There's something about cold weather that just demands hearty breakfasts and bold flavors. Discount shoppers might be glad to know that Costco appears to have them covered in both respects, thanks to a decadent, resurfaced bottle of maple syrup that club members can't stop talking about.
Crown Maple's Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup is thought to have a complex flavor profile with smoky, sweet, buttery, and vanilla notes, thanks to aging in bourbon barrels. It's gained something of a cult following, with devotees stocking up whenever they can find it. As a limited-edition product, once inventories sell out, there will likely be a long wait until it's available at Costco again.
If you can't find this richly flavored maple syrup at your local Costco, all hope's not lost: The manufacturer, New York State-based Crown Maple, also sells bottles on its website. However, it's worth noting that discount shoppers have spotted it at Costco for less than half the brand's store price, so you may want to keep an eye out for the sweet condiment on your next Costco run.
Read more: All The Benefits Of A Costco Membership
Gourmet Breakfast (And Beyond) For Grown-Up Palates
While high-quality maple syrup on its own is already delicious, the barrel aging process unlocks a whole world of sophisticated new flavors that amplify and balance out the syrup's sweetness. According to the brand, Crown Maple stores this syrup in used oak barrels from Widow Jane, an award-winning bourbon distillery in Brooklyn, New York. This is no bottom-shelf booze: The maple syrup rests in barrels that were used to age Widow Jane's 10-year blend, which typically goes for about $80 per 750 milliliter bottle.
In the production of spirits and other alcoholic beverages, barrel aging helps to mellow out the sharp ethanol bite, and the oak imparts new smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors. Storing maple syrup in used Widow Jane barrels, then, infuses the syrup with the bouquet of flavors from the oak, but also the fruity notes and sweetly spicy aromas from the bourbon that the barrel once held. (The syrup itself isn't alcoholic, but those with severe sensitivities and religious dietary constraints should note that it "may contain trace amounts of alcohol.") Customers have reported their local stores offering samples, so if you're lucky, you might have the chance to try it before you buy.
You Can Pour It On (Basically) Everything
The barrel-aged maple syrup would seem to provide an instant and impressive upgrade for any run-of-the-mill pancake breakfast, but fans online have found it too good to relegate to a single meal. Redditors have shared their suggestions on how to use the syrup in a marinade for cedar plank salmon, in baked beans, as a sweetener for coffee, and, to bring the booze theme full-circle, in place of sugar in an Old Fashioned.
If you've managed to get your hands on a bottle (or 10) of the barrel-aged sticky stuff, open your mind to using the maple syrup in unexpected ways. Syrup is a staple for pancakes and waffles, of course, but it can also act as a sweetener for baked goods (fall pies, anyone?) and desserts; it can bring some complex sweetness to meats of all kinds; it can even be used to amp up savory vegetable side dishes and virtually anything else that could use a touch of sugary warmth. Don't be afraid to let your inner chef get creative with this complex-tasting customer favorite.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.