Here at Bourbon & Banter, we love our bourbon, but we also embrace whiskeys made all over the world. Today’s post should appeal to the single malt lovers among our readership. Instead of heading to the Scotch aisle we are looking across the channel to Brenne French Single Malt Whiskies, specifically Brenne Ten.
I’ve already reviewed their Estate Cask single barrel but for review purposes, Brenne is a seed to spirit whisky produced in Cognac, France. The barley is grown by the distillery that makes it. It is then fermented and distilled in a way similar to cognac. They use colder, small-batch fermentation and twice distil on a copper alembic still. The Estate Cask is then aged in new Limousin oak barrels before it is finished in used cognac barrels.
The Brenne Ten, released in 2015, is a ten year old blend of four different barrels. Two are aged entirely in used cognac barrels, one is aged in a new toasted French oak barrel, and one spent time in both.
Brenne Ten French Whisky Review
Name: Brenne Ten French Single Malt Whisky
Proof: 96 proof / 48% ABV
Age: 10 years
How I Drank It: Neat, in a Glencairn Whisky Glass, then with a few drops of water.
Nose: A very light nose with hints of coffee and cherries.
Taste: For as subtle as the nose was, the first sip packs a lot of flavor in right away. A ton more butter and mouth feel in the ten year than in the standard Brenne. I get a lot of sweet raisins and vanilla on the top layer of flavor, with a strong foundation of caramel, oak, and nutmeg just underneath. The French oak and cognac flavors come through.
The Burn: A deeper and more satisfying finish on this one. The higher proof pays off well. The burn reaches further down the throat, and the flavor that lingers is a more complex and representative of the initial taste.
Neat, Splash or Rocks: Once again I skipped the rocks test and just added a few drops to my sample. Oddly the water in this one seemed to bring out more of the fire and less of the sweet notes. Neat is the way to go.
Bottomline: This was a more full-bodied and complex whisky than the standard Brenne, and so I enjoyed it a lot more. Between the Brenne Estate Cask and the Brenne Ten, I would say that the extra $40 is worth the splurge.
Disclaimer: Special thanks to Brenne for providing Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their whisky. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their product with no strings attached.