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.
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.
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!
Hi Chris, thanks for the review. My take was similar to yours… except comparing with Bulleit and MM: Those are $50 for a 1.75ml in my neck of the woods. To get the same price at the local liquor store one needs to buy a 1.75 of “Ten High” bourbon (you can taste test that if you like, but I tend to shy away from plastic bottles these days) – IOW, costo’s is better seen as a top-notch well-bourbon, not a so-so mid-range one.
Thanks for the comment Bill. Great call on Costco’s bourbon being a top notch well bourbon. At the Costco around us, they sell a 1 liter bottle for around $20, that was why I compared it at that price point. You can get a 750 of Bulleit for around $20 in some stores.
Yeah plastic bottles of alcohol had a place in my past as well. I think we were drinking Popov Vodka and orange juice back in the day.
banker’s club gin slammers, ftw!
Thanks so much for this review, my
Thanks so much for this review, my husband the Juan Carlos loves his whiskey and has been eyeing this bottle every time we’re in Costco. Worrying that it would be lackluster we have past it up for the likes of Bulleit, now we know we have been making the right move!
Yeah whiskey money is precious, you got to spend it on the right stuff 🙂
made by Jim Beam.. pretty good
Love the profile pic Johnny.
Thanks for the comment Prasad,
I’m always curious to try the off brand spirits like Costco and Trader Joes products because they are typically made by reputable producers. I had high hopes for this bourbon and had a similar experience to you. I have heard that there are multiple batches of this bourbon on the market, so I may try again in the future.
I was just at Costco and was planning on giving their brand a try. Didn’t get it because KC was 6 bucks off still so I picked up two 1.75’s of that because I like it and it is the smoothest of the higher proof bourbons I have had. I don’t judge by color, nose, or any of the varied flavors of vanilla etc. ….I judge bourbons on how they taste to me. Years ago I drank JB white, but, mixed with something. Had to move to something better when I went to just a few ice cubes. To date, I enjoy JB black and KC more than the rest. Looking forward to trying the Costco label soon and give an opinion.
It is OK, I like four roses small batch more, but I prefer Kirkland over MM. I have all three in the barn and I always have fun in the barn. Maybe it is the company I keep, snobs please apply elsewhere. Happy Holiday season to one and all.