When it comes to whisky, my interest and familiarity with the spirit has evolved quite a bit since I started this page just under 3 years ago. But if there is one thing that has remained consistent throughout this journey of a lifetime it’s a genuine appreciation and respect for whisky that is different.
Brenne is a French single malt whisky created to evoke the terroir of its native Cognac, France. It’s made from barley grown by the distillery before it is matured it new Limousine oak casks and then finished in Cognac barrels. It’s a dramatic departure from the rather potent, cask strength Scotch whisky I tend to enjoy but with summer around the corner I was in the market for something light, refreshing and most importantly, different.
Having previously tasted both the flagship Brenne Estate Cask (pictured above) and the Brenne Ten Year Old, I opted for the Estate Cask despite the lack of age statement and lower ABV. Aside from a general interest in starting at the beginning, I felt the price was just right for a lighter whisky that I would potentially enjoy on the rocks or in a cocktail.
On the nose (neat), the aroma is bright and fresh with a real elegance to it. Rosewater, bubblegum, a hint of vanilla, its all very light and approachable. The palate is more fruit-forward with apricot, pear and a touch of banana. The body is relatively thin but considering the complexity of flavor, I find there is more than enough here to keep you intrigued. With the finish comes new flavors that were previously undetected; a hint of anise, brown sugar, and a bit of that new French oak.
Overall, Brenne Estate Cask is certainly not Scotch whisky nor is it trying to be. It’s entirely its own thing and for that I am genuinely appreciative. I think it’s a great summer whisky and one that I will certainly be experimenting with over the next month or so. And while it’s perfectly enjoyable neat, I do have to say I prefer this one on the rocks. I just find that the elegant and lively flavor profile of Brenne Estate Cask really shines as a refreshing drink.