Barrel Proof | Craft Distilleries | Penelope Bourbon | Review

Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon Review

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Dec 6, 2020


by Matty Sims

Disclaimer: The whiskey reviewed was furnished for free courtesy of the spirit distiller. The distillery did not pay us for this review. This review is our honest and unbiased opinion based soley on how the spirit tasted.

Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon delivers the goods. I treat bourbon like I do books. If a book promises something at the beginning, I want to know does it fulfill that promise by the end. Never judge a book for not being something it never intended to be in the first place. Bourbon is the same. Penelope’s site says, “Whether you’re after a lighter, full-flavored bourbon to sip neat or something to use in your favorite cocktail, Penelope Bourbon is a great place to start.” Based on that, Penelope archives exactly what it intended.

Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon is both light and refreshing. Something as I mentioned below I could easily see myself sipping neat in the summer or maybe a cube or two of ice. But it’s also full-flavored and balanced. So bravo to the distilling team at Penelope they’ve crafted something that’s delicious and kept their promise by the end of the sipping experience.

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Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon (Batch 5) Review

Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon

Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon
Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength BourbonDetails
In the Bottle116 Proof
Distilled and Aged3 – 4 years in Lawrenceburg, IN
Char #4 Staves, #2 Heads
StyleBlend of 3 bourbon mash bills comprised of four grains (Corn, Wheat, Rye, and Malted Barley), Non-Chill Filtered, & Barrel Strength
Release DateBatch 5 (2020)
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$64.99
DistilleryPenelope Bourbon
ProsBalanced Nose with Sweet and Heat
ConsPalate Slightly Muted
AvailabilityReadily Available
RatingSilver 🥈 91 out of 100 points
InventoryKeep Stocked
AwardsDouble Gold Medal Winner - 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Awards
Buy OnlineMash & Grape

According to Penelope Bourbon,

Barrel Strength pushes the boundaries of our signature four grain balanced flavor profile. Batch 5 is blended from three bourbon mash bills aged 3 – 4 years 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.


  • Double Gold Medal Winner – 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Awards
  • 93 Points – Wine Enthusiasts
  • 2020 Sip Awards Platinum
  • 92 points – The Tasting Panel Magazine

Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon In the Glass

Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon provides medium coverage coating my Glencairn whiskey glass with ribbons like a heavy curtain. The color is amber and gold.

Nose Dive – 92 points

I’m enjoying this nose. It’s got creamy vanilla pudding, cherries, strawberry, and just a hint of cinnamon. This nose suggests this might be a barrel strength bourbon you could drink neat on a hot summer day. The nose balances the four grains and bourbons blended to achieve harmony.

Taste – 89 points

The front of the palate is all fruit sweetness then transitions to balanced oak and white pepper spice. I also get pops of subtle butterscotch and vanilla. There’s a toasted oat note.

Finish – 91 points

The finish has the same flavor profile but the sweetness is less pronounced, and it lingers but it’s not overpowering. It’s a delicate (in some ways) but long finish.

Also, white pepper isn’t present. It’s more baking spice, brown sugar with just hints of the fruit from the nose and palate.

Verdict – Silver 91 out of 100 points

The Bard Silver 300px

I’m not sure what my expectations were exactly but I was blown away by Penelope Barrel Strength Bourbon. I love the balance between sweet and spice and the finish was more than enjoyable. I’ve had it less than a week and have 1/3 of the bottle left. That should tell you all you need to know.

This is a barrel strength bourbon I will be keeping stocked in my bourbon lineup from here on out. Pro tip: you can buy Penelope Four Grain Barrel Strength Bourbon at Seelbach’s.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.

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