Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kirkland Small Batch

What? Costco is making bourbon? Not hardly. From the info on the bottle, I guessed it is relabeled Jim Beam product, since Beam is the only distiller located in Clermont, Kentucky and 'Clear Spring Distilling Company' is what they often use when masking themselves.

But just what product could it be? Calling itself Small Batch and Aged 7 years I was thinking Knob Creek. I'm not familiar with Knob Creek (yet), but I've heard some good things about it. Knob Creek is 8yr bourbon, so it can't be a straight rebranding, and why would Beam undercut one of their better products this way?
I'm guessing it may be some of the Knob Creek product that wasn't aging to expectations, and decided to offer it up to the big box retailer at a steep discount.

One thing can be said about Costco's house branding: they always deliver good value. Not necessarily the finest quality, but always much better quality than you can normally get for the price. Knowing this, I took a bottle home.

The pour: Alcohol content is readily present in the nose. This stuff is pretty strong at 103 proof. It takes a while to sense some caramel, vanilla and a little bit of clove in the background.

Fairly smooth across the tongue, leaving traces of vanilla, corn and oak, a little burnt sugar and a strong annoying burn in the back.

Happily, the burn doesn't linger.

Like Jim Beam's flagship label, it reminds me of southern iced tea. I am not a fan of southern-style iced tea.

Overall, not a bad bottle of bourbon, but it's missing the complex subtleties I expect from a pricier offering: the way the tingle, sweet, heat and burn meet to a complimentary experience.

I would place this one just a little above standard Jim Beam, though, and at a great price: $19.99 for 1 litre.
Yeah, that's right. It's one full litre as opposed to the standard 750ml for bourbons. This is where Kirkland delivers its value, because it's not in the product this time around. It's good enough.

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