Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Penelope Bourbon
Age: 2 Years
Mashbill: Undisclosed blend of three bourbon mashbills comprised of four grains (Corn, Wheat, Rye, and Malted Barley)
MSRP: $55 (2019)
Penelope Bourbon was created in 2018 by lifelong friends Mike Paladini and Danny Polise. The name is a nod to Mike’s daughter Penelope. The bourbon is a blend of wheat and rye bourbon mashbills, which are aged separately before being blended and bottled. The bourbon is aged in barrels charred with #4 staves and #2 heads. The bourbon being tasted is from Batch 02. It’s non-chill filtered and released at barrel strength.
Scents of brown sugar, caramel, and baking spices create a pleasing aroma, though a trace of ethanol teases the bourbon’s youth. The palate brings more brown sugar along with blackberries. The intensity ramps up on the sip with baking spice crescendoing towards the end and leading into the finish, where it quickly tapers off. Sweet vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and butterscotch linger.
The barrel strength version of Penelope Bourbon intensifies the flavors while maintaining the overall drinkability found in its 80 proof counterpart, resulting in a significant step in the right direction. While there is certainly an undercurrent of youth that would be expected, the higher proof serves this bourbon well, intensifying the better flavors present. The presence of three bourbons containing a total of four grains seems to soften the overall delivery. All three bourbons in the blend are sourced from MGP and aged at least two years (the two rye bourbons are aged 3 years, and the wheated bourbon is aged 2 years), and the result is well-rounded considering the age, demonstrating both the quality of MGP’s distillate along with the quality of blending that went into creating this bourbon.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Penelope Bourbon. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.