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.