Brenne French Single Malt Finished Whisky Sample Review
Quite the change of pace for me, but when @bourbondipity_ gives you 2oz of something cool to take home after a good night, you take it and enjoy it! This is an organic whisky that is all done "seed-to-spirit" from the farm. The whisky is aged in French Limousin oak and Cognac casks. I've even dropped my 'e' for this one! Time to get a bit out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Company on Label: Brenne Whisky
Whiskey Type: French Single Malt Whisky
Mash Bill Percentages: 100% of 2 heirloom varietals of barley
Age: 6 years
Further identification: This is a single barrel bottled in 2014 (barrel number 304); it was described by Allison Parc as having aging characteristics similar to a 12-14 year from Scotland that only takes 6-8 years in the microclimate of Cognac to achieve the same experience
Nose: Very malty forward early on the pour with a thick sweetened / soft licorice. Dusty chocolate characteristics. Dark tree bark. Great earthy chocolate tones all through this, with a hint of an orange peel twist garnish. This pour makes me feel like dancing. It's so light but effervescent and the perfect level of sweetness. Further digging on the nose reveals lightly toasted crème brûlée. There is something high-flying that keeps this floating up in the air for me. It feels like something akin to a banana peel, but with more thick sweetness. Very subtle on the back end of deeper inhales there is a bit of a mint note. Light white pepper lingers a touch near the bottom. Absolutely nothing offensive about this pour, it's quite enjoyable to experience. Some touches of grains can be extracted near the bottom now. I would really love to experience all of the distillation smells this whisky goes through. The empty glass smells of light red berries, forest floor herbals and a piece of chocolate sitting on a dry school desk.
Palate: Very light on the first sip. Wow, wait. So buttery - almost chardonnay-like. I love this... Some sort of synthetic floral thing is happening too. More of that chocolate is way more apparent on the palate with a long linger to boot. Something about this reminds me of drinking from the garden hose as a kid. Wow, a big vanilla pop really makes this feel like a boozy hot chocolate. I can't believe the flavor this elicits. Dried cherries are another delicious garnish built into this whisky; there's an almond note too that really ties the winter alcoholic hot chocolate vibe together too; a staple in my recipe for sure. Later in the glass things start to also lean on a bit of a syrupy Cortland apple. Cinnamon creeps in with the chocolate notes now giving off a bit of a pie feeling. It really makes me feel like I am ready to welcome Fall here in New England! The last sip is a wonderful cacophony of banana, pepper, caramel, vanilla and chocolate - a perfect highlight reel of a consistently delicious pour.
Experiences like this are why I love whiskey so much. The memory-tied experiences of subtle nuances that can be stirred up from a faint flavor or aroma are just so cool. Enjoy this one if you can!