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Trader Joe's whisky

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Trader Joe's whisky

Postby marstars » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:11 am

Has anyone tasted Trader Joe's whiskies? I recently saw several bottles--Bowmore, Macallan and 3 or 4 more, most 18 years old (but some 11 or 12). They were all between $30 and $40 (in Southern Cal).
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Postby Ganga » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:00 pm

MikeyMad and I have had many of them. Several years ago they had 10 and 13 year old Aberlours ($17). Additionally, we have tried the Macallan 10, 11, 13 and 14; Longmorn 10, and Bowmore 18. Prices generally have ranged from $20 to $40. I believe that my local TJ's (Glendale) has the Bowmore 18, Longmorn 10, Macallan 11, and Macallan 14.

We passed on the Glenlivet 16.

We like the various Aberlour expressions we tried and the Longmorn 10. We'd suggest skipping the Macallan 11.
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Postby mikeymad » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:57 am

To complete the list, here are the bottles that we (ganga and I) have tried: the ratings at the end are out of a best of 5.

Aberlour 10yo 1993 (40%, Brands Development, Trader Joe's collection 1993-2004) R-2.5, M-2.5
Bowmore 18yo (40%, Brands Development, Trader Joes) R-1.5, M-1.5
Longmorn 10yo (40%, Brands Development, Trader Joes) R-2, M-1.5
Macallan 10yo (40%, Brands Development, Trader Joe's bottle - oak cask) R-1.5, M-1.5
Macallan 11yo (40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's) R-0.5, M-0.5
Macallan 14yo (40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's) R-1.5, M-2
Bowmore 13yo 1990 (40%, Duncan Taylor, Trader Joe's collection 90-03) R-1.5, M-2
Speyside 10yo (40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's Speyside) R-1, M-1.5

This is the list of sealed stock (some may be the same as above) that are still in the collection and waiting to be opened.

Bowmore 18yo ( 40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's )
Glen Grant 10yo ( 40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's )
Macallan 11yo ( 40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's )
Macallan 14yo ( 40%, Alexander Murray, Trader Joe's )
Aberlour 10yo 1993 ( 40%, Brands Development, Trader Joe's collection 1993-2004 )
Aberlour 10yo (40%, Brands Development, Trader Joe's collection) R-, M-X
Macallan 10yo ( 40%, Brands Development, Trader Joe's bottle - oak cask )
Aberlour 10yo 1993 ( 40%, Duncan Taylor, Trader Joe's collection 1993-2003 )
Bowmore 13yo 1990 ( 40%, Duncan Taylor, Trader Joe's collection 90-03 )
Macallan 13yo 1990 ( 40%, Duncan Taylor, 1990-2003 Trader Joe's bottle )

Sorry I really didn't sort them.......
Here is a shot of one of the labels.....

Image



Cheers.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:50 pm

Looks like you did not like any of them as the best score I see is 2.5. Is there something I'm missing here???? or is it a combined score giving the aberlour five out of five.

Surely they can't be all 50% and under.
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:40 pm

Nice looking presentation. Trader Joe's usually does a good job with their products, usually buying the lot, lowering their cost, or even buying out the company if they're going under, (or so I've been told), and keeping them going or producing so they can get their own name and production. And their prices are unbeatable. I wonder how these whiskies are??
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Postby mikeymad » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:54 pm

[quote="irishwhiskeychaser"]Looks like you did not like any of them as the best score I see is 2.5. Is there something I'm missing here???? or is it a combined score giving the aberlour five out of five. [quote]

I guess in this case I should share our scale:

5 - Malt O' The Gods :D
4 - Excellent :P
3 - Very Good :)
2 - Drinkable :?
1 - Sucks :(
0 - Undrinkable :evil:
X - Don't remember :?:

A 2.5 is a very respectful score. It is above drinkable and on it's way to being very good. It can still have some flaws and be unbalanced in some ways, but the overall experience is enjoyable. Also you got to remember that most of these are $20USD per bottle. Quality for the price is then very high.

We are looking to rework this into a 10 point scale and eliminate the .5's. We really don't like the 100 point scale of our ratings.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:54 pm

mikeymad wrote:
We are looking to rework this into a 10 point scale and eliminate the .5's. We really don't like the 100 point scale of our ratings.



I'm with you there on a score out of 10.... I could not honestly mark a whiskey out of 100. Too complicated for a muppet like me :lol:

Actually you scoring system is not bad at all.... just we need to be aware of you critera to understand where you are going with it. Now all is clear.

At the end of hte day I score very basically too and I always have the extra and most important bit of info appended to the end of my notes (would I buy again, simple as that really).
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Postby matte » Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:28 pm

Trader Joe's has excellent prices on most of their scotch. But as impressive as a 18 year single-malt may look at $40, the Trader Joe's label isn't neccessarily the best deal they have. I am in agreement with the scoring above.

