and this one is no exception. This cask strength Oloroso and PX matured dram is an absolute beauty.

The powerful nose is as heady as it is delicious. The glorious oak envelopes a thick slice of nutty orange fudge sprinkled with a generous layer of raisins and smothered in caramel. This is finished off with a gentle drizzle of grated ginger.

The palate is not for the faint hearted. The underlying oak sits in complete balance with burnt citrus which is mixed with a rich dark chocolate and and equally dark fruits. All this is served with a dollop of marmalade infused with clove and cinnamon.

The long and oily finish is woody with a touch of clove and stays with you for ever.

So good!

Rating: 93