Tonight we have the latest Barrel Strength release - Batch 8 - on deck. I previously tasted the four-grain Batch 6 barrel strength release which is what actually got me into the Penelope brand in the first place. This sample comes from a trio of the latest releases from Mike Paladini alongside the flagship bourbon and a sample of one of the private releases I am also excited to try soon. I thank Penelope Bourbon for providing the whiskey for review and allowing me to taste it with no strings attached! I love that the mash bill subtly varies between releases with different proportions of each input MGP mash bill varying slightly.
From the "Your-Nightcap" section of the Penelope website:
Barrel Strength pushes the boundaries of our signature four grain balanced flavor profile. Each batch is blended from three bourbon mash bills aged in new American oak barrels and completely uncut and non chill-filtered. Each barrel was hand selected and blended into a single batch in order to create this unique offering.
Company on Label: Penelope Bourbon
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 74% Corn, 16% Wheat, 7% Rye, and 3% Malted Barley
Age: 3 years (A blend of 3.5-5 year barrels)
Further identification: This sample of Batch 8 was provided to me from Penelope Bourbon
Nose: Dusty oak, pepper, caramel, and a slight citrus greet me well. Everything feels well balanced with intense scents that come off soft and sweet. White linen, cherry skins and lilac smells very nice. Caramel feels like the strongest note here and it's slightly salty and bright. Slight peanut brittle presents very dusty. Post sip the nose is hotter with sharp vanilla and oak-soaked peach marmalade. Mellow, dusty caramel returns later in the glass. The empty glass smells of starchy, smoky caramel, angostura bitters and malty oak.
Palate: A small first sip comes across as chocolate covered peanuts. There's a touch of raisin and plum that layers in after as well that produces a lovely arc of flavors. A longer chew is a little more fruit forward and tannic with a flash of cinnamon spice at the end. The center of the tongue tingles with baking spice as creamy sweet fruit settles into the corners of the mouth. Incredible tasting subtle nutty characteristics linger well. On a swirl vanilla begins to dominate as cherry oak settles into fruition. Late in the glass things are feeling really solid - your typical vanilla and caramel are ruling the roost while more fruit parfait and pecan pie build. My last sip is sweet and tart like a mulled wine with allspice and pepper on the tongue lingering. The finish is long and enjoyable with chocolate malt powder, cranberry sauce, and sweeps of soft floral notes.
This drinks a clear cut above the flagship bourbon for me, as someone who definitely is guilty of enjoying higher proof pours more. I'd anticipate this drinking really well for someone who enjoys Four Roses Single Barrel Barrel Strength releases, or some of the sweeter Booker's batches. Let me know what you think of this batch if you've tried it!