Wet stone | Moss | Toasted oak | Slightly herbal | Touch of citrus
French oak | Lightly charred french toast | White grapes | Light malt | Faint orange
French oak | Smoke | Charcoal | Touch dry | Lingering pecan pie aftertaste
French oak can be a polarizing taste to some, although there are far more polarizing finishing agents by comparison. Penelope cranks their French oak flavor to an 11 with the use of finishing staves, a process made popular by Maker’s Mark 46. That said, the whiskey doesn’t cross into over-oaked territory despite being incredibly potent. There’s no denying its French oak forwardness, and those who love French oak will have a lot to love here. The proof is nicely fine-tuned, as it could be easy to release this at a higher proof, and combined with its bold French oak flavor, completely overpower its drinker. The restraint shown with the proof allows the French oak much more breathing room, and while its four grain mashbill base struggles to stand out equally, it’s able to provide depth for those who care to look for it. Penelope Architect is a well done stave-finished whiskey that I can see many enjoying for its approachableness and as one of the best releases from Penelope Bourbon so far.