Macallan 14 yr - $30 - sweet with a nice hint of smoke. Drinkable but not in the "very good" category.
Macallan 18 yr - $45 - pleasant, but not much going on.
Bowmore 18 yr - $40 - smooth sweet peat, more flavor than the Macallan 18, but no really exciting flavors

Based on my experience I'm going to avoid the Trader Joe's labelled scotch. From their shelves I have gotten more enjoyment from some less expensive brand-name selections: Laphroaig 10 ($30), Balvenie 12 ($35), and the Dalmore 12 ($20). They have a Highland Park 12 for $30 which I'm going to pick up today.

Trader Joe's also has Finlaggan (no year given) which is an Islay taken from an unnamed distiller. Tastes like a young Lagavuin or Laphroaig, but a good deal at $15.
Last edited by matte on Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mikeymad » Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:44 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:very basically too and I always have the extra and most important bit of info appended to the end of my notes (would I buy again, simple as that really).


Yeah, that is a little bit of a trick sometimes. We could rate something as 'very good' and not want to buy it again because of the price/value ratio does not work out.

The Dalmore 12yo (OB) is always a buy again for me at $20USD.
The Bowmore 17yo (OB) is not a buy again at $55USD even though it is about the same rating.
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Postby mikeymad » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:10 pm

matte wrote:Trader Joe's also has Finlaggan (no year given) which is an Islay taken from an unnamed distiller. Tastes like a young Lagavuin or Laphroaig, but a good deal at $14.


You are correct, I have not seen that bottle anywhere else. There was a green label and a blue label. It is a young Lagavulin.

They also had 'THE ILEACH' there as well at one point, I got one, and never have seen it again. Also a young Lagavulin.

I agree, even if you don't like their brands it is still a good place to shop for pricing on the other beverages. That is how I keep my Dalmore 12yo in stock.
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Postby sku » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:55 am

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:
mikeymad wrote:
We are looking to rework this into a 10 point scale and eliminate the .5's. We really don't like the 100 point scale of our ratings.



I'm with you there on a score out of 10.... I could not honestly mark a whiskey out of 100. Too complicated for a muppet like me :lol:

Actually you scoring system is not bad at all.... just we need to be aware of you critera to understand where you are going with it. Now all is clear.

At the end of hte day I score very basically too and I always have the extra and most important bit of info appended to the end of my notes (would I buy again, simple as that really).


My scoring goes to 11, Spinal Tap style.
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Postby Drrich1965 » Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:55 am

sku wrote:
irishwhiskeychaser wrote:
mikeymad wrote:
We are looking to rework this into a 10 point scale and eliminate the .5's. We really don't like the 100 point scale of our ratings.



I'm with you there on a score out of 10.... I could not honestly mark a whiskey out of 100. Too complicated for a muppet like me :lol:

Actually you scoring system is not bad at all.... just we need to be aware of you critera to understand where you are going with it. Now all is clear.

At the end of hte day I score very basically too and I always have the extra and most important bit of info appended to the end of my notes (would I buy again, simple as that really).


My scoring goes to 11, Spinal Tap style.


Dude, must be one extra loud malt..singing, talk about mudflaps my baby's got em'
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Postby mikeymad » Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:17 am

sku wrote:My scoring goes to 11, Spinal Tap style.


Way to go SKU, or shall I say Nigel....????

Cheers
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The Trader Joe's Label

Postby jinenjo » Mon May 28, 2007 4:04 am

Did you try any of the others since the posting?

I'm curious about what's currently available. The Trader Joe's labels seem to change frequently. I was interested in trying the Glen Grant, now it appears to be gone from the shelves.

Cheers,
Lear
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Re: The Trader Joe's Label

Postby sku » Mon May 28, 2007 8:04 pm

jinenjo wrote:Did you try any of the others since the posting?

I'm curious about what's currently available. The Trader Joe's labels seem to change frequently. I was interested in trying the Glen Grant, now it appears to be gone from the shelves.

Cheers,
Lear


At my local TJ's, in LA, they currently have Glenlivet, Macallan and Bowmore under their private TJ's label. They used to have Aberlour, but I haven't seen it in a while. This Wednesday, I'm going to do a round-up of some of the obs at TJ's and I was thinking that, at some later point, I'd do a round up of their TJ's label bottlings.

http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com
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Postby Ganga » Mon May 28, 2007 11:40 pm

At various Trader Joe's around LA and out to Palm Springs, they currently have the following:

Bowmore 18 ($40)
Macallan 12 ($25)
Macallan 16 ($30)
Macallan 18 ($45)
Glenlivet 15 ($30)
Glen Grant 10 ($20)

I haven't had the Macallan 12 or the Glenlivet 15 but they scare me. I think that the best quality to price ratio is the Glen Grant 10. The Macallan 16 is only slightly less in quality than the 18.
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Postby Di Blasi » Mon May 28, 2007 11:57 pm

A nice selection and at very reasonable prices it seems!
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Postby Lawrence » Tue May 29, 2007 12:22 am

Ganga wrote:At various Trader Joe's around LA and out to Palm Springs, they currently have the following:

Bowmore 18 ($40)
Macallan 12 ($25)
Macallan 16 ($30)
Macallan 18 ($45)
Glenlivet 15 ($30)
Glen Grant 10 ($20)

I haven't had the Macallan 12 or the Glenlivet 15 but they scare me. I think that the best quality to price ratio is the Glen Grant 10. The Macallan 16 is only slightly less in quality than the 18.


