Penelope has really popped into the scene recently (at least in New England) and I've been excited to try it for myself. When my cousin came over with a bottle of the barrel strength I knew we had to get into it right away. It has been part of a numerous flights and tastings I've put on since then and thought it was definitely time for a full review.
The Penelope story, from their website:
Penelope Bourbon was crafted and created in a classic American tradition – to celebrate an impending birth of a child. In 2018, Mike Paladini and his wife, Kerry, found out they were expecting a baby girl, Penelope. To commemorate this occasion, Mike quickly realized he wanted to create a spirit that embodied the daily joy of celebrating life’s pleasures – big and small.
Teaming up with his close childhood friend and neighbor, Danny Polise, they set out to discover and produce a Straight Bourbon Whiskey everyone could appreciate and enjoy. A company was born.
Today, Penelope Bourbon is sold in over 23 states nationwide and Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Proving that with enough love and care, and hardwork, anything is possible.
Penelope Bourbon is distilled at MGP's historic Lawrenceburg, Indiana distillery. The distillery was founded in 1847.
Blending and Bottling:
Nestled on 113 acres of rolling hills in a castle that holds more than a century of distilling history, Castle & Key blends and bottles Penelope Bourbon under the direction of Mike Paladini and Danny Polise.
Since 1947, the family owned Speyside Cooperage has produced the finest casks from the best American Oak. Speyside assists Penelope Bourbon in sourcing unique oak casks for Penelope Bourbon finishes.
Company on Label: Penelope Bourbon
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 74% Corn, 16% Wheat, 7% Rye, 3% Malted Barley
Age: 3 years (7 months)
Further identification: This is Batch 6 of the barrel strength releases from Penelope, which sources from MGP
Nose: Pepper, malt and some dark floral notes at the start. Dusty vanilla has a bit of paper characteristics. Creamy caramel. Rose hips. Smooth hibiscus. Really interesting nose to this. Stainless steel and chalky chocolate. Creamy marshmallow has developed now. The empty glass smells of honey, malty oak and nutmeg.
Palate: Yum! A unique kind of caramel to this. I think the floral background changes it a little bit. The palate is rich and still malty with a bit of spice lingering. Subsequent sip is vanilla forward and the linger has grapefruit and molasses - a bit of a strange mixture. The overall feel of this pour is definitely caramel driven, with a plethora of undertones weaving throughout. Bits of cola mixed in now with some flashes of nuttiness as well. Back to floral honey and caramel now. Nice pour that I'm enjoying taking my sweet time with. The last sip is sweet in a homey candle kind of way.
What a unique pour! I loved all the floral characteristics of this. A great change of pace from your typical bourbons, Penelope does some fantastic stuff with this MGP whiskey!