The Costco 7 years aged bourbon was smooth and just sweet enough. That makes it all the more surprising that, over the past year, there’s been a groundswell of support among geeks for the Kirkland Signature collection. Aaron Goldfarb lives in Brooklyn and is a novelist and the author of Hacking Whiskey. Indeed, this single malt compared very favorably to the previous 18 Year Old and 20 Year Old from the same line. Scotch. “Milk Caramel.”. £159.99. Though the practice has gotten a bad rap in America ever since The Daily Beast’s Eric Felten informed unwitting consumers that their “craft” whiskey most likely came from a factory called MGP Ingredients in Indiana. Blended Scotch whisky has the same label age requirements as single malts. The color is a rich, dark amber. This is hands down my favorite Scotch. Aged for 18 years (3 yrs is the required minimum), and claims to have notes of spiced apple and cinnamon. Time in the barrel is critical as well. Below are tasting notes on the core range of Costco’s Kirkland Signature Scotch whiskies. That may be because the additional dried fruit notes overshadow those notes or it may simply reflect the fact that this whisky was sourced elsewhere. The brand is named after the city of Kirkland, Washington, the location of Costco’s head office. The 22 YO is currently in store, and the 23 YO will be available in store from December 1. Given that they’ve offered a range of Scotches over the years, I’ve always wondered how similar some of them are. Instead, just go to Costco. At a price of around $58 it represents an exceptional value for a sherried whisky. Palate: Toffee sweetness, apples, a hint of vanilla and a rich dark fruit background. £99.99. Join the discussion today. We are experiencing an error, please try again. Typically, whisky connoisseurs would want that 25-year-old Scotch to have some decent heft after all those years of concentrating in barrel. To carry the designation single malt, a malt whisky has to come from a single distillery. 4 months ago. But all Kirkland Signature Scotches are sold at 80 proof, meaning that these whiskies are watered down to the absolute lowest legal limit and, thus, Costco is able to empty barrels into way more bottles. On the palate, the whisky is very smooth, with an oily, mouth coating consistency and an obvious palate weight. A Costco customer shops for champagne at a Costco store (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images). In its 2020 fiscal year, Costco sold over four billion dollars of alcoholic beverages, about half of which was wine, and the balance roughly divided evenly between spirits and beer. Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. A post shared by Whisky-n-Art (@whiskynart) on Jul 31, 2018 at 12:32pm PDT. Continue Shopping. The sweet, earthy, dried heather notes are reminiscent of Dalwhinnie. Costco presents a number of expressions of single malt Scotch whisky. The finish is medium length, with a lingering sweetness, a mild pepperiness and a very slight bitter note. For the price, it’s an exceptional value. Well, they get rid of all the other carrots.”, While Raymond notes, “My guess would be that [Kirkland Signature Scotch] is liquid from Edrington, which owns Macallan. Like most companies bottling alcohol under a generic house label, reps for Costco are mum on their process and sourcing. The geekiest factions of the online whiskey community can be particularly nasty, with insiders railing on “taters” (uninformed collectors) and lambasting the limited-edition releases they pursue. Chivas Regal 4.5L 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky. Costco Stores is the world’s third largest retailer. Item number 83544. Likewise, many whiskey bloggers have noticed that Costco seems to obscure what they actually offer, with no master list available anywhere online. The objective is to deliver exceptional and remarkable examples of single malt from a wide range of individual distilleries, whose origin – the best part of the time – remains unnamed. Found this deal at a store not listed above? The Macallan’s own 25 Year Old Sherry Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky sells for $1500. There are cooked cereal/bread-like and dried herbal notes that become more pronounced as the whisky opens up. Sláinte, © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Please see Delivery & Terms for further information. Getting barrels out the door and sold is a top priority. Tagged: Along the way I became a winemaker, Oregon Pinot Noir; a judge for various international, I have been writing and speaking about wines and spirits for 20 years. On the nose, there are notes of brown sugar, some dried fruit notes especially a hint of prune, along with notes of vanilla, some cinnamon spice, a bit of ginger, as well as a hint of smoke. These Costco house whiskies have likewise landed