I can’t get anything past you! A few observant viewers noticed I had a bottle of Kirkland (Costco’s Store brand) Bourbon on my back bar, and asked for my thoughts.

So this week we’re doing an in-depth review of one of the lower-priced bourbons out there to see if it really is comparable to the branded stuff.

How does Kirkland Signature Bourbon stack up?

Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon – Tasting Notes:

The first thing I noticed was a high alcohol burn without a lot of flavor to back it up.  Looking at the bottle, it’s 51.5% which is relatively high for a bourbon – so the burn is not surprising, but I’d expect the flavor to match.

  • Strong alcohol burn
  • Light toffee and vanilla notes
  • More “Bitter wood” than “sweet barrel” notes

I’d consider this a good candidate for simpler mixed drinks like bourbon and coke.  I’d probably stay away from this choice for cocktails where you need the bourbon flavor to come through, and especially in spirited drinks, as the alcohol in this bourbon may overpower the drink.

The Verdict:

In my opinion there are better bourbons out there for the price. For just a few dollars more, I’d choose a Bulleit Rye or Maker’s Mark.

Your thoughts?

Do you get the same strong alcohol flavor in this bourbon? Or do you see anything else on my back-bar that you’d like me to review? Let me know in the comments!

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.