Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Penelope Bourbon
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 4 Years, 6 Months
Mashbill: Undisclosed blend of 21% rye-based bourbon, 99% corn-based bourbon, and 45% wheat-based bourbon
MSRP: $70 (2021)
Bold smoked cherry | Toasted oak | Hints of jam | Light caramel | Slight ethanol
Sharp rye spice | Cherry | Charred oak | Shows its proof
Big rye spice | Peppercorn | Oak | Light vanilla | Leather | Lingering mouth enveloping heat
Penelope Bourbon is known for their sourcing and blending of MGP bourbon. Their Barrel Strength Toasted Bourbon expands on the company’s barrel strength bourbon series by adding a new, freshly toasted barrel as a finishing step. Each batch is unique in the sense that char and toast level can vary between batches, which is conveyed on every bottle.
The bourbon being reviewed is from Batch 31, which uses a char 5 and medium toast. The sip itself contains prominent flavors throughout, with cherries and rye spice taking center stage. While only 113 proof, this batch tends to drink hotter, and tasting blind, I would have guessed that this was in the 120-130 proof range. It’s this boldness however that holds the bourbon back from differentiating itself from a standard Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon, with its hotness getting in the way. The interesting part in the series of course is that each batch’s char and toast level will produce different results, allowing consumers to hone in on the combination that best suits their palate.