Western Gold Bourbon Review

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By Richard Thomas

Rating: C-

Western Gold

Western Gold Bourbon
(Credit: Lidl)

Thanks to Jim Murray, generic supermarket whiskeys have been getting more attention in the last couple of years, and some have shown themselves to be very economical, good value buys. With that in mind, I decided to tackle a bourbon I have heretofore seen stocked only by Lidl, Western Gold.

I did so with some misgivings, however, based on my knowledge and what I saw on the label. First, I kept in mind that what constitutes “bourbon” outside of the United States isn’t the same thing as at home. Early Times, for example, is “Kentucky Whiskey” in America, but “Kentucky Bourbon” everywhere else, this being because Brown-Forman can get away with calling it bourbon abroad, despite its used barrel whiskey content.

This whiskey is bottled by a German company for Lidl, and they aren’t saying where the liquor within came from. I don’t know whether it’s true blue bourbon or not, but certainly one has grounds for wondering.

The other thing that gave me misgivings was the added caramel noted on the label, a sure sign of a very young product that required coloring to look like proper bourbon. Furthermore, Western Gold is blatantly packaged as a Jim Beam knock-off, what with the white label and Beam-style bottle.

The Bourbon
The signature characteristic of this whiskey is how flat it is. It’s not really bad, just supremely bland. The liquid (40% abv) is not astringent or harsh, but the corn sweetness and vanilla notes one might expect from even a younger bourbon are quite faint. They are faint in the nose, faint on the palate, and the finish barely registers.

Once again, I have to wonder if this isn’t “Kentucky Bourbon” in the same way Early Times is, because even not-straight bourbon usually gets more out of being in new oak. After sampling the whiskey for this article, both neat and on ice, I have decided it’s not of much use to me except as a mixer or as cooking whiskey.

The Price
My bottle of Western Gold cost a mere 8. At that price, the whiskey is actually worth it. I have read that in the UK it runs £12 to £14, and that is definitely too pricey for what it is.

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11 comments

  1. I have for more than two years enjoyed Western Gold Bourbon. I live inCopenhagen Denmark and bought my bourbon in Lidl Market. Now they don’t have it anymore and I miss myWestern Gold Bourbon. Can anyone tell me where else to buy it in Denmark? Or will they ship it to me here?
    Susanne.

    • Lidl still carries Western Gold, so if they aren’t selling it in your local Lidls it’s a local thing. If you asked them to, they might bring it back.

    • In most European counties LIDl have it. Probably your local just don’t do it.

  2. Thank you. I will call them and ask ;o)

  3. Have you tried the 6 year old version? It’s much better.

    • I don’t like this version, but 6 year old version is amazing! Actually it’s better than Jim Beam to me…

    • I missed a chance to pick up and try the 6 YO version, but I keep my eyes open whenever I’m at Lidl, hoping for another.

  4. I live in Corinthos Greece and bought my bourbon in Lidl Market. Now they don’t have it anymore and I miss myWestern Gold Bourbon. Can anyone tell me where else to buy it in Greece? Or will they ship it to me here?

  5. Now Lidl sells it in Italy for € 5.99. It seems quite a fair price to me.

  6. I paid 43 lei in Romania, an euro is almost 4,5 lei. So it’s what? 9,5 euro ? I tried the black label one, ( 6 years old ). I am not an expert but my first hit in the senses of my mouth was similar to the home made romanian smoked prune moonshine. That I liked ! But indeed, after it passed my throat, that is a lil bit sensitive since I have some acid throat issues, it felt blunt. I tried it ice, the first sip was better but then, water thinned it more blunt. I’d give the same, price-quality point. After a while, all felt good, since alcohol in the blood makes all the s**t tasty good 🙂 Gents don’t get drunk but I am not a gent 🙂 Drink responsible, I am weak to alcohol, get drunk pretty fast with small amounts !

  7. As a romanian for it’s price it’s good and decent (5 euros). I have not tried the 6 yr old version yet .
    It seems to be some kind of Jeam Beam rip-off but at this price it’s dam good, it’s more than you can ask from it, it really tastes good. I served some of my friends with 1 glass ,they couldn’t belive it that it costs only 5 euros……( I guess that it’s amaizing and unexpected ) Lidl Market it’s the only one who sells it . I rather make cocktails with it although it’s pretty good straight from the bottle.

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