Brenne Single Malt Whisky


Whisky is a delightful, multifaceted creature.  It comes in many variations, and those that drink it are indeed a breed unto themselves.  During my time writing on this blog – nearly three years now – I’ve had the pleasure to trade comments and wits with several other bloggers who share my hobby of enjoying a fine drink.

One such blogger, Allison Patel, founder of The Whisky Woman and frequent commenter on this site, decided to take her words a step further and create her own single malt whisky. Her efforts were brought to market last fall, in the form of a turquoise-labeled bottle named Brenne.

Through our correspondence, Allison was kind of enough to send me a sample of Brenne Estate Cask.  Allison describes it as a “French single malt whisky finished in Cognac barrels…smooth, approachable with lots of fruit.”  It sounded unique based on the description – whisky aged in cognac barrels – so I was eager to open my small gift.

I consider “fruit forward” to be truth-in-labeling.  After pouring the contents into my glass, I smelled the aroma of cognac, not whisky.  Not one bit.  Yet upon tasting, it was most certainly a whisky, albeit on the sweet end of the spectrum (a bit sweeter than The Glenrothes Select Reserve).

As I savored my ounce, I scribbled down the following words on my yellow notepad:

Sample from barrel #261. Sweet, almost like brandy (influence from casks). Flowery, fruity (peaches), light, buttery.  Ends slightly smoky, floral, touch of heat at finish.

After a few confirming sips, ones I tried to prolong for as long as possible, my glass was empty.  It was a pleasant taste of a lovely new, easy-to-drink whisky, one to be enjoyed by both neophytes and seasoned old lags alike.

At the moment, Brenne is only available in New York City, and while the bottle is reasonably priced, getting it shipped out of state is a touch costly (assuming of course, your state even allows liquor delivery by mail). I attempted to work through a friend and local liquor store owner to procure a bottle, but when that didn’t pan out I bit the bullet and paid the cost.

I’ll soon have my full bottle of the lightly sweet and floral single malt – a perfect dram with which to welcome spring’s arrival.


Picture courtesy of Allison Patel

Published in: on March 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm  Comments Off on Brenne Single Malt Whisky  
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New Whiskies

I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration when it comes to trying new scotches and single malts.  Unfortunately, I’ll miss this year’s Washington DC stop of the Single Malt Scotch Whisky Extravaganza.

Thankfully a friend who also experienced dangerous Middle East drinking emailed me a book recommendation several weeks ago: Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die.  After a few nights of thumbing through it casually, I decided to replenish my dwindling stock.  I hadn’t purchased any new bottles recently, so I was long overdue; I decided two or three bottles would suffice.

It took a few days to find a few minutes to casually browse the liquor store without a toddler or baby in tow, and I finally found that time late on a Sunday afternoon.  And with my trusty notes in hand, I selected the following:

– Highland Park 12 year old

– The Glenrothes Select Reserve

– Bunnahabhain 12 year old

Also on my list was a bottle of Glengoyne 21 year old, which Buxton describes as “glorious old gold…[finishing] quite extended, smooth and warming, with gentle spice hints as it fades.”  My neighborhood ABC Store didn’t carry it, which meant I had to trek into DC to pay my old liquor store in Chinatown a visit.

I’ve enjoyed my new purchases on many recent evenings, in front of the fireplace after the children are put to bed.  A perfect drink for autumn, when evening comes too early and Frankenstorm Sandy comes roaring through the Piedmont.

Published in: on November 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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