I picked up a bottle of Trader Joe's Rye Bourbon over the weekend. I knew about TJ's wine and beer, but didn't know they did liquor since they can't sell it in Oregon. Found it at a TJs across the border up in Washington where they do sell liquor in grocery stores. It's usually more expensive than in Oregon, but it is pretty impressive to walk out of Costco with a 3L bottle of Grey Goose.. and boutique stuff like the trader joes or kirkland brands don't make it into the Oregon OLCC stores.
This whiskey has a very nice rye kick. The spice almost reminds me of cinnamon, which the only other thing I've had like that was High West Double Rye. I like it on it's own but it also holds up well to mixing. Made an old fashioned with it last night for Repeal Day and the whiskey still was apparent, while other whiskies get lost behind the bitters and sugar water.
It's $19.99 (23 after WA tax) and it comes from a private label distributor in Minnesota so I have no idea who makes it. The label says it's 70% Corn and 30% Rye, so no Malt (barley) at all and it's 42% (84prf). When I tried to google it I found out their "Kentucky Straight Bourbon" was made by Sazarec/Buffalo Trace, but that's a different product, so not sure if this one is the same. Like most Trader Joe's products, someone had some excess inventory (or a couple barrels that didn't match their flavor profile) and off loaded it at a discount. It may be a one off that doesn't happen again.