Tagged: A 23 YO is slated for release in December and a No Age Statement Islay single malt Scotch whisky next year. 4 months ago. 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. Kirkland Anejo Tequila: It’s produced at the same distillery as Cielo tequila. “They agree to buy a certain amount of product at a certain price, which is far lower than everyone else is paying. 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. To carry the designation single malt, a malt whisky has to come from a single distillery. Below are tasting notes on the core range of Costco’s Kirkland Signature Scotch whiskies. What Drink Trends Should Disappear in 2021? £99.99. It’s a bit more floral, the licorice seems more pronounced, and it seems sweeter on the nose. Not overly-sherried. Tasting notes from the Whisky Exchange: Nose: Sweet, rich and spicy fruit, with sugared lemons and limes, granny smith apples, honey and caramel. With a name like Alexander Murray you would imagine a historic Scottish bottler tucked away in a back street of Edinburgh or a hamlet in the Highlands. Found this deal at a store not listed above? At a price of around $58 it represents an exceptional value for a sherried whisky. By law we cannot sell this product to anyone under the age of 18. Inventory and pricing at your store will vary and are subject to change at any time. Costco Stores is the world’s third largest retailer. That would explain the extra sweetness and the more pronounced dried fruit notes. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. 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. Aged for 18 years (3 yrs is the required minimum), and claims to have notes of spiced apple and cinnamon. There’s nothing necessarily nefarious about this. As a result, its uniquely rich and deep flavour was voted the Best of the Best single malt by Whisky. Kirkland Signature Premium Margarita Mix; Korbel Brut; Kirkland Signature 2012 Pinot Grigio; Search this Site. For example, according to Cameron, the 20 YO, 22 YO, and 23 YO single malt Scotch whiskies were all drawn from different distilleries. Oban — 14 Year Single Malt ($56) “Generally anywhere around $40-$60 at most stores (depending on your location). The Macallan’s own 25 Year Old Sherry Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky sells for $1500. Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70cl. The company sources and bottles Scotch whisky for several different retailers, including Trader Joe’s and Total Wines & More. They can’t use it for Macallan or their blends like Famous Grouse or Cutty Sark. I'm almost through a bottle and picked up a reserve. Instead, just go to Costco. It would certainly rank in the top 10% of blended whiskies. 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. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Add. Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2019 Special Release 700ml. The whisky is sweet, although it’s more honey-like than the candied sweetness of its younger sibling. 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. In fact, Alexander Murray is based in Calabasas, California. 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. It has a slight saline, savory, meaty note that gives way to the dried fruit, Christmas cake flavors typical of sherried whiskies. The finish is long, with dried fruit sweetness and a lingering peppery and slightly woody/bitter note. In the end, where the whisky was sourced doesn’t really matter, although it’s fun to try to figure that out. Costco sells 18-year-old single malt scotch. Good. Like many other retailers, Costco has its own proprietary brand: Kirkland Signature. This is an excellent whisky. aaron goldbarb, scotch, spirits, whiskey, whiskey hub. There are notes of dried fig, dates, golden raisin and berry jam, along with almond, marzipan and a slight candied ginger element. The sweet, earthy, dried heather notes are reminiscent of Dalwhinnie. Join the discussion today. Costco presents a number of expressions of single malt Scotch whisky. The Secret to a Silkier Cocktail? Alcohol is a conduit for flavor, after all. 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. Costco offers several expressions of single malt Scotch whisky. The Kirkland Signature Scotch whiskies are sourced by independent bottler Alexander Murray. November 24, 2018. in Latest News . Related Posts. It reminds me of a sherry cask finished Mortlach or Benrinnes. 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. 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). Trader Joe’s 10 year old Highland single malt scotch—87 points, $26 The smokiness of a cigar wafts through Juicy Fruit, saline, and candy notes into a toasty oak finish. The average Costco store carries around 4,000 SKUs, of which about 220 are alcoholic beverages: 45-60 spirits SKUs, 14-18 beer SKUs and 150 wine SKUs. The finish is medium length, with a lingering note of dried fruit, some mild pepperiness and a slight bitter element. Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon (7 year): This is made by none other than Jim Beam. That’s surely one reason they sell nearly $4 billion-worth of alcohol per year. That’s why the 20 YO, 22 YO and the 23 YO single malt expression were drawn from different distillers. For the price, it’s an exceptional value. The finish is medium length, with a lingering sweetness, a mild pepperiness and a very slight bitter note. 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. It’s right on the western edge of the region, and its whiskies can be legally described as either Speyside or Highland. There are cooked cereal/bread-like and dried herbal notes that become more pronounced as the whisky opens up. There are notes of golden raisin and fig, licorice and baked apple, along with some caramel and milk chocolate elements. Qty. The whisky feels like it might have a bit of Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry cask maturation. If you’ve got someone to impress, skip the liquor store and the artisan shops. On the nose, there is a pronounced sherry cask influence of sweet dried fruits and almond, followed by notes of cask wood, some licorice and just a hint of salinity. Chivas Regal 4.5L 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky. 