Maverick Drinks has gone over to the dark side with the launch of their latest range – Darkness! – a range of exceedingly dark single malt and single grain whiskies with an enormously punchy, unashamedly brazen character!
Commonly known as “sherry monsters”, these beasts are sourced from Scotland’s top distilleries.
With their amazing dark, brooding colour, attained through the use of small, specially crafted sherry casks for finishing, the range is the first of its kind.
The dark colour is achieved by storing the drams for 3 months in specially coopered 50-litre first-fill sherry casks.
The small size of the casks allows more wood contact with the whisky, increasing both dark colour and rich flavour dramatically.
These casks have previously been used to produce some of Spain’s top sherries, including Pedro Ximénez – the sticky, sweet dessert sherry, and Oloroso – the semi-dry, nutty delicacy.
These casks bring a deep colour as well as wonderful sherry flavours such as Christmas Cake, rich spice, prunes, raisins and dates.
The Darkness! range includes spirit from Scotland’s most prestigious distilleries. Notable bottlings include the delectable 21-year-old Ardbeg, finished in Oloroso sherry casks, a 16-year-old Clynelish, and a sublime Macallan finished in a Pedro Ximénez cask.
To finish off the look of these monsters, stunning labels have been designed, hand-illustrated by Tom Lane – designer of the very popular Bicycle Playing Cards, as well as the artwork for the accompanying book for Heston Blumenthal’s Fantastical Feasts.
Darkness! is available from Master Of Malt.
Take note of the bottles total – these ‘monsters’ will be gone in a moment! (The Ardbeg already has!)
Tasting Notes – Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish
Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish
|Nose: Rich caramel, oak wood, luscious fruits.
Palate: Sweet cake mixture, plump raisins, fruits.
Finish: Nutty, peppery spice which, mixed with the sherry sweetness, is joyously long.
Overall: A classic mixture of flavours combined to give a morish sherry hit
Tasting Notes – Darkness! Clynelish 16 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish
Darkness! Clynelish 16 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish
|Nose: Dried fruit including a citrus tang, fudge.
Palate: Sweet and chocolatey with caramel.
Finish: Spicy, rich sherry flavours, slight tanin at the end with added pepper.
Overall: Another warm, sherry infused delight, the fieriness of the dram is well tempered by the Oloroso Cask sherriness!
Tasting Notes – Darkness! Ardbeg 21 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish
Darkness! Ardbeg 21 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish
|Nose: Peat, smoke and soot, scents of apples.
Palate: Smoke peat and woody embers with fruit sweetness.
Finish: Lingering sweetness wins over but doesn’t defeat an ebbing peat.
Overall: A marvelous dram! The mixture of sherry and smoky peat is a revelation – I can see why this sold out so quickly!
Many thanks to Master Of Malt for the samples.