Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Penelope Bourbon
Age: 2 Years
Mashbill: Undisclosed blend of wheated and rye bourbons
MSRP: $40 (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. This first batch of Penelope Bourbon is comprised of 6 barrels totaling 1,900 bottles.
The bourbon’s youth is evident as you bring the glass to your nose. Grain, corn, vanilla, and hints of Tabasco make up this lighter and slightly spicy nose. The softness from the wheat along with the lower proof lends to a soft, thinner palate. Vanilla and oak are present along with hints of orange zest and sweet raisins, although you have to really hunt to find them. A dash of light pepper, reminiscent of the Tabasco flavor found on the nose along with a touch of vanilla make up the shorter finish.
There’s no denying that this is a young bourbon as its youth is present throughout. With little distinguishing traits, long time bourbon drinkers will most likely walk away indifferent to Penelope Bourbon. That said, this bourbon seems to be aimed squarely at those new to the world of whiskey, specifically from their choice of marketing as an under 100 calorie pour, to using a wheated bourbon to soften its flavor profile. The end result though is exactly the type of whiskey I’d pour for someone looking to try bourbon for the first time. It’s a light, easy sipper that will make those new to bourbon realize that yes, bourbon can be an approachable spirit that is enjoyable to drink neat or on the rocks.
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.