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Mar 28, 2011 11:51 AM

Anyone tried Costco's 7 year old small batch Bourbon?

I did, and it's pretty darn good, especially for the price ($19.99 for a 1 liter bottle at my location). Bottled at 103 proof, I noticed a nice toffee caramel nose with a warm, slight coconutty flavor. It was actually reminiscent of a less intense version of the George T. Stagg I have. I'd put it a notch above Knob Creek, a notch below maybe Booker's. Still, for twenty bucks, I'm a believer.

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  1. I have not but one of my friends just wrote about it in his blog a few days ago:

    1. First off, "small batch" is a hint that it comes out of the Beam distillery, which uses the phrase to describe their premium-label whiskeys ( ). But you don't really need hints when the feds provide express confirmation ( ).

      It's my understanding that all Beam bourbons except Basil Hayden's share the same mash bill. That's not to say that Booker T. Noe ("look, Ma, it comes with its own coffin!") is the same as Jim Beam White. But there's a certain family resemblance there - if they're not siblings, they're certainly cousins. The differences are attributable to time in wood and bottle proof.

      I've only tried the Kirkland whiskey once, and not in a serious tasting environment. Also, it was before I started trying to figure out who made it, and there was nothing to compare it to. Still and all, my guess was that was related to Knob Creek, a Beam product with which (ahem) I have a passing familiarity. Some time soon I'm going to buy a bottle of the Costco stuff and a bottle of Baker's (same age, similar proof) and try them side by side.

      Since the Costco stuff is $20 and Baker's is $45+, it seems like a smart bet to make. Worst case scenario, I've got a mid-priced bottle of bourbon to use in Manhattans. And if the flavors are as similar as I expect them to be, I'll have a Baker's bottle I can decant the Kirkland stuff into before I serve it to my guests. ;-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: alanbarnes

        Bought a bottle of the Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon and tasted it side-by-side with a miniature of Baker's. They're indistinguishable to me the others who joined in the exercise. At 103 proof and 107 proof, respectively, they're both a little hot when sipped neat. Add touch of water and they open up beautifully. Maybe a couple of extra drops of water in the Baker's would make them absolutely identical. Or maybe I'm deluding myself.

        Long story short, this is the best $15 bourbon out there (price adjusted for size - it's $20 for a liter bottle). If you enjoy the Beam "small batch" whiskeys, you owe it to yourself to get some of this stuff.

      2. I picked up a bottle of this tonight, and I totally agree with your assessment. Pretty similar to Knob Creek but bottled a bit younger and at a slightly higher proof. A fantastic deal at $20/liter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          I've thought that Knob Creek is just Jim Beam Black aged another year (KC 9 yr, JBB 8 yr). Any idea if this educated guess has any merit? Also, does that mean Bakers is just JBB one year younger?

          Also, a reminder that, at least in Massachusetts, you do NOT need to be a member of Costco to buy booze there.

        2. It's Beam, it's cheap and it's good.

          1. Tried this last night and tasted it side-by-side with Knob Creek. It's definitely the same family, and it's smooth enough to sip (maybe with an ice cube). A really solid deal, I think.