- Brand: Brenne
- ABV: 40%
Brenne was discovered by Alison Parc, an NYC-based whisky blogger who found an existing, relatively unknown distillery in the Cognac region and worked with them to develop and market this brand around the world. This single malt is very much part of the local terroir (rather than emulating Scotland or other whisky-making regions), using Cognac and French Limousin casks to mature its single malt. I believe this single cask sample came to me from Johanne McInnis.
The colour is a medium copper. The sharp nose offers candied orange peel, pink grapefruit, passion fruit, baseball-card-bubble-gum and candy floss. Almost like an American rye - it doesn't nose like a single malt. A drop of water brings out even more candy. Very sweet and tangy - but the oak is very tame here.
Thin on the palate, with more candied notes (peel, candy cane, bubble gum) but little else. Water has little effect on the palate. After a beguiling nose, this is a real disappointment.
The short-ish finish surprises with some spice, herbs and mouth-pulling oak tannins. A few years ago I sampled the Brenne Ten, which had similar candied notes (and I wasn't big on it then either). Despite its unusual provenance and unique taste profile, it's not something I would seek out again.