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Penelope Flagship Bourbon Review

Newer brands are always some of the most exciting. A new perspective, a new strategy, or whatever it may be usually yields something in the way of a unique whiskey. I previously reviewed the four-grain Batch 6 barrel strength release that was really good which totally piqued my interest in the brand. After talking with Mike Paladini some about his brand and releases some - he was kind enough to send along some samples for further review. I thank him for providing the whiskey for review and allowing me to taste it with no strings attached!


Company on Label: Penelope Bourbon

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: 75% Corn, 15% Wheat, 7% Rye, and 3% Malted Barley

Proof: 80°

Age: 2-3 years

Further identification: This sample was provided to me from Penelope Bourbon


Nose: Caramel forward on first nosing. Voluminous floral funk. Plum with a hint of baking spice behind it. Sharp, shiny citrus is tied well to a bright vanilla bean. Zesty and lively on the nose, this is quite bubbly and excitable despite its lower proof. Malt is apparent now. Slight mint and banana as well. White linens. Reminds me a bit of a hotel because of the slight fresh bed linen characteristic. Hints of shiny copper at times. After a sip the nose opens up to more floral characteristics; rose petals, grenadine and Spring grass develop well. The nose has the feel of Spring cleaning; everything has just bloomed and the windows are all open as you mop the floors to get rid of Winter's salty boot prints. Really lovely experience here on the nose! The empty glass smells of molasses, brown sugar and citrus cleaner.

Palate: Interesting first sip! Light caramel keeps the grains just under wraps on this one. This is the kind of barrel group that got selected 'right on time' where it starts to show that lovely barrel influence. This very light sipper is nuanced with molasses, strawberry cereal, freshly shucked corn and just a touch of oak. This also carries through the citrus characteristic from the nose well. Vanilla char is light and airy. The roof of my mouth is slightly drying as the finish rolls back quickly. Later in the glass some of the chocolate grain does show through; I enjoy the nose on this one a bit more than sipping. My last sip is a subtle medley of cracker jacks, salt, mint, faint whipped cream and lemon peel.


Rating: 3/5

This pour feels like it would drink much better in Spring time, rather than the current Winter weather when I tend to go for higher proofs. I still enjoyed it quite a bit and would recommend it to those who aren't in the barrel-proof-or-bust mentality. I'm sure this being their most approachable, lowest proof and lowest cost option that you'd do well to give it a try for yourself and see if you agree with my sentiments!

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 hard work, 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.



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