Trader Joe’s High Rye Bourbon

Trader Joe's High Rye Bourbon

If you find yourself passing through Louisville KY on a Tuesday afternoon, with a few hours to kill and a bunch of little kids, you might be thirsty before or after you visit the truly amazing. Lousiville Slugger Museum, FactorySandy and myself recently found ourselves in this situation. We would like to suggest the Evan Williams Experience?

Seriously. Many distelleries close on Tuesdays. Even fewer are suitable for children. EW is a rare exception. Friendly people, informative tour that is fun and interactive (will even keep kids’ attention for most of the time), with the final tasting of various EW offerings. When compared side-by, the different charcteristics between different bourbons are really apparent. It was quite interesting to see the differences between the smoothness of a base mix barrel offering and the lighter undertones of single barrel. There were a few bottles we bought…

…then we headed to the Louisville TJ’s for more Bourbon, as Kentucky is our home. Why not? TJ’s difficult stuff is not available anywhere.  We bought An old favourite In spirit of adventure, I also selected Trader Joe’s High Rye Bourbon. It’s not a bad deal at $19.99

To compare, I tried the two sides by side. I did that again. This review should be entertaining.

To be truthful, I expected more smoke at 84 proof. The rye variant does not have this level of burn. As I was semi-coughingly reminding myself, the regular ol TJ can. The flavor is much more subtle and even here. However, there’s still a hint of a semifiery undertone. The rye, oh my! As one would expect, there is a lot of it. It’s slowly becoming more appreciated by me. It may taste a bit like hoppy beer, and bourbons with high levels of rye might be more appealing to me. Mix mash here contains 70% corn and 30% of rye. This gives it a grainy, heavy taste that I’m unfamiliar with. Most bourbons contain 10% rye or lower. Some ice helps to soften it and adds sweetness.

Sorry, I have to laugh at the label that states “aged in new charred bars.” This is true for every bourbon. This is like listing Cherrios cholesterol-free. Any bourbon that is to be considered aged in a newly charred bar must meet this legal requirement.

It is meant to be sipped slowly. If I was still interested in cigars, I would imagine them going hand-in-hand. But I haven’t smoked one for years. It was slow going for me. Although it did go down easy enough, at the last I’m not sure if I’ll be making it a point to try more rye Bourbons. I think it’s a drink that I can enjoy and respect for what it really is. However, it doesn’t have to be all I savor. Sandy loves bourbon. But she’s more than willing to take a pass on this one. I think it’s quite decent for the price, especially considering its relatively low (to my knowledge) price. Thank you Pennsylvania, and your government run spirit shops. Overall, I will go with seven.

Bottom line: 7 of 10 Golden Spoons for Trader Joe’s High Rye Bourbon