Penny Packer Bourbon

penny packer bourbon and commodore cocktail

Imagine a bourbon that you can’t buy in the United States, but has been the biggest bourbon brand in Germany. Confused? Let’s try to explain this: the Penny Packer brand was developed in the 60’s and, as required by law, distilled and aged in the United States. Then, all of this particular bourbon was exported to other countries for decades. That’s how it got huge in Germany, apparently.

Now it’s 2014, and you can buy this decades-old bourbon brand the the U.S. All caught up? Good. Penny Packer is inexpensive, running just over $20 a bottle, and there’s even a $5 rebate if you buy before the end of 2014.

Penny Packer is a good bourbon for the price. It avoids the alcohol “hotness” that inexpensive liquor can have. It’s somewhere in the middle on the sweetness scale. Certainly not as sweet as Maker’s Mark, but not as spicy as Bulleit can be. This is going to sounds strange, but I kept drinking Penny Packer over the course of several weeks to figure out why (or ever if) I actually liked the stuff. I think I can say that if you prefer your whiskey to be balanced between spicy and sweet, this will be a fun one to try, and for the price, why not? It’s balanced, and (sorry) cheap, so it’s a worthwhile purchase.

Here’s a bourbon cocktail you can try with it:


  • in a shaker filled with ice, combine:
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz white creme de cacao (chocolate liqueur)
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 dash grenadine
  • shake and strain into a champagne flute
  • garnish with a lemon wheel

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