Are these TJ's own labels?
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Postby sku » Tue May 29, 2007 1:04 am

Lawrence wrote:Are these TJ's own labels?


Yes, they are labeled as "Trader Joe's Rare Aged Scotch Whisky" and the label says bottled by Alexander Murray & Co., Broxburn, Scotland.

Has anyone heard of this bottler? A quick Google search doesn't turn up any bottlings by them except those for TJ's.
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue May 29, 2007 1:19 am

In Broxburn they bottle Glengoyne and Glenfarclas at the same facility, I believe. I wonder if the Trader Joe's bottlings are also done there?
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Postby Ganga » Tue May 29, 2007 7:20 pm

It should be noted that all are bottled at 40%.

Amongst the various ones that we've had I would say that there have been the good, the bad and the ugly. The Aberlours and the earlier Macallans were Duncan Taylor bottlings and were quite nice. I don't think Alexander Murray bottlings are that good in comparison.
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Postby mikeymad » Tue May 29, 2007 9:30 pm

Ganga wrote:I think that the best quality to price ratio is the Glen Grant 10. The Macallan 16 is only slightly less in quality than the 18.


I would agree with Ganga. out of the current release I would pick the Glen Grant 10yo over the rest. And with price considerations thrown in, it becomes the buy again beverage.

Cheers,
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Virginia Gentleman » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:06 pm

Has anyone tried the Trader Joe's Macallan 18 and liked it?
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Ganga » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:43 pm

I wasn't offended by the beverage. I just don't care to spend $40-45 on this particular bottle. The one I had was the first issue of the Macallan 18. I don't know if the bottles currently in stores are another batch of Macallan 18.
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby sku » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:56 pm

I so disliked the Bowmore and Glenlivets from TJ's that I didn't try to the Macallan, which is substantially more expensive.

http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2007/09/ ... cotch.html

FYI, Costco now has a Kirkland labeled Macallan 18 year old also bottled by Alexander Murray, which bottles the TJ's 18 year old Macallan. Price at my Costco was $60.
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Ganga » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:53 am

Trader Joe's Highland 10, 40% Alexander Murray

I believe this is a second batch as it tastes different from the first.

N: lemony, earthy, malty, crushed cocoa beans
P: earthy, light maltiness, dried lemon rind, mild dried spices.
F: short, earthy

This one is decent. Not great but you can sit back and drink it
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby pkt77242 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:43 am

Ganga wrote:Trader Joe's Highland 10, 40% Alexander Murray

I believe this is a second batch as it tastes different from the first.

N: lemony, earthy, malty, crushed cocoa beans
P: earthy, light maltiness, dried lemon rind, mild dried spices.
F: short, earthy

This one is decent. Not great but you can sit back and drink it


Any idea what distillery?
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Ganga » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:59 am

Trader Joe's Speyside 18, Alexander Murray 40%, 1993

This one is quite enjoyable. Well worth the coin.

N: malt, white grapes, bananas, coconut, pineapple
P: bready, bananas, oak planks
F: short, banana bread

well, the nose is light and so is the finish. the palate is much heavier.
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Ganga » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:04 am

Trader Joe's also has done a single malt Irish. I thought it was very malty. It was very drinkable. Better than most inexpensive Irish single malts.
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Ganga » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:26 am

pkt77242 wrote:
Ganga wrote:Trader Joe's Highland 10, 40% Alexander Murray

I believe this is a second batch as it tastes different from the first.

N: lemony, earthy, malty, crushed cocoa beans
P: earthy, light maltiness, dried lemon rind, mild dried spices.
F: short, earthy

This one is decent. Not great but you can sit back and drink it


Any idea what distillery?

I'd guess Tomatin but it might be something else.
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby Ganga » Thu May 30, 2013 4:19 am

Picked up the Trader Joe's bourbon...45%

butternut, rye, molasses. Reminds me a lot of the Kirkland small batch bourbon.
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Re: Trader Joe's whisky

Postby whiskgeek » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:45 pm

I just had the 10-year Highland Trader Joe's (40%, Alexander Murray). I also thought it tasted like Tomatin. But it's been a while since I've had any of the younger Tomatins.
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