solid scores on Whisky Advocate and Wine Enthusiast of late; they even nabbed a top prize at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. aaron goldbarb, scotch, spirits, whiskey, whiskey hub. If you do, both of these whiskies represent outstanding values. Each age statement is drawn from a particular distillery and changes from year to year. Plus, the aging of whisky isn’t a perfect science. For example, according to Cameron, the 20 YO, 22 YO, and 23 YO single malt Scotch whiskies were all drawn from different distilleries. Costco 500 Redwood Blvd. What Drink Trends Should Disappear in 2021? Appearance 8/10, Nose 28/30, Palate 29/30, Finish: 28/30, Overall Score: 93/100. On the palate, the whisky seems sweeter. Most stores would typically only carry one expression of the Speyside sherry cask finish whisky. It’s a bit more floral, the licorice seems more pronounced, and it seems sweeter on the nose. Kirkland Signature, Blended Scotch Whisky, Alexander Murray & Co Ltd, 40% ABV, 1.75 liter, MSRP: $24.99. As before, this is bottled by those big-box contact maestros, Alexander Murray & Co. from a mystery distillery in Speyside. Costco offers several expressions of single malt Scotch whisky. Currently there are four Scotch whisky expressions in the Kirkland Signature Range: blended Scotch whisky, 12 YO blended Scotch whisky and a 2o YO, and a 22 YO Speyside Sherry cask finish, single malt Scotch whisky. by Christopher Cameron. That’s surely one reason they sell nearly $4 billion-worth of alcohol per year. On the palate, the whisky is oily and viscous, with a pronounced palate weight. The finish is medium length, with a lingering note of dried fruit, some mild pepperiness and a slight bitter element. It’s a single malt, so not a blend. Not overly-sherried. New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, How the Infinity Bottle Became a Whiskey Nerd Obsession, Down the Rare Bourbon Rabbit Hole With Sean Brock, How a Homemade Blend Became One of America’s Most Coveted Bourbons, Drunken Socialism: The "Break-Even Bottles" Bringing Rare Spirits to the People. “Thank you for asking, but again, we don’t disclose how we develop Kirkland Signature,” wrote Annette Alvarez-Peters, Costco’s assistant general merchandise manager and the woman responsible for all the company’s alcohol purchases. The names of the distilleries are not disclosed, although all three are located in the Speyside region of the Highlands. Glenfiddich 18 Year Single Malt Scotch in a 750 ml bottle is priced at $59.99. By law we cannot sell this product to anyone under the age of 18. By comparison, most Scotch whisky blends are between 10% to 15% malt whisky and the balance grain whisky. Their Scotch labels, meanwhile, typically credit Alexander Murray & Co, one of those aforementioned independent bottlers. The rest of the time I cover international politics. Read the Costo Single Malt Scotch in San Diego discussion from the Chowhound Restaurants, California food community. It does not sell any spirits in the 17 “control” states. Costco may be an impressive company, but they aren’t aging barrels of whisky in some Issaquah, Washington, warehouse next to the giant tubs of Hellmann’s and Jif. Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch is available in a 750 mL bottle is priced at $41.99. The Macallan’s own 25 Year Old Sherry Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky sells for $1500. The company sources and bottles Scotch whisky for several different retailers, including Trader Joe’s and Total Wines & More. Every time Costco gets in a new Alexander Murray bottling of unnamed single malt for unbelievable prices (which seems to be about every 4 months, recently), I get a flurry of emails asking for a review. A quick primer on single malt scotch: "Single malt" means that the whisky comes from one distillery in Scotland and is made from 100-percent malted barley. Moreover, according to Johnston, there’s no guarantee that similar age expressions would continue to be drawn from the same distillery. By law we cannot sell this product to anyone under the age of 18. The Hands-Down Best Single Malt Scotch to Drink. Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon (7 year): This is made by none other than Jim Beam. The company sells a range of single malt Scotch whiskies from various regions, including 12-, 16-, 20- and 25-year-old expressions, as well as some blended Scotch whisky. