We’re past the halfway mark of the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar, but the deliciousness isn’t slowing down at all – behind window #13 is Brenne Cuvée Spéciale!
You hear a lot of arguments about what belongs on the Christmas dinner table, but frankly, what dessert you’re going to eat feels more contentious, as you can only really get away with eating one. Christmas dinner is about getting all sorts of different things on your plate, so you’re always going to get a few morsels you’re stoked about. Christmas dessert has to be a tactical choice. Which one are you going to try and sneak in? A warm mince pie with brandy butter is classy, but I’ve usually eaten at least three mince pies in the lead up to Christmas, so it doesn’t feel as special. Christmas pudding is an obvious choice, but sometimes you can’t be bothered to go through the rigmarole of setting it on fire, and if that’s the case, what’s the point? Trifle is bad. Stop making trifle. It’s not good. The clear choice is the mighty yule log. It’s decadent. It goes with brandy butter or ice cream, dependent on your palate. It’ll stay good for over a week with minimal effort as you work your way through it. Yule log for everyone!
Now that you’re thinking about postprandial treats, it seems like a good time to open up window #13 of the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar and see what dram is tucked away behind it for us to enjoy after dinner… Today, it’s Brenne Cuvée Spéciale French Single Malt Whisky! This expression is very much a spirit of its environment, being made with malted barley grown in Cognac, matured in new French Limousin oak and Cognac casks, and brought down to bottling strength with water from the Charente river. A wonderful demonstration of terroir within whisky, and simply a wonderful whisky in general. To give us some insight into the goings-on on with Brenne, we were lucky enough to ask its founder and president, Allison Parc, a few questions!
Master of Malt: Having a look at the wonderful Brenne Instagram page, it was awesome to see so much community spirit happening around Brenne even through 2020. Have you been enjoying that?
Allison Parc: More than simply enjoying our community, I use their passion as the fuel to keep us moving forward – especially during the really hard times as so many of us have faced this year. Brenne Whisky is not the most well known whisky brand so those who engage with us have to work a little harder to find us. We do not take that lightly and truly love each and every one of our Brenne friends. It’s been quite special to see how generously our community has worked to stay connected to each other through social media and virtual events during 2020.
MoM: Not only was there loads of community spirit on the Brenne Instagram, but there were plenty of cocktail videos and recipes! What cocktail do you think Brenne works best in?
AP: I think Brenne works best in the classics: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Boulevardier, and Highballs. That said, it’s really a matter of personal tastes so whatever the person who will do the consuming finds most appealing is the most important!
MoM: What’s next for Brenne? Anything exciting we should be looking out for in 2021?
AP: We have a few things that we’ve been working on this year and can’t wait to share! Do follow us @BrenneWhisky on Instagram for the latest!
MoM: Will you be having a post-Christmas dinner dram this year? And if so, what will it be?
AP: Oh absolutely! I love to mark special moments with a glass of Brenne and at the end of a meaningful meal like Christmas dinner, I will likely reach for a bottle of Brenne Ten!
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt
Nose: Vanilla flowers arrive on the nose first, paired with pear drops and dried mango.
Palate: Brandied cherry and red rope liquorice. More vanilla, a hint of cinnamon spiciness and Nutella.
Finish: Chocolate raisins, pineapple and coconut ice.