The Darkness range is characterised by bold intensity, heavily influenced by the unique sherry cask finish. Each whisky in the Darkness range is matured for at least three months in specially-coopered sherry octave casks to impart maximum flavour. Indeed, the 8-year-old single malt has first been matured in ex-bourbon barrels for eight years before spending no less than three months in those specially-coopered Oloroso sherry octaves.
These small bespoke casks allow for more interaction with the liquid than much larger sherry butts, leading to a much more heavily cask-influenced, intensely sherried and deeply coloured whisky.
On the Nose
Predominantly dried cherry, with some orange peel. I found the nose of this whisky rather enjoyable, with an (obviously) strong influence from the sherry casks. Additional hints of dark chocolate and subtle roasted nuts coming through the longer the dram has to breathe.
On the Palate
I was instantly reminded of marmalade on some slightly overdone toast! But, in a good way. Raisin cookies and an earthy finish for me, with an interesting depth for a relatively young whisky.
Adding a few drops of water just diluted the flavours for me. I much preferred this dram straight, without water.
I like sherry finished whisky, so read my reviews with that in mind! I found this a very enjoyable dram, with a reasonable degree of complexity of smell and flavour given it's modest age statement. The team at Darkness have managed to take what I imagine was a 'good' starting whisky which had been maturing for 8 years, and risen it up to a really pleasant and interesting whisky with the use of the Oloroso barrels.
Would I buy it again?
I honestly think I would. Was it my favourite whisky? No. Was it even my favourite sherry influenced whisky? No. But, it did have a certain charm to it which gave it enough interest for me to want to explore it more. So, it's a yes from me!
Want to try it for yourself?
- Darkness 8 year old is available to buy from Master of Malt.