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Playboy, Whisky Advocate and more. Have tasted a lot of wines and spirits, from 200-year-old ports to centuries old Cognacs to many of the world’s oldest whiskies. Price includes delivery ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Compare Product. Buy It Now × Purchase Kirkland Signature 20 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky at: … Features. Currently Costco offers a No Age Statement (NAS) blended Scotch whisky (this is presumed to be approximately three years old) and a 12 YO expression. This weekend I noticed a new version of the 2013 classic: Kirkland (Costco’s brand) has a new version of its 20 year-old Speyside single-malt with a sherry cask finish (link to the last one I reviewed, in 2013, here). What he means is, if Costco’s bottles of Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s are already at cut-rate prices, the wholesale giant’s comparable house brands are intentionally sold for even cheaper than that. The number of beverage SKUs expands during the fourth quarter. Every age assertion is drawn from a specific distillery and adjustments from 12 months to 12 months. How the Breakfast Martini Became a Modern Classic. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. There’s nothing necessarily nefarious about this. The whisky was matured in ex-bourbon casks and then spent six months in a sherry butt. Mortlach 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2019 Special Release 700ml. The underlying profile is a throwback to a common style of Speyside whisky half a century ago. Kirkland Signature Premium Margarita Mix; Korbel Brut; Kirkland Signature 2012 Pinot Grigio; Search this Site. It is equally viscous and oily, and has the pronounced palate weight of the 20 YO expression, perhaps even a tad more. “They agree to buy a certain amount of product at a certain price, which is far lower than everyone else is paying. On the nose, the whisky is honey sweet, with floral aromas and notes of caramel, cooked cereal and a hint of smoke. Since the number of featured SKUs is so small, Costco represents a disproportionate amount of sales for the SKUs it does carry. He tells me he know this happens with other big players, like Total Wine. Popular Posts. Chivas, on the other hand, a premium priced blended Scotch, is around 50% single malt. Exceptionally well-priced, it can be used straight up, over ice or in cocktails. Costco is the world’s largest retailer of The Macallan, Johnnie Walker Blue and Dom Perignon, for example. I write about wines and spirits and the hidden corners of the world, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Cozy Up For Winter With These 7 Hearty Wines, Corralejo Tequila: Why You Should Rediscover This Historic Brand, The Top Ten Trends Shaping The Adult Beverage Market In 2021, Your Favorite Cognac Is About To Get A Lot More Expensive, Wines Of The Week: Two Napa Legends, And A Different Side Of A Classic Bourbon, Toddies and Beyond: 11 Hot Cocktails To Warm the Soul in Wintertime, Best Whisky 2021: Revived Yamazaki Single Malt Range & New Hibiki Launch In May, Here Are Some New Top Rated Tequilas You Should Taste, 6 Health-Conscious Cocktails Inspired By Wellness Retreats In Asia, Need Alcohol To Enjoy The Party? On the palate, there is sweetness, almost candy-like, some fruit notes of apple, orange zest and a hint of apricot. It was founded in 2004 by Scottish expatriate Steve Lipp. Glenfiddich 18 Year Single Malt Scotch, like all Scotch, is from Scotland, and made from malted barley. The name comes from the then location of its headquarters in Kirkland, Washington. Blended Scotch whisky is something else altogether. Costco sells 18-year-old single malt scotch. Kirkland Signature has 30 wine SKUs and 20 spirit SKUs. The whisky is slightly oily, with a discernible palate weight and a mouth coating quality. Buy them! On the nose, this whisky seems very similar to its younger sibling. Member Only Item . Sign In to Add to Cart. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. “Costco has a volume deal with [spirits] companies including Edrington and Diageo,” claims Mike Raymond, owner of Reserve 101, a top whiskey bar in Houston, and a judge at the annual Whiskies of the World conference. The widest range of Kirkland Signature Scotch whisky is … Per Johnston, the similar but different age statements simply reflect the fact that there was no single distillery that had enough inventory to bottle sufficient stock of that expression to meet Costco’s needs. high strength or addition of water to suit individual preferences. Alexander Murray & Co. is also not willing to disclose any information on the arrangement, but it’s long been rumored the vast majority of the barrels they buy come from Tullibardine. Likewise, Alexander Murray & Co. shipped out some 165,000 cases of Scotch in 2015. “How do they get all the carrots in a supermarket to look like perfect carrots? “If Costco can control the importation of the whisky, get someone to distribute it to them at cost (or at very slim single-digit margins due to high volume) and then sell it at very low margins, then they’re golden,” explains a friend who is an independent bottler himself, though at a much smaller level. 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