Ah, Trader Joe’s, how we love you. A favorite among the budget-conscious and healthy eaters among us, TJ’s is where you can grab quality produce, earth-friendly skin care products and toiletries without killing your bank account. But did you know you can stock up your liquor cabinet, too? And no, we’re just talking about Two-Buck Chuck. We mean the hard stuff, folks.
Most of you already know Trader Joe’s sells some good liquor brands (including Bulleit, Milagro and Hendrick’s), but some may not know there are also Trader Joe’s branded spirits. TJ’s has managed to have its own versions of everything from scotch to tequila, but there’s still one question: Are they any good? Even for their extremely low price?
To answer that question, we paired up with Crystal Chasse from San Francisco’s Blackbird and Dirty Habit and tasted them one by one. Our first installment is a review of the Single Malt Irish Whiskey 8-Year ($20).
Off the nose, Chasse smelled some candied orange, caramel and a bit of Earl Grey tea. After the first sip, we were surprised—pleasantly! This whiskey is really easy to drink, smooth, tasty and “actually kind of dangerous.” Notes of honey and baking spices come through very clearly, and adding a bit of water brings out a nice fruity taste. If you like your whiskey in a cocktail, this one will work fine in a simple highball.
Verdict: Good, will drink again