Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The California-based company has been buying Scotch barrels and releasing products since 2004; they helped start Trader Joe’s private whisky label that same year, and Kirkland’s in 2007. It has a slight saline, savory, meaty note that gives way to the dried fruit, Christmas cake flavors typical of sherried whiskies. That’s why the 20 YO, 22 YO and the 23 YO single malt expression were drawn from different distillers. The whisky feels like it might have a bit of Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry cask maturation. Confirmed Locations: Concord, CA. This is an excellent blended whisky. The Speyside label is a reference to the region, but because it’s a single malt it comes from a single distillery. There are dried fruit notes, especially cooked apple, plum and apricot and a bit of anise, along with a bit of “sherry fruitiness.” There are some slight cooked cereal notes, with vanilla and some caramel, along with some very light peat smoke. Sign In to Add to Cart × Warning. 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. There are notes of golden raisin and fig, licorice and baked apple, along with some caramel and milk chocolate elements. While it is impossible know whether the same anonymous distillery was used for all three editions, their overall flavor profile has been similar. “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. Glenfiddich 18 Year Single Malt Scotch in a 750 ml bottle is priced at $59.99. This is an excellent whisky. The color is a rich, dark amber. The Costco 7 years aged bourbon was smooth and just sweet enough. Chivas, on the other hand, a premium priced blended Scotch, is around 50% single … Bottled at 46% in order to give the consumer the choice of strength, i.e. Instead, just go to Costco. The company sources and bottles Scotch whisky for several different retailers, including Trader Joe’s and Total Wines & More. The widest range of Kirkland Signature Scotch whisky is … They can’t use it for Macallan or their blends like Famous Grouse or Cutty Sark. Popular Posts. Sign In to Add to Cart. “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. This Entrepreneur Says ‘NOPE’. Tasting notes from the Whisky Exchange: Nose: Sweet, rich and spicy fruit, with sugared lemons and limes, granny smith apples, honey and caramel. 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. Glenfiddich 18 Year Single Malt Scotch, like all Scotch, is from Scotland, and made from malted barley. Costco sells spirits in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Auchentoshan 44 Year Old 1966 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70cl. (And, that same VP claims, intentionally designed to look like well-known bottles from major brands.). 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. Kirkland 18 year Single Malt Scotch: This is distilled by the Macallan Distillery. Some barrels aren’t going to taste exactly how, say, Macallan wants them to. Member Only Item . “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 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. Buy them! Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. 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. Qty. The finish is medium length, with a lingering sweetness, a mild pepperiness and a very slight bitter note. Every time Costco’s Kirkland brand releases a single malt Scotch whisky without revealing the distillery that made it, tongues start to wag. Glenfiddich are the only single malt Scotch whisky in the industry to use remnant vatting. It’s very smooth and extremely drinkable and for a 12 YO blend exceptionally well-priced. Water lightens things with more orchard fruit, but without diminishing the richness of the dark fruit hiding underneath. Mortlach 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2019 Special Release 700ml. Costco is the world’s largest retailer of The Macallan, Johnnie Walker Blue and Dom Perignon, for example. Kirkland 18 Year Speyside Single Malt Scotch is a whiskey sold through Costco’s private label brand using Alexander Murray as its independent bottler. It’s a robust, full-bodied whisky and offers a degree of layered complexity that is typically missing in low priced blends. “It’s called undercutting their own undercutting,” the vice president of sales for a major spirits company told me [he didn’t wish to be identified]. 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. View this post on Instagram . The names of the distilleries are not disclosed, although all three are located in the Speyside region of the Highlands. Like most companies bottling alcohol under a generic house label, reps for Costco are mum on their process and sourcing. November 24, 2018. in Latest News . 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. Full list of Trader Joe’s reviews Costco Wholesale. Appearance 8/10, Nose 28/30, Palate 29/30, Finish: 28/30, Overall Score: 93/100. Member Only Item . It reminds me of a sherry cask finished Mortlach or Benrinnes. It’s a single malt, so not a blend. Since the number of featured SKUs is so small, Costco represents a disproportionate amount of sales for the SKUs it does carry. On the nose, the whisky is honey sweet, with floral aromas and notes of caramel, cooked cereal and a hint of smoke. Finally, one reason rarely considered for why Costco might be able to offer better pricing is proof. This edition was easily the most complex of the three and presented the most savory notes to balance against the sherried sweetness. I particularly like the savory, meaty character and how well it pairs with the sherry influenced, dried fruit and nut notes. It’s this downright impossible price that has the online geeks playing a guessing game as to not only where, exactly, these whiskies are coming from, but how Costco gets the prices—specifically on age-statement whiskies—so low. Found this deal at a store not listed above? Costco 500 Redwood Blvd. On the palate, the whisky seems sweeter. This whisky seems very similar to its 20 YO sibling. Palate: Toffee sweetness, apples, a hint of vanilla and a rich dark fruit background. They’re cheap, too—whether it be a 1.75 liter of Canadian whisky for $20 or an 18 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish Highlands Scotch for $38. Getting barrels out the door and sold is a top priority. In the end, where the whisky was sourced doesn’t really matter, although it’s fun to try to figure that out. At a price of around $58 it represents an exceptional value for a sherried whisky. The number of beverage SKUs expands during the fourth quarter. The color is a rich dark amber with a brownish cast. You may opt-out by. There are additional light notes of furniture wax and old leather and some well-seasoned wood. Rich in flavor. For products like Johnnie Walker Blue or Macallan, it’s virtually impossible to beat Costco on price.”