September 27, 2023 2:55 pm

MGP Ingredients to Acquire Penelope Bourbon

MGP Ingredients announced on May 8th, 2023, that its Luxco, Inc subsidiary has agreed to acquire Penelope Bourbon. This will add to its already growing spirits profile for consideration of between $105 million and $110 million. Penelope will join other brands like Ezra Brooks, Yellowstone, and Remus.

Who Is MGP?

MGP Spirits is a leading distillery in the United States that has produced high-quality spirits for over a century. The company was founded in 1847 as the Lawrenceburg Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. It has a rich history in the production of whiskey, gin, and other spirits.

During the early 20th century, the Lawrenceburg Distillery was a significant producer of whiskey, and its products were highly regarded throughout the country. The company’s flagship product, Old Ripy, was a popular whiskey sold throughout the Midwest and the East Coast.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the distillery continued to grow and expand its product line, producing a wide range of spirits, including bourbon, rye, and gin. The company also became known for its expertise in blending, creating unique and complex flavor profiles, which sets its products apart from the competition.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Lawrenceburg Distillery continued to thrive, and its products gained a reputation for excellence in the industry. However, in the 1980s, the company faced financial difficulties and was forced to file for bankruptcy.

In 1989, a group of investors purchased the Lawrenceburg Distillery and renamed it MGP Ingredients, Inc. The new owners focused on producing high-quality spirits and invested heavily in research and development, to create innovative new products.

In the early 2000s, MGP shifted its focus from producing its branded products to becoming a supplier of premium spirits to other companies. The company’s expertise in blending and distilling made it a valuable partner for many well-known brands, such as Penelope.

Penelope Bourbon is a relatively new player in bourbon, having only been founded in 2018. Despite its short history, the company has quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality bourbon with a unique flavor profile.

The founders of Penelope Bourbon, Mike Paladini and Danny Polise, both had a passion for bourbon and wanted to create a brand that reflected their love for the spirit. They named the company after Paladini’s daughter, Penelope, who was born around the same time the idea for the brand was conceived.

Paladini and Polise set out to create a bourbon that would appeal to casual drinkers and serious connoisseurs. They worked with master distiller, Caleb Kilburn, to develop a unique blend of bourbon that would be smooth and easy to drink while still having a complex flavor profile.

The first batch of Penelope Bourbon was released in 2019, and it quickly gained a following among bourbon enthusiasts. The bourbon was made using a blend of three different mash bills, including a high-rye bourbon, a wheat bourbon, and a barley bourbon, creating a four-grain bourbon. This unique blend is used in the Architect, Barrel Strength, and Toasted Series, giving Penelope Bourbon a flavor profile unlike anything else on the market, establishing its name as a four-grain bourbon.

Since its initial release, Penelope Bourbon has continued to gain popularity, and the company has expanded its product line to include several variations of its flagship bourbon. These include expressions from its Cooper series and the Valencia, Tokaji, and award-winning Rose Cask Finish.

Overall, Penelope Bourbon may be a new brand, but it has quickly established itself as a player in the world of bourbon. Its unique flavor profile and commitment to sustainability has earned it a loyal following. The brand is definitely poised to continue its growth and success in the years to come.

The Merger

In the past years, we have seen acquisitions and mergers in both the spirits world and the world of cigars alike. While this is not the first time MGP has purchased a brand and won’t be the last, I believe this purchase is a solid one for both MGP and Pelelope.

While Penelope has been using MGP spirits in their blends since the beginning, this should position the brand to continue bringing the award-winning expressions already in their portfolio. It will also enable the brand to introduce new expressions to their four-grain and cooper series, which connoisseurs such as myself will be excited to try. 

"Whisky is liquid sunshine."

George Bernard Shaw

“The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude.”

James Joyce

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