After the year we have all just had the title of this whisky seems pretty appropriate Don’t ya think ?.. Darkness is of course, in this instance a creation of whiskies that have been finished in custom made Oloroso sherry octave casks.
Initially matured in Bourbon casks obtained from a distillery nestled within the Speyside region of Scotland. This is a distillery that still uses wormtubs for cooling so that narrows your choices down nicely.. Anyway this whisky as mentioned is bought from those lovely people over at Diageo i imagine, after sitting in the finest oak casks for around 8 years it is then re-casked into those specially re made 64l octave casks that were originally casks used for holding Oloroso wine rather than traditional transport casks or even the more modern seasoned casks we generally see today..
This whisky range is the creation of Sam Simmons who if you don’t know is the whisky creator behind the awesome Boutique-y Whisky releases and the name of this whisky probably sums up the colour of his soul.. ( only kidding, he is a great guy )
8 year old – Darkness
Age.. 8 years
Casks.. Bourbon – Oloroso Octave
Nose.. Dates and dark chocolate lead you nicely into cherries and candied orange segments before a hint of damp leather and espresso coffee comes to the front.. There is also a conflicting old dusty bookcase aroma that somehow feels very fresh.. Vanilla, toffee and a little freshly peeled apple still manages to arrive along with the softest freshly sawn woodchip..
Palate.. Dates, toffee and chocolate infused with ginger take the lead along with some peppery notes that help to balance out. Toffee and dark treacle bring a little sweetness back to the table before a little coffee bitterness takes it back to its roots.. Choc chip cookies, marshmallow and candied oranges finish this off nicely.
Finish.. Spice and fruits
Thoughts.. Those sherry notes still have plenty to say but there is certainly a more rounded feel to the palate coming from the initial maturation.. Some finishes are all about covering in-perfections up or for those done intentionally like these, they are all about giving us a different dimension, a way of adding more depth and sophistication to an already good liquid..
What we need to do when looking at these style of finishes is ask, does the initial spirit still have its say or has it totally disappeared into the darkness?
For me, this still allows the initial spirit to shine..
With thanks to Atom brands for this official sample..