The pros: Trader Joe's Rainbow of Honey is a nice gift set of single variety honey from various parts of the world. They are presented in individually wrapped glass bottles organized in a way that even Crayola would be proud.
The cons: Each bottle is 4 ounces. Some of them will make you wish they sold them in a full sized jar.
The verdict: For $9.99, you get six honey varieties in beautiful and reusable glass jars. If you have never thought about honey (like me) or the subtle nuances of different varieties, this is a great introduction. It would be nice if they ended up carrying larger sizes of these individual flavors. Some are quite complex if you've never had anything that comes out of anything but a plastic bear.
Here is the quick visual rundown before I share my thoughts on each of these.
The package of Trader Joe's Rainbow of Honey:
The nutritional information
The back of the box:
Out of the package you get:
And if you can't tell which is which as the middle three are almost identical in color, they did you the favor and labeled the other side:
So what do they taste like?
Clover honey is very light and will immediately remind you of the honey that comes out of the plastic bear in the super market. It's light in flavor and color.
Sunflower honey smells different from clover honey. It doesn't have a typical honey smell. Nor does it have a strong traditional honey taste. It's not as sweet as you think a honey should be. Very flavorful, but not sweet. Big difference between the clover honey and this.
Orange blossom honey smells more citrusy than anything else so far. The flavor of orange comes through as does a slight smokiness.
Eucalyptus honey has an odd smell to it. Even though the smell was odd, it reminded me of a Ricola cough drop or any honey flavored cough drop.
Macadamia honey has a nutty smell to it and a roasted nut flavor to it as well. It reminds me of the flavor that the skins of peanuts take on when they are roasted.
Mimosa honey is by far the darkest honey I've ever seen. The again when I need honey I reach for something bear shaped and plastic, so I'm a bit out of my element here. This had a toasted nut smell to it. Besides the aroma of nut, it tasted like the coating of a honey roasted peanut minus the salt. It was the most intense of the group.
Would I buy this again? There are some here I'd like to buy as individual flavors. As of right now, this is not possible. Eucalyptus would be good to keep around in the event of a cold. Mimosa and orange blossom I'd like over some buttered toast. I wouldn't recommend these to put in tea as the subtle nuances might be lost.
Trader Joe's Rainbow of Honey are a great size to get you thinking about different varieties of honey. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Passport does for chocolate what this does for honey. It makes you are of subtle differences that many mass market stores have never asked you to think about.
I don't know if I would buy another set as this is 24 ounces of honey for $10 and we don't use enough honey to justify it. It's a good price for what you are getting, the bottles can be repurposed or recycled, and the product was good.
If you love this item, it is only available seasonally at Trader Joe's, but you can also find it on Amazon.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.