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. So, in a way, a good percentage of that Speyside 25-year-old is just Kirkland Signature Water. “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. This Entrepreneur Says ‘NOPE’. Sign In to Add to Cart. Like most companies bottling alcohol under a generic house label, reps for Costco are mum on their process and sourcing. 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. 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. On the nose, this whisky seems very similar to its younger sibling. Meanwhile, the VP of sales claims it’s a well-known fact that Costco only makes a 13 percent gross profit on spirits, while 25 to 35 percent is considered the industry standard. The brand is named after the city of Kirkland, Washington, the location of Costco’s head office. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Playboy, Whisky Advocate and more. Blended Scotch whisky has the same label age requirements as single malts. “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. Compare Product. Time in the barrel is critical as well. “Milk Caramel.”. “Macallan has very high standards and very particular barrels they’re looking for,” notes Clay Risen, a New York Times senior editor and author of American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye. Features. Please see Delivery & Terms for further information. “I do think that volume and control of two of the three tiers helps them tremendously.”. The sourcing of Costco’s Kirkland Signature whiskies has been a topic of incessant speculation by consumers, and sometimes even critics. Stylistically, it reminds me of an Aberlour or Benrinnes. For such a unique, fine single malt we ensure that the presentation is also second to none. 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. Appearance 8/10, Nose 28/30, Palate 29/30, Finish: 28/30, Overall Score: 93/100. Costco is also one of the world’s largest retailers of alcoholic beverages. This whisky seems very similar to its 20 YO sibling. 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. Popular Posts. I love the … Chivas, on the other hand, a premium priced blended Scotch, is around 50% single malt. Sourcing is a quite widespread practice throughout Ireland and Scotland, however, where so-called independent bottlers buy up excess stock and put it out under their own labels. Tullibardine sells their own 25-year-old Scotch for around $300 a bottle. It was founded in 2004 by Scottish expatriate Steve Lipp. Cameron Johnston - Alexander Murray Marketing Manager. 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. I don’t know where this whisky was sourced. Blended Scotch whisky can have spirits distilled from rye or corn added to the blend – like American whiskey. Most stores would typically only carry one expression of the Speyside sherry cask finish whisky. Getting barrels out the door and sold is a top priority. 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. Continue Shopping. The color is a rich dark amber with a brownish cast. (With a $50 cap, the oldest in our tasting was 13.) Then again, even massive distilleries only have so much room in their warehouses. Palate: Toffee sweetness, apples, a hint of vanilla and a rich dark fruit background. “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. On the palate, the whisky is oily and viscous, with a pronounced palate weight. Please see Delivery & Terms for further information. Since the number of featured SKUs is so small, Costco represents a disproportionate amount of sales for the SKUs it does carry. Laphroaig’s 27-year-old was just released at $750. It does not sell any spirits in the 17 “control” states. Likewise, many whiskey bloggers have noticed that Costco seems to obscure what they actually offer, with no master list available anywhere online. This is an excellent blended whisky. Exceptionally well-priced, it can be used straight up, over ice or in cocktails. Typically, whisky connoisseurs would want that 25-year-old Scotch to have some decent heft after all those years of concentrating in barrel. Mortlach 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2019 Special Release 700ml. It’s a robust, full-bodied whisky and offers a degree of layered complexity that is typically missing in low priced blends. The Kirkland Signature Scotch Whisky Range. For products like Johnnie Walker Blue or Macallan, it’s virtually impossible to beat Costco on price.”. “They agree to buy a certain amount of product at a certain price, which is far lower … He tells me he know this happens with other big players, like Total Wine. PLEASE PICK ONE OPTION BEFORE CLICKING "ADD TO CART" ANONYMOUS. It is equally viscous and oily, and has the pronounced palate weight of the 20 YO expression, perhaps even a tad more. Anyway, to get back to Costco, I was wanting to see if they still had 1.75 liter bottles of Glenmorangie. high strength or addition of water to suit individual preferences. Glenfiddich 18 Year Single Malt Scotch, like all Scotch, is from Scotland, and made from malted barley. If Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch whisky is reminiscent of Dewar’s that’s not because it’s really Dewar’s in Kirkland packaging, but because Alexander Murray’s blenders have deliberately crafted a facsimile of the aroma and flavor profile of Dewar’s, the best-selling blended Scotch whisky in the US. Kirkland Signature has 30 wine SKUs and 20 spirit SKUs. In short, as experienced Costco shoppers know well, if you like the product buy extra since there is no assurance that it will ever be available again. Every time Costco’s Kirkland brand releases a single malt Scotch whisky without revealing the distillery that made it, tongues start to wag. 