Celebrating 30+ European whiskies!

In the grand scheme of things, trying 30 whiskies is no big deal.

But when you live in India and those happen to be European whiskies… it is an accomplishment!

Let’s face it, exploring the world of whiskies behind a crazy custom’s “curtain” that restricts access not just bringing into India but state by state… means relying on individuals making an effort to source directly from far-flung lands rather than simply strolling over to a corner liquor store.

Hence it is indeed a celebration – with thanks – to share a summary of European samples! Now… just providing a list alone isn’t fun.. so with each, I’ve shared a fleeting impression so you can see what might peak your interest to read more…

European Whiskies  

Many of the Nordic whiskies came compliments of 

The Europe page is continuously updated as we explore more whiskies, so feel free to check back anytime to read of more!

PS – Anyone spot the ‘malted spirit’ rather than proper whisky??

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Risky whisky? Not with a delightful Brenne

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.

Brenne Estate Cask 40%

  • 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?

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Whisky Ladies Risky Whisky

Our Whisky Ladies are generally an adventuresome set. Which is why our whisky explorations are not limited to your standard Scottish fare… not to say we don’t thoroughly enjoy a solid Scottish dram, just that our predilections lean to the off-beat rather than well trodden paths.

Which sometimes leads to some rather stellar flops! Most recently the AD Laws Triticum + Hordeum stand out as whiskies we would never ever chose to repeat. On the other end of the spectrum, that very night Canada‘s Shelter Point was an instant hit and another evening Finland‘s Teerenpeli 10 year was just yum!

We know when you take risks with your whisky choices there will be some delicious surprises mixed in with some unmitigated disasters!

When we began our evening, we had no idea how our selection would fare… just that we wanted to continue our whisky explorations to seek out new distilleries! Here is what we tried:

Then we added brilliant bonus drams… Our whisky lady host of the evening was celebrating her 40th birthday. What better way than with a 40 year old Auchentoshan!! And her whisky lady mother then decided we simply must have an extra desert treat of a rather bonus bourbon Willlett.

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