Trader Joe’s Kentucky Bourbon

trader joes kentucky bourbon

To my friends and family, I’m a bit of a Trader Joe’s fanatic. We started shopping there regularly a few years ago when I swore off of high fructose corn syrup (and lost 50 lbs in the process).

Trader’s (as we like to call it) has an interesting liquor section if you’ve ever shopped it. Their “2 Buck Chuck” (or 3 Buck Chuck, or 4 Buck Chuck, depending on the part of the country you live in) is the #1 selling wine in the U.S. If you look carefully at their hard liquors,you’ll also note that they have some budget-priced options that you can’t find anywhere else. Check out the $8 Rear Admiral Joseph’s London Dry Gin, their 100% agave tequila for $20, or their own Blended Scotch Whisky, $12 a liter.

I’ve been eyeing the Trader Joe’s Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey ($14.99) for a while, and finally broke down and bought a bottle. This bourbon is distilled at the elusive “Bourbon Square Distilling Company,” which, if Googled, just points you more reviews of this same bourbon. Some web sleuths uncovered that this bourbon is actually distilled at Barton’s 1792 distillery, one of Buffalo Trace’s brands, which is a huge plus in my book.

This is a sweet-and-spicy bourbon, candy and caramel with a sizzle-and-cinnamon finish, It doesn’t have too much heat, even though it clocks in at 45% ABV. Price-wise it doesn’t taste cheap, which usually translates to a alcohol burn and a lack of complexity. No, this is a nicely balanced and perfectly acceptable cocktail and sipping bourbon, especially at $15 a bottle.

We also tasted Trader Joe’s Kentucky Bourbon on the Simple Cocktails Podcast. Listen here.

 

Podcast 43- Trader Joe’s Bourbon and Mojito

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Babysitter’s Club. Our home away from home. The third space. We know Chris by name. The banana stand. Trader Joe’s in general. “Louisvile.” We drink Trader Joe’s Bourbon. Greg Instagrammed it. Highballs. We make a Mojito. “Jagged pieces of the mint.”

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Podcast 42- Iceberg Flavored Vodkas and Cuba Libre

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Drifters and grifters. Too old for Coachella, but not for flavored vodka. “You start off with gravy and chicken.” Crisp, smooth, or sharp. We taste Iceberg flavored vodkas. “I think of gyros.” Greg’s makes Zucchini Water. Straight man’s cologne? Girl Scouts could sue you. We make a Cube Libre cocktail. A short, bald man.

Download Episode 42.

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Podcast 41- James E. Pepper Rye and Martinez

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Budweiser’s starting a fight: “they poked fun at American youth.” Drinking beers when going out. “I’m a respectable wife Greg.” Greg mentions Pow Wow Botanical Rye. We taste James E. Pepper Rye. We make a Martinez Cocktail (here’s a White version). Not a Lisa-centric episode. “Scotch is on the bottom.”

Download Episode 41.

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Podcast 40- Passion XO Sun and Whiskey to Go

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“Women’s” and “men’s” cocktails. We mention Brenne and Kinky. Albuquerque apocalyptic fog. We taste Passion XO Sun. Mad Men drinking. We make a Whiskey To Go: “like a Whiskey Sour with a little bit of gin.” Greg mentions the Bartender’s Bible. Glitter or marshmallows? “It made my nose flair.” Not our greatest failure. “I don’t like the pressure I’m putting on you.”

Download Episode 40.

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Podcast 39- Charles Tanqueray Birthday Celebration!

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We celebrate Charles Tanqueray’s 205th birthday (March 27) with a special podcast! Motley Crue drinking Jack Daniel’s? The Tanqueray recipes. Not smart enough to be a preacher. 6 of 14. SCIENCE. Smart enough to make a great gin. We drink Tanqueray Malacca. Greg mentions Tanqueray Old Tom too. We make a perfect martini. Greg is not a subtle gentleman.

Download Episode 39.

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James E. Pepper 1776 Rye

jame e pepper 1776 rye

I believe I’ve made it clear here on the blog that I love rye whiskey. The brash cousin to other American whiskies, rye is famous for it’s spicier bite, and many agree that the classic whiskey cocktails are best with rye.

Today we talk about James E. Pepper 1776 Rye from Georgetown Trading Co. If you recall, I’ve also tried Georgetown Trading’s Pow Wow Botanical Rye here at the blog, a unique whiskey-meets-gin flavor profile.

James E. Pepper is spicy even for a rye – it’s very spicy – with cloves leading the flavor and a faint whisper of honey in the finish. 90% of the mash bill is rye, and this is a 100 proof whiskey – it’s like a punch in the throat when sipped neat.

I liked this rye with lots of ice to tame the fiery flavor, and when I started testing this with cocktails (namely, a Manhattan and Old Fashioned), I discovered Pepper to be a pretty great cocktail ingredient – it made for one of the best Old Fashioneds I’ve ever had.

I’ll be straight with you – a whiskey that breaks above 45% alcohol is tough for me to savor without some ice or club soda to tame it down. James E. Pepper needs that, certainly, but as you mix it with other cocktail ingredients, it balances itself out well. For about $30, if you love the burn of a rye spice, you should certainly put Pepper on your short list.

We tried James E. Pepper on the Simple Cocktails Podcast, too. Click here to listen.

Podcast 38- Cathead Flavored Vodkas and a Fiery Cinged Apple

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Kids drinking milk out of martini glasses? The Mississippi vs. New Mexico “rivalry,” outed. “Many martinis.” We drink Cathead Pecan and Pumpkin Spice – I also refer to Cathead Honeysuckle. Are you a Pumpkin Spice person? Starbucks lingo. Toilet papered and egged? Flasks for children. YOU STOP IT NOW. We make a Fiery Cinged Apple cocktail. “I love women.”

Download Episode 38.

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Teeling Irish Whiskey

teeling irish whiskey

Teeling is a very interesting whiskey in several ways. Firstly, the whiskey is distilled from all (or almost all) corn, making it sweet and pleasing particularly to a bourbon drinker. Next, Teeling is finished in rum casks, adding some fascinating flavor elements to the whiskey (Teeling has said it’s their goal to make an interesting Irish whiskey). If you tend towards American whiskeys, this Irish is likely to be very pleasing for you.

When I first tasted Teeling on Instagram, a few people chimed in saying they really like it, and I can see why. Though only available in the U.S. for a year or so, it’s an absolute darling with it’s fans. A 6 year old whiskey, Teeling will run you about $35-40 for a bottle. I’ve enjoyed sipping on Teeling and though it’s wonderful on its own, it also mixes really well in cocktails like the Paddy:

Paddy Cocktail

  • 1 1/4 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash bitters
  • stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Last week, Lisa and I tasted Teeling Irish Whiskey on the podcast.

 

Podcast 37- Teeling Irish Whiskey and a Yellow Bird

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St. Patrick’s Day. Lisa wants a parade. We drink Teeling Irish Whiskey. “Am I drinking this wrong?” How many cross-eyed dudes died? Pee bread. Yellow/yallow? We make a Yellow Bird cocktail. Greg’s an old man. Shaked/shook? Croquet.

And finally, Lisa believes that the proper greeting for St. Patrick’s Day is “Be safe and Happy Holidays.” Wait, huh?

Download Episode 37.

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