Penelop Toasted Barrel
Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Penelope Toasted Barrel Finish

After wandering around the liquor store for 20 minutes and disgusted with the offerings I decided to look to a co-worker for inspiration. Earlier today he sent me a picture of Penelope Rio which is finished in Amburana barrels. If you know anything about this website I despise weird finished whiskey. I do however have a soft spot for toasted barrels so we grabbed a bottle of Penelope Toasted Barrel Finish.

According to the website, “Penelope Toasted Series is a testament to the power of serendipity. When [they] began to explore toasted finishes, [they] weren’t expecting each barrel to be so different — so [they] decided to embrace this variety of chars and toasts that make every bottle in their Toasted Series truly one-of-a-kind.

After full maturation in charred new American oak barrels, Penelope Bourbon is finished in a new, freshly toasted barrel. While it can be hard to predict the flavor profile of each bottle in the Toasted Series, the deep notes of vanilla imbued by the toasting process add another dimension to the signature flavor profile.

Bourbon Review: Penelope Toasted Barrel Finish
Batch: 23-304
Char: 2 (Heavy)
ABV: 50.0 (100 Proof)
5 Years
Mash Bill:
74% Corn 21% Rye 5% Malted Barley
Distillery: MGP
Location: Lawrenceburg, IN
Bottled By: Penelope Bottling Company
Location: Roselle, NJ

The Nose: Much sweeter then I envisioned with notes of vanilla, honey, caramel and lemon peel. The lemon peel lingers at the end giving a slightly slower nose on the finish.

The Taste: The first sip reveals a thick mouth feel with not a lot of heat at first but a fireball like cinnamon begins to develop that grows in intensity and lingers long after the first sip. It leaves a bit of a bite on the tongue that I opted to wait 20 minutes before taking a second sip. That second sip reveals a lot going on with touches of vanilla, honey, toasted oak and more delicious cinnamon notes. Additional sips of the pour see the addition of lemongrass and on our final sip the toasted oak really stands out.

Conclusion: MGP. It’s a distillery that is polarizing within the bourbon circles. Penelope to their credit isn’t using a specific blend as it believed they use a blend of MGP bourbons before finishing them off in a toasted barrel. The result is a bourbon that does not come off as MGP which is a great thing from where I sit. Since a lot of cigar people follow my blog MGP is the Jose Dominguez of the bourbon industry minus the tax evasion arrest. They have a huge catalog of blends that are sold under various names in catalogs and retailers. It is believed in some cases the same blends have a different label and this is the problem when you source your products versus controlling the production.

With that said this Penelope Toasted Barrel is different but remains traditional as well. My wife who insists on a sip of everything I try, even commented that it was different and I didn’t get my glass back on my second pour. I would definitely  buy this again.

Score: 94
Price: $69.99

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