Kirkland Premium Small Batch Bourbon - 7 year old:

Nose: The nose is very light and crisp. It has scents of honey, vanilla, and a little bit of cherry. Palate: Right up front, I got a big blast of cinnamon. Probably more than I can remember getting with any other bourbon, especially right out of the gate. I also got a good bit of oak in the initial sip. The mouthfeel is pretty light and the finish is moderately long but not terribly powerful. It isn’t harsh or burning but you do feel the heat as it leaves a nice lingering warmth as it works its way down your gullet. I didn’t find the heat too intense, at first. There is a very earthy aftertaste that is slightly bitter. The second sip still had the cinnamon but this time with pepper. The pepper combines with some spiciness in the finish to leave a tingling on the roof of the mouth, near the back. Comments: Yep, Kirkland… in “Costco brand”. As you might expect, mighty Costco doesn’t have their own distillery, so this is sourced. My bottle is a bit older, so it says “distilled in KY”. The Internet thinks that this was sourced at Jim Beam. Newer bottles are apparently sourced in Tennessee, with Jack Daniels being the leading guess (with others saying George Dickel) This clocks in at 103 proof. Much of what I perceived as pepper, may in fact just be the higher proof coming through. It wasn’t my impression, but I’m willing to concede the possibility. Later sips seemed to be hotter than the first few, which I find odd. I seem to remember that this cost somewhere in the $20 range, but I think it may cost more now. While it isn’t bad, I doubt I would pick this as a sipper. Although I haven’t used it for cocktails, I do think it might be mighty fine for that purpose. If it is still in the $20 range, you could do worse to have it around and would do in a pinch if you didn’t have time to hit up a proper liquor store. It would also be a good choice to give guests who you don’t want to drink your better bourbon. But, it could equally serve well as a “camping” bourbon….you get higher proof at a good price and the smoke of the campfire will probably jack up your taste buds anyway.