Old Pepper Small Batch Single Malt (Batch SM018)


Classification: Single Malt

Company: James Pepper Distilling Co.

Distillery: James Pepper Distilling Co.

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 100

Age: 3 Years

Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley

Color: Light Amber

MSRP: $55 / 750mL (2023)

Official Website


Strawberry | Whipped cream | Saltwater toffee | Pecan


Cherry | Nectarine | Kiwi | Honey | Light oak


Malt | Cranberry | Cherry | Burnt sugar | Oak | Lingering malt & cherry note


Consisting of an appealing array of fruit flavors, this is a single malt many will find quite approachable.

The Old Pepper Distillery is rich with history. Assigned DSP-KY-5, its roots date back to 1780 when the distillery was first established. James E. Pepper was a third generation distiller and operated the distillery until 1939, when he passed away. In 1958, the distillery fell on hard times and shut down. In 2008, Amir Peay of Georgetown Trading Co. acquired rights to the brand and began efforts to bring it back to life. Up until recently, their whiskeys have been sourced from MGP in Indiana, but the company has recently started to transition to their own distillate.

Many new to American-made malt whiskeys tend to initially struggle with their overt malty taste. This malt forwardness is to be expected as the majority are 100% malted barley, but the deeper issue is many don’t offer much flavor variation beyond this. At only 3 years old, Old Pepper Small Batch Single Malt has managed to skirt this problem. While still malt-forward, it doesn’t burden itself with maltiness and offers an array of fruit flavors in conjunction. It’s hard to describe the sip as gentle or potent and instead finds an approachable middle ground. Oak also plays its part where it is often absent with many malts, and helps ground the whiskey. Old Pepper is certainly on their way to a great tasting single malt as a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done to bring a wealth of flavors to its sip. All it needs now is a little bit more refining to round off some of its hard edges and Old Pepper looks to certainly have a noteworthy single malt on their hands.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

January 29, 2024
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