Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon Review

Penelope Barrel Strength
Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Four Grain
Batch 18
114 Proof
MSRP: $59.99

Please enjoy our Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon Review by Ray Marcano.


Penelope Bourbon launched in 2018 to celebrate the impending birth of CEO and Founder Mike Paladini’s daughter. Penelope distills its product at MGP and has a  private barrel program for those interested.

About Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon

“Bourbon in its purest form.  Penelope 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.” – Penelope Bourbon Website

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Mash bill: (Batch 18)

80% Corn, 8% Rye, 9% Wheat, 3% Malted Barley
Aged 4-6 Years
Uncut, Non Chill-Filtered

*Mash Bill and Proof vary by batch.

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Tasting Notes – Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon Review – Batch 18

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn glass

👉🏻Nose: Light rye, sweet vanilla, cinnamon
👉🏻Taste: More sweet vanilla, cherry licorice, caramel, barrel char/oak
👉🏻Finish:  Cherry licorice, brown sugar, cinnamon, pepper

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I tried Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon late in May at a restaurant and was unimpressed. It had a light taste without a meaningful flavor profile and had none of the punch a barrel-strength bourbon should. Then, about a week later, a package arrived from Penelope with a sample of the Barrel Strength. The sample reminded me not to dismiss a bourbon on first taste. This is a sweeter version and its hints of candied sweetness complimented the heat at the end. 

Conclusion —- Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon Batch 18 Review

Since it was so much better the second time, I’ll now buy a bottle to see how an off-the-shelf compares to the sample, which is a more apples-to-apples comparison. Who knows whether the restaurant version suffered from bottle shock or some other malady? If you’re a fan of Penelope, you’ll like this.

Have you tried Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Review by Ray Marcano. Ray publishes a free monthly newsletter, The Bourbon Resource. You can subscribe here. Would you like to read about other Penelope whiskeys? Then check out Ray’s Penelope Tokaji Cask Finish Rye Review and his Penelope Architect Bourbon Review!

Note: This bourbon sample was graciously provided by Penelope Bourbon without any special consideration.

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Ray Marcano
Ray Marcano
Articles: 28
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