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. Kirkland Signature, Blended Scotch Whisky, Alexander Murray & Co Ltd, 40% ABV, 1.75 liter, MSRP: $24.99. Auchentoshan 44 Year Old 1966 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70cl. 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. According to Johnston, the NAS expression is 20% malt whisky and the 12 YO is 25% malt whisky. Appearance 8/10, Nose 27/30, Palate 28/30, Finish: 27/30, Overall Score: 90/100, Kirkland Signature, 20 YO, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Kirkland Signature, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Sherry Cask Finish, 20 YO, Alexander Murray & Co, 46% ABV, 750 ml, MSRP: $58. Future year’s 22 YO single malt might come from a completely different distillery than this year’s expression. Costco buys Scotch from Alexander Murray Co, who in turn buys barrels from distilleries across Scotland. How the Breakfast Martini Became a Modern Classic. Sláinte, © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. 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. The Costco 7 years aged bourbon was smooth and just sweet enough. If you do, both of these whiskies represent outstanding values. On the whole, the dried fruit sweetness and flavors are more pronounced. 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. The number of beverage SKUs expands during the fourth quarter. £159.99. There are additional light notes of furniture wax and old leather and some well-seasoned wood. Instead, Kirkland Signature whiskies are sourced from other distilleries. (And, that same VP claims, intentionally designed to look like well-known bottles from major brands.). Water lightens things with more orchard fruit, but without diminishing the richness of the dark fruit hiding underneath. Appearance 8/10, Nose 28/30, Palate 28/30, Finish: 27/30, Overall Score: 91/100, Kirkland Signature, 22 YO, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Kirkland Signature, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Sherry Cask Finish, 22 YO, Alexander Murray & Co, 46% ABV, 750 ml, MSRP: $80. By law we cannot sell this product to anyone under the age of 18. “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]. Likewise, Alexander Murray & Co. shipped out some 165,000 cases of Scotch in 2015. On the nose, the whisky is honey sweet, with floral aromas and notes of caramel, cooked cereal and a hint of smoke. The 22 YO is currently in store, and the 23 YO will be available in store from December 1. I also earned the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the WSET. The 20 YO was supplied in 2019, and a few remnant stock may nonetheless be in … By comparison, most Scotch whisky blends are between 10% to 15% malt whisky and the balance grain whisky. Scotch. This doesn’t mean that it’s of poor quality; it just has to do with flavor profiles.”, But Costco’s strategy is far more controlled than crossing their collective corporate fingers that some of the large distilleries will want to consistently sell off stock at favorable prices. by Christopher Cameron. 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. It has the same sherried dried fruit and nut notes accompanied by similar savory elements. Chivas, on the other hand, a premium priced blended Scotch, is around 50% single … The widest range of Kirkland Signature Scotch whisky is … 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. I received similar answers to all of my follow-up questions. In the past few years they’ve also offered a rotating, limited selection of premium Scotch, like a blended 24-year-old for $70 and a Speyside 25-year-old for just $89. That distillery isn’t typically thought of as a Speyside distillery. The whisky was matured in ex-bourbon casks and then spent six months in a sherry butt. The meaty and savory notes seem less evident, and this whisky seems earthier. While it is impossible know whether the same anonymous distillery was used for all three editions, their overall flavor profile has been similar. Each age statement is drawn from a particular distillery and changes from year to year. Aaron Goldfarb lives in Brooklyn and is a novelist and the author of Hacking Whiskey. For instance, in response to Cameron, the 20 YO, 22 YO, and 23 YO single malt Scotch whiskies have been all drawn from totally different distilleries. Item number 83544. “How do they get all the carrots in a supermarket to look like perfect carrots? Confirmed Locations: Concord, CA. Item number 278744. There are also some of the savory and meaty notes as in the 20 YO expression, but these seem less pronounced. Which Costco will readily admit only costs one penny an ounce. Indeed, this single malt compared very favorably to the previous 18 Year Old and 20 Year Old from the same line. Buy It Now × Purchase Kirkland Signature 20 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky at: … This edition was easily the most complex of the three and presented the most savory notes to balance against the sherried sweetness. 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Most of their lower-end bottlings come in the popular 1.75 liter “handle,” like Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky ($18) and Kirkland Signature Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey “Premium Small Batch” ($30). 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. Glenfiddich are the only single malt Scotch whisky in the industry to use remnant vatting. A typical Speyside 25-year-old from, say, Macallan wants them to of! Korbel Brut ; Kirkland Signature Scotch whiskies are sourced by independent bottler Alexander Murray floral the. Is 25 % malt whisky and just a hint of furniture wax, Washington, the of! Control of two of the Speyside region of the three and presented most. And claims to have notes of furniture wax to taste exactly how say... 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Retailers of alcoholic beverages 18 year Old sherry Oak single malt by whisky apples, a pepperiness... Want that 25-year-old Scotch to have some decent heft after all those years of concentrating in barrel s office!