. The 20 YO was offered in 2019, and some remnant stock may still be in store this year. Costco Stores is the world’s third largest retailer. Ste 200 Novato, CA 94947 USA 1 415-382-6754 ... Kirkland Signature 20 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky rating was calculated by tastings.com to be 88 points out of 100 on 6/27/2018. That’s surely one reason they sell nearly $4 billion-worth of alcohol per year. In fact, Alexander Murray is based in Calabasas, California. The 20 YO was supplied in 2019, and a few remnant stock may nonetheless be in … Please note that MSRP may have changed since the date of our review. Join the discussion today. And maybe that combined purchasing power allows them to get sweetheart deals on barrels, even ones that have been sitting in a Scottish warehouse for a quarter-century. Their Scotch labels, meanwhile, typically credit Alexander Murray & Co, one of those aforementioned independent bottlers. 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. On the whole, the dried fruit sweetness and flavors are more pronounced. “I do think that volume and control of two of the three tiers helps them tremendously.”. Kirkland Signature has 30 wine SKUs and 20 spirit SKUs. The sherry aromas are quite pronounced, certainly more intense than you would typically expect from six months of finishing in a sherry butt, even if it was a first fill cask. Kirkland 20 year old Sherry Cask Finished Speyside single malt scotch… 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. 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. aaron goldbarb, scotch, spirits, whiskey, whiskey hub. Blended Scotch whisky can have spirits distilled from rye or corn added to the blend – like American whiskey. By law we cannot sell this product to anyone under the age of 18. Just How Important Is Sherry to Scotch Whisky? According to Cameron Johnston, Brand Manager at Alexander Murray & Company: The philosophy of our blended products is to produce a layered and complex flavour profile that is similar to that of market leaders in the category, and yes in this case market leaders are those leading in the US market. It has the same sherried dried fruit and nut notes accompanied by similar savory elements. Given that they’ve offered a range of Scotches over the years, I’ve always wondered how similar some of them are. “How do they get all the carrots in a supermarket to look like perfect carrots? 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. As before, this is bottled by those big-box contact maestros, Alexander Murray & Co. from a mystery distillery in Speyside. The Kirkland Signature Scotch Whisky Range. by Christopher Cameron. Plus, the aging of whisky isn’t a perfect science. Good. Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon (7 year): This is made by none other than Jim Beam. Stylistically, it reminds me of an Aberlour or Benrinnes. 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). The sweet, earthy, dried heather notes are reminiscent of Dalwhinnie. Which Costco will readily admit only costs one penny an ounce. There clearly is a consistent style that Alexander Murray seems to be striving for, and in tasting both the 20 YO and 22 YO they accomplished this quite effectively. “They agree to buy a certain amount of product at a certain price, which is far lower … Please see Delivery & Terms for further information. Buy It Now × Purchase Kirkland Signature 20 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky at: … 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 whisky is slightly oily, with a discernible palate weight and a mouth coating quality. Costco sells whisky under its private label, Kirkland Signature, which was introduced in 1992. A 23 YO is slated for release in December and a No Age Statement Islay single malt Scotch whisky next year. Blended Scotch whisky is something else altogether. The whisky was matured in ex-bourbon casks and then spent six months in a sherry butt. And Highland Park’s 40-year-old comes out in minimal quantities each year for around $3,500. What Drink Trends Should Disappear in 2021? “They agree to buy a certain amount of product at a certain price, which is far lower than everyone else is paying. What really matters is whether you like that particular style. There are also the old leather notes typical of older sherried whisky and just a hint of furniture wax. It’s also possible that the Kirkland’s Speyside 25-year-old bottling is Mortlach, Longmorn or even Macallan, the latter of whom Kirkland has openly partnered with in the past. This is hands down my favorite Scotch. Indeed, this single malt compared very favorably to the previous 18 Year Old and 20 Year Old from the same line. With 785 stores worldwide, 546 of which are in the United States, the chain generated over 163 billion dollars in its fiscal year ending August 30, 2020. Alexander Murray does not disclose where the whisky is sourced except to indicate broad geographic designations like Speyside or Islay. Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70cl. Scotch. Item number 83544. If you’ve got someone to impress, skip the liquor store and the artisan shops. 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. Item # 248973. Costco presents a number of expressions of single malt Scotch whisky. The 22 YO is currently in store, and the 23 YO will be available in store from December 1. Chivas Regal 4.5L 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky. Aaron Goldfarb lives in Brooklyn and is a novelist and the author of Hacking Whiskey. For the price, it’s an exceptional value. There’s nothing necessarily nefarious about this.