yrup in my coffee? Why didn't I think of that?"
That's one of those sneaky underrated lines from Elf, our favorite Christmas movie. In fact, it's repeated quite often in our kitchen on those few mornings where Sandy and I have enough time and peace to enjoy a cuppa joe together. Especially because...you guessed it...from time to time we put maple syrup in our coffee. It's actually pretty good in place of sugar if you've never tried.
Of course, if you're familiar with the movie, that's not maple syrup Buddy's putting in his mug there...go with me and let's say it's bourbon. In the movie, hilarity ensues. For us, it raised the question: what would bourbon flavored maple syrup taste like?
No more guessing for us! We finally caved and bought Trader Joe's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. I say "caved" because we've been tempted often, but let's just say as a growing family we're somewhat value conscious, and $9.99 for a little bottle of maple syrup seems to be more aligned with luxury than necessity.
Not that it's a terrible price for quality maple syrup, given the cost factors that go into production, but it's worth a mention.
Anyways, as someone more acquainted with the darker amber and more maple-y flavor depths of Grade B maple syrup, it really struck me at first how light and super sugary sweet the TJ's borubon maple syrup is. It's a big step to Grade A. Wow. I could almost feel a cavity forming after my first taste. But once that shock wore off, the subleties of sweetness here began to come out a bit. It's kinda like a layered effect, and I'm not sure how to describe it except there's like these micro ebbs and flows with how sugary sweet this particular syrup is.
And there's a legit bourbon presence as well. It seems to slip in, about halkway thru, and provide like this little flourishing underpinning. It's quite delicious and seems to meld nearly perfectly with the sugary high notes. I will say that the bourbon is less apparent when sampled with things like pancakes and waffles - damn carbs soak up all that booze, it seems.
And yes, it works well in coffee. And better than bourbon barrel coffee too.
Leave the kids with Aunt Jemima or whatever - this is some pretty decadent syrup to not let go to waste. Savor and enjoy. At least that's what we're trying to do and ration out, as now our maple syrup line item on the family budget is tapped out for a bit...I kid. Good stuff, give it a try. Just wish there a Grade B version. Matching fours from me and the wife.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons