Our whisky ladies evening began with a decided romance spun atmosphere by candlelight… thanks to a rather more mundane reason – the road was being dug up in front our host’s home!
Yet starting the evening with a soft glow was rather apt for the 1st sample – a French Single Malt Brenne Estate Cask.
Brenne is one of those whiskies I’ve been curious to try for some time. The brainchild of Allison Patel (The Whisky Woman) in partnership with a 3rd generation Cognac producer, she set about creating a ‘new’ whisky.
- Nose – A burst of apple sauce, then bubble gum – as in bazooka or hubba bubba – quite candy sweet and as it opens up, sweet basil, honey and lavender join the choir, settling into a raspberry cherry cough syrup sweet
- Palate – Lightly spiced sweet apple juice, light, soft, gentle cognac, cherry cola, more and more cherry
- Finish – Red dark cherry
For some, this style of whisky may be too sweet yet it somehow manages to be a desert whisky without slipping into that sickly sweet territory. Think of it like ice cream after a meal!
In short it is a quite lovely whisky, pretty, delightful and something you could easily sip at the start or end of an evening. Rich and complex? Certainly not, but nonetheless quite enjoyable!
We wondered how the notes might change between our standard Glencairn glass and Norlan… with the Norlan, there was more flower than bubblegum and on the palate a very clear apple cognac with whisky cream. Little change in the finish.
We then wondered how it might be if chilled so put a glass of Brenne in the fridge.
The verdict? Don’t! Cold it simply became syrupy sweet stepping clearly onto the side of being TOOOOO sweet and loosing all its lovely nuance.
Brenne is produced in the Cognac region, initially aged in new Limousin oak barrels then finished in used Cognac casks – on average for approximately 7 years. The distilling technique follows the “Cognac” style, using colder fermentations and small batch production, then twice distilled in copper alembic still.
As we understand, each Brenne is from a single cask so one can anticipate some variation between what you sip today vs another bottle from a different cask tomorrow.
Here is what the Brenne folks have to say about their whisky:
SMOOTH, APPROACHABLE with lots of FRUIT A distinct experience of fruit-forward expressions followed by the spice notes from malted barley, all balanced with the sweetness from Cognac soaked oak
What else did we sample that “risky whisky” evening?
- AWA (Authentique Whisky Alsacien) Pinot Noire 42%
- Virgil Kaine 2016 Ashcat 45.6%
- Auchentoshan 40 year 41.2%
- Willett Pot Still Reserve 47%
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