Today Talking Bourbon is tasting Trader Joe’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, yes that’s right, the unique grocery store chain has it’s own Bourbon now. The stores in Indiana do not sell hard liquor, just beer and wine. So TB wants to thank Stacy Van Deman of Van Deman Photography for the bottle. She was down in Kentucky, saw the Bourbon, thought about TB and picked up a bottle. Unfortunately Stacy does not drink Bourbon(crazy) so she can not assist in the tasting. In fact it will just be TB tasting today, no guest.
Trader Joe’s Bourbon is bottled at 90 proof, comes in a short, squat, screw top bottle that sells for around $16 for the 750 ml. Couldn’t find an age statement so assume by the name that it is around 4 years old. As stated above it is not available in Indiana. While it is made by Buffalo Trace, Trader Joe’s insists it is not just the regular Buffalo Trace re-branded, but is in fact a unique item.
TB: A very sweet aroma reminding one of banana taffy and sweetened dried cherries. Not much depth.
TB: Pretty much the same sweetness without the bananas. Pick up the cherries from the nose as well as little wood and caramel. Also get faint traces of a nuttiness and nutmeg. Goes down pretty smooth. Better on the tongue than the nose.
TB: Medium finish with, surprisingly, a little bitterness to it.
TB: While this Bourbon might have benefited from low expectations, for the price it really wasn’t that bad especially if you like your Bourbon on the sweeter side.
Nose 2.5 out of 5
Taste 7 out of 10
Finish 3 out of 5
Total score 12.5 out of 20 barrels.
While the score was not that great, it really was a decent Bourbon. It just doesn’t have much character. Very smooth neat and makes a decent Bourbon cocktail like an Old Fashioned. This would be a nice Bourbon for your non Bourbon drinking friends to try.
All in all, Talking Bourbon would buy it at the aforementioned price, but wouldn’t go out of the way to get a bottle of Trader Joe’s Bourbon.