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All About Penelope Bourbon - Information, Reviews, Availability

Tue, Sep 26, 23

Penelope Bourbon History

The heartwarming story of Penelope Bourbon began with a joyful revelation – the expectation of a baby girl. In 2018, Mike Paladini and Kerry, his wife, discovered they were soon to be parents. To commemorate this life-changing event, Mike and his childhood friend and neighbor, Danny Polise, set out to create a bourbon that would encapsulate the simple pleasures of life. The result? Penelope Bourbon, a brand born out of love, care, and hard work.

Distillery Partners

Behind Penelope Bourbon's exceptional taste are its partners:
  • MGP Ingredients, Inc.: Penelope Bourbon is distilled at MGP’s historic Lawrenceburg, Indiana distillery. The distillery was founded in 1847.
  • Bardstown Bourbon Company: Operating one of the most sophisticated distilleries in the country, with a focus on transparency — all open spaces and clear glass — putting the science and craft of whiskey-making front and center for all to see.
  • Speyside Cooperage: 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

Understanding Penelope Bourbon’s Core, Cooper, and Limited Series Expressions

Penelope Bourbon offers a range of expressions, each with its unique flavor profile:
Penelope Toasted Series Bourbon
Embracing the art of serendipity, the Penelope Toasted Series matures in freshly toasted barrels, adding layers of vanilla to the signature flavor profile. Whether you prefer a Heavy Toast or Medium, there's something for everyone.
Review by Breaking Bourbon
Penelope Barrel Strength Toasted Bourbon (Batch 31)
Nose: Bold smoked cherry, toasted oak, hints of jam, light caramel, slight ethanol.

Palate: Sharp rye spice, cherry, charred oak, shows its proof.

Finish: Big rye spice, peppercorn, oak, light vanilla, leather, lingering mouth-enveloping heat.

Overall: Penelope Bourbon's Barrel Strength Toasted Bourbon, Batch 31, offers a unique experience with each batch showcasing different char and toast levels. This specific batch, with its char 5 and medium toast, features prominent cherry and rye spice flavors. However, the boldness might overshadow its distinctiveness. The beauty of this series lies in the variety of profiles, allowing consumers to find their preferred combination.

Read the full review here
Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon
This expression pushes the boundaries of Penelope's four-grain balanced profile. It's uncut, non-chill-filtered, and offers a bold experience for true bourbon aficionados.
Review by Breaking Bourbon
Penelope Bourbon Barrel Strength Batch 12
Nose: Heat, seasoned oak, stone fruit, vanilla, spicy kick.

Palate: Black pepper spice, Honey Nut Cheerios, caramel, rush of spice, punchy.

Finish: Stone fruit, touch of leather, rye spice, very long.

Overall: Penelope Bourbon Barrel Strength Batch 12, with its bold flavors and a proof just under 114, caters to lovers of spicy bourbon. This flagship barrel-proof bourbon demonstrates Penelope's consistency in blending multiple MGP mashbills. The combination of sweet, fruity, and savory notes, accentuated by spice, makes for an enjoyable and robust bourbon.

Read the full review here
Penelope Rio Bourbon
Inspired by the vibrancy of Brazil, Rio delights with a double cask finish of American honey and Brazilian oak. It's a carnival in a bottle, rich and sweet with surprising depth.
Review by Breaking Bourbon
Penelope Rio (Batch 1)
Nose: Honey graham cracker, cinnamon, burnt orange rind, toffee, nicely expressive.

Palate: Honey, Greek baklava, nutty, sweet & savory.

Finish: Graham cracker, cinnamon stick, cream soda, roasted malt, light cigar box, lingering lavender honey cookie aftertaste.

Overall: Penelope Rio combines two popular finishing styles - honey and Brazilian amburana. It offers a rich honey sweetness balanced by amburana's strong finish. The combination results in a unique and inventive flavor profile, making it approachable even for those new to amburana finishes. Penelope's Cooper Series shines with this creation.

Read the full review here
Penelope Architect Bourbon
Crafted with the precision of an architect, this expression utilizes French oak staves and innovative OakScan® technology from Tonnellerie Radoux of France. The result? A precise and unforgettable flavor profile.
Review by Breaking Bourbon
Penelope Architect Straight Bourbon
Nose: Wet stone, moss, toasted oak, slightly herbal, touch of citrus.

Palate: French oak, lightly charred french toast, white grapes, light malt, faint orange.

Finish: French oak, smoke, charcoal, touch dry, lingering pecan pie aftertaste.

Overall: Penelope Architect showcases the bold flavors of French oak, enhanced by the use of finishing staves. Despite the potency of the French oak, the whiskey is well-balanced, not crossing into over-oaked territory. It maintains a fine-tuned proof, allowing the French oak to shine. While the four-grain mash bill base doesn't stand out as strongly, it provides depth for discerning palates. Penelope Architect is a well-executed stave-finished whiskey, one of Penelope Bourbon's standout releases.

Read the full review here
Penelope Four Grain Bourbon
Named after Mike's daughter, Penelope Four Grain Bourbon is their signature straight bourbon whiskey, perfectly smooth and flavorful for sipping or mixing.
Review by Breaking Bourbon
Penelope Four Grain Bourbon
Nose: Youthful with grains, corn, vanilla, and subtle tabasco hints.

Palate: Soft and thin with vanilla, oak, faint orange, and elusive raisin notes.

Finish: Short with light pepper and vanilla.

Overall: Penelope Four Grain Bourbon is a light, beginner-friendly bourbon, perfect for those new to whiskey. Its youth and mild character make it approachable for sipping neat or on the rocks.

Read the full review here

Penelope Private Barrel Bourbon Program: 

A unique and one-of-a-kind experience for whiskey aficionados, Penelope's Private Barrel program allows you to select your exclusive small batch blend or single barrel, all while becoming a part of the Penelope family. 
Nick's Pick: Penelope Architect Single Barrel Bourbon
Don't miss our exclusive Penelope Architect Single Barrel Bourbon, known as "Nick's Pick." This unique expression features a mash-bill of 99% corn and 1% barley. It is available both in-store and online ONLY at Pascale’s Liquors in Liverpool, NY.

Penelope Distillery Acquisition by MGP News

In a significant development, MGP Ingredients, Inc. is set to acquire Penelope Bourbon, a premium American whiskey brand known for its exceptional craftsmanship and remarkable range of whiskeys. Founded in 2018, Penelope Bourbon has quickly risen to prominence in the premium-plus whiskey market, earning numerous awards and accolades. This acquisition aligns with MGP's strategy of focusing on high-quality, premium brands that contribute to gross margin accretive expansion. Under the terms of the agreement, MGP's subsidiary, Luxco, Inc., will acquire 100% of Penelope Bourbon LLC, including all intellectual property and inventory. The initial consideration for the acquisition is $105.0 million in cash, with the potential for further contingent consideration of up to $110.8 million by December 31, 2025, based on performance conditions. This acquisition is expected to enhance MGP's presence in the American Whiskey category and leverage its distribution platform to expand the reach of Penelope's exceptional whiskeys, marking an exciting new chapter for both companies.

Read the full press release from MGP here


Penelope Bourbon is more than a whiskey; it's a testament to the power of dreams and hard work. From its heartwarming origin story to its diverse expressions, Penelope has captured the essence of celebrating life's moments. Whether you're a whiskey connoisseur or just beginning your journey, Penelope Bourbon offers something extraordinary.

For inquiries on our wide selection of Penelope Bourbons, visit us in Liverpool at Pascale’s Liquors at 7401 Oswego Road, Liverpool, NY 13090, or contact us at (315) 701-0781.

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By Alden Morris