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PENNA Dutch Malt Whiskey Review

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A glass of Pennsylvania Dutch Malt Whiskey begins with a sweet burnt sugar and ripe fruit on the nose, followed by a subtle spice flavor that deepens to a lingering dark chocolate and coffee finish.New Liberty Distillery
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PENNA Dutch Malt Whiskey

  • DISTILLER: New Liberty Distillery
  • MASH BILL: 100% Malted Barley
  • AGE: “Aged at least 6 months” – A bit of digging suggests it is comprised of a blend of spirits ranging from 1 ½ to 2 years of age.
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 102 (51% ABV)
  • MSRP: $49.99
  • BUY ONLINE: New Liberty Distillery Spirits locator can be found here.
NOSE: Overripe Plum  |  Barley Mash  |  Caramelized Spice

TASTE: Burnt Sugar | Sweet Bread | Saturated Oak/Cork | Chocolate Malt

FINISH: Long and intense. It starts with a tart chocolate-spice that slowly comes back around to the sweeter stone fruits and cinnamon spice. The new oak is always lurking in the shadows and, despite its higher ABV and younger age, the heat doesn’t distract from the intense flavor of this malt. Even at 102 Proof, it went down with ease.

SHARE WITH: With its 100% malted barley beginnings, the obvious choice would be to share this with your favorite single-malt scotch fan. But I see this as being compatible with a much broader range of whiskey enthusiasts. It’s got the spiciness of rye, a sweet side for the bourbon fans, and a rich, malty Speyside character for the scotch lovers. Probably not the first choice for the die-hard peat heads out there, but the intensity of flavors here should still warrant consideration.

WORTH THE PRICE: Overall, I would say it is. Sure, a few years ago $50 would be unreasonable for a whiskey this young, but with the current state of the whiskey market and the onslaught of so-so craft whiskeys flooding that market, this single malt offering stands out in my opinion.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I have a feeling that once you try it, you’ll want a bottle. That being said, the product locator not only lists the liquor stores that carry the product but even in my small town, lists several local watering holes where you can try it out first… just enter your zip code to see what’s close to you.

OVERALL: This doesn’t happen all too often, but I blurted out a “Wow” as the first sip was still working its way around my palate… without losing a drop, mind you. The intensity of flavor is something you just don’t encounter in your average, every day whiskeys and the char-forward new oak barrels certainly have a say in the final profile. It has a beautiful deep bronze coloring and long, clinging legs that slowly work their way down the inside of the glass. The mouthfeel is surprisingly adequate, and while a little added water does its part to mellow things out a bit, I preferred this whiskey neat, in its full, unadulterated form.

Learn more about Jarrod’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Disclaimer: New Liberty Distillery provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author

Jarrod Lapato


Jarrod, also known as "Mr. Scotch", is relatively new to the world of whiskey. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, he graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Finance and is now living in St. Augustine, FL with his wife and cat. While his career so far has run the gamut from stockbroker to small business owner, Personal Trainer to Acquisitions Specialist for the county, he is currently enjoying a little time off to work on personal projects and explore new opportunities. He has been fine tuning his taste for Scotch Whisky over the past few years and has recently begun to expand his personal whiskey collection to include selections from other regions of the world, with a strong representation of the American made spirits... bourbon and rye whiskies. Hobbies include travel, photography, woodworking, home rehabbing... and working on that never ending whiskey wishlist. Read Jarrod's full profile.