Classification: Bourbon Finished in a Krogh’s Stout Beer Barrel
Company: Milk Street Distillery
Distillery: Milk Street Distillery
MSRP: $68 (2019)
Milk Street Distillery was launched by brothers Mike and Gordon Geerhart in 2016. Located Branchville, New Jersey, it is the first distillery in Sussex County in over 70 years. War Penny Bourbon consists of a mashbill of undisclosed percentages of corn and rye, with a portion of that grain steeped in cherry wood smoke over the course of 36 hours. Aged until the brothers deemed it ready, the bourbon is then finished in beer barrels of varying styles from local breweries for an undisclosed amount of time. This variation of beer barrels allows War Penny to have a continuously changing flavor profile. The top of every bottle of War Penny Bourbon is adorned with a real 1943 steel penny.
The nose opens with a strong dash of smoke, sweet malts, youthful grain, and a sweet marshmallow notes. The sip is thin yet flavorful delivering flavors of smoked corn, chocolate malt, pepper, and a dash of rye spice. The bourbon finishes on notes of chocolate, pepper, rye, and toasted marshmallow. The inclusion of steeping in cherry wood smoke and finishing in beer barrels is readily apparent throughout the entire sip.
This bottle of War Penny Bourbon deep down comes across as a young whiskey. However due to the fact that some of its grains have been cherry smoked, and that it was finished in a stout barrel, that youth is masked well and features flavors typically not found in young whiskey. I’d best describe this as a beer drinker’s bourbon, and one that would be a nice introduction to those rooted in the beer world who would like to dabble in the world of bourbon.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Milk Street Distillery. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.