Finishing whisk(e)y of any stripe in some other type of cask then what it aged in is a fairly common practice these days across a good part of the industry. Doing so, and doing it well, provides for extra nuances of desirable flavors in the final product. While finishing in the likes of ex-sherry and port barrels is pretty typical, what one has seen maybe just a handful of times is doing so in former rosé wine casks. Such is the case now with a new release from Penelope Bourbon.
The new Penelope Bourbon Rosé Cask Finish, according to those behind it, is said to be one of the first bourbons ever finished in French rosé casks. Distilling from a mash bill of 75% corn, 15% wheat, 7% rye and 3% malted barley, this whiskey was blended from 3 different bourbon mash bills comprised of 4 grains and aged for 2-3 years in barrel. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 94 proof.
Penelope Bourbon Rosé Cask Finish (image via Penelope Bourbon)
“Bourbon is having its moment this year, and to celebrate, we wanted to create something that was completely new to the aisle – something that would pique customer curiosity and allow fans to experience bourbon in an entirely new way,” said Mike Paladini, Penelope Bourbon founder, in a prepared statement. “We hand-selected French Grenache rosé wine casks from the Southern Rhône region because we felt the sweetness of the Grenache really complemented Penelope’s signature four grain blend.
“The finishing process brings forward a distinct rosé flavor that elevates the tasting notes of our namesake bourbon. This is just the first of many limited-run bourbon releases we’re planning to bring to market.”
Plans call for Penelope Bourbon Rosé Cask Finish to be a very limited release of just 2,400 bottles, each pricing around $65 per 750 ml bottle. It will be available this month and is the third expression from this brand, joining the 80-proof Penelope Bourbon, and 116-proof Barrel Strength.
Official tasting notes are outlined below. As an aside, it is suggested that, while this bourbon can be served at room temperature, it might be better enjoyed “chilled, as one would a bottle of rosé.”
Aroma: Candied fruit, caramel and vanilla
Taste: Sweet and refreshing hints of vanilla and viscous cream. Creamy sweetness transitions from the forward notes and into the body, herbal, floral and cream
Finish: Rich leather and good heat with floral and botanical lingering notes
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...