PennyPacker Bourbon Review

Would it surprise you to learn that this Kentucky Straight Bourbon was first shipped to Germany for bottling before it made to your local liquor store shelf?

PennyPacker Bourbon Review Header


  • DISTILLER: Heaven Hill then shipped to Borco for bottling and return to U.S. shelves
  • MASH BILL: Undisclosed, but at least 70% Corn
  • AGE: 3+ Years
  • YEAR: 2013
  • PROOF: 80 (40% ABV)
  • MSRP: $20


NOSE: Apple | Rye | Green Oak | Mint

TASTE: Watered Down Apple Juice | Hint of Caramel | Toasted Oak | Mint

FINISH: Peppery bite on the tongue–more than expected based on the proof and watery nature of the juice–with a burn that is subtle yet sustained

SHARE WITH: Non-whiskey drinkers looking to try bourbon out for the first time or perhaps someone who wants to mix a drink without too much bourbon heat.

WORTH THE PRICE: At a suggested retail price of just around $20 it’s not too big of a risk. However, I’ve been drinking some Heaven Hill 6 year BIB that has more flavor and character for half the price. I guess the saying is true that there’s always a better deal if you have time to find it.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Buying a bottle is a safe bet in order to have something on hand for non-bourbon drinkers or those wanting to mix. Definitely not a bottle to keep around for sipping and pondering what the seasons have done to whiskey in the barrel.

OVERALL: Would it surprise you to learn that this Kentucky Straight Bourbon was first shipped to Germany for bottling before it made to your local liquor store shelf?

Check out our PennyPacker video review below and learn a little more about this bourbon’s unique journey to Europe decades ago and why you’re now seeing it on American shelves.


PennyPacker is a characteristic yet mild straight bourbon whiskey, with a palate of smooth vanilla and caramel notes.

Selected mature maize from the fields around the distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky forms the basis of PennyPacker. Three types of grain are used in distillation: Maize, rye, and barley, with the maize content in PennyPacker being an above-average high proportion of 70%. The law states that the maize content in bourbon only has to be at least 51%. To distil this whiskey, we use spring water from the deep, thick limestone strata that run through Kentucky. This water is particularly pure and soft.


PennyPacker is made using the continuous distillation method. This means that the distillation process is a long and uninterrupted one, culminating in the desired full-bodied but pure distillate. This guarantees PennyPacker’s always consistent character and its constantly high quality. Under the provisions of American law, the bourbon is always matured in new barrels made from American oak that are charred from the inside. The charring enables the whiskey to penetrate into the wood more easily, thereby giving it the vanilla and caramel notes that define the character of PennyPacker.

PennyPacker is kept in these barrels for many years, significantly longer than is required by law (statutory maturing time: three years minimum). The cellar master alone decides on the final maturing time, and he gives the bourbon plenty of time. PennyPacker is a straight bourbon whiskey. Only bourbon that comes exclusively from one distillery and is not mixed with bourbons of different origins may bear the designation “straight”.


PennyPacker is available in 0.7l bottles (40% vol.) and is a full-bodied yet mild straight bourbon whiskey, with a strong character and a palate of smooth vanilla and caramel notes. PennyPacker is the bourbon for the young and the young-at-heart, for people who demand quality and authenticity, for those with a yearning for the true beauty of America, the land of unlimited possibilities.

Thanks to its high quality, PennyPacker is especially suitable to enjoy neat. Americans usually drink it “on the rocks”, but also as a long drink or a cocktail. It goes especially well with lime and ginger ale, makes a superb drink with soda and is also excellent in bar favorites such as the Manhattan.

From Bourbon Country comes PennyPacker Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. New to the U.S. Market, PennyPacker is an American-made, hand-crafted Bourbon of high quality with a competitive price.
-Niche Import Co

Disclaimer: A sample of PennyPacker bourbon was provided to us by Niche Import Co. for this review. I appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review the whiskey with no strings attached. Thank you.