Why Trader Joe's Bourbon Could Be A Smart Buy For Your Home Bar

When you think of Trader Joe's, you may think of signature products like Everything But the Bagel Seasoning or the organic grocer's new ube products. line. But, if it isn't already, the grocery chain's alcohol section should be on your radar. We're not just talking about TJ's wine, either — we're talking about bourbon. (Yes, really). In a perhaps surprising turn of events, the organic grocery store is here to provide for all your Old Fashioned needs.

According to Liquor Laboratory, bourbon is required by law to be produced in the United States, and the majority is produced in Kentucky. Bourbon is an elite product that usually boasts a price tag to match, per The Daily Beast. In fact, that liquor accounts for a $9 billion industry in Kentucky alone, says the Kentucky Distillers' Association. Trader Joe's Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey is aged for at least five years, ranking it among the best budget bourbons available at just $16.99 per bottle, according to The Seattle Times. It seems like what's really in your signature Manhattan might have just gotten a whole lot cheaper, even in your bar at home. Whether you're mixing up a Mint Julep or enjoying a simple sip of bourbon over ice, you might not have to splurge on spirits anymore, after all. Here's why Trader Joe's bourbon could be a smart buy for your home bar.

Reasonable quality for a reasonable price

TJ's bourbon is brewed at Barton distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky (also owned by bourbon-giant Sazerac, per Gear Patrol). Trader Joe's bourbon is 125-proof, which is also known as "Barrel Entry Proof" or "Full Proof." Spirits reviewer The Bourbon Culture describes the taste as fruity, with notes of peach and cherry, before shifting toward more rye-heavy gingerbread and brown sugar flavors. (The outlet gives TJ's Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey an overall rating of 7.6/10. Not too shabby.)

Seattle Times food writer Tan Vinh describes TJ's bourbon as "a surge of maple syrup followed by some spice notes and tea leaves." Vinh also recommends it for mixing into your best bourbon cocktails. Paul Clarke, executive editor of bartending publication Imbibe Magazine, similarly praises the budget spirit as "everything you look for in a basic bourbon," via The Seattle Times. "It's not going to blow bourbon connoisseurs away, but it's perfectly serviceable for everyday drinking."

So, the next time you reach for that rocks glass to make yourself an evening aperitif (or simply enjoy a sip straight-up), keep Trader Joe's in mind. Your wallet — and maybe your palette, too — just might thank you.