Why Costco’s Kirkland Signature Scotch is Such a Good Deal

Costco’s generic brand Kirkland Signature includes everything from food to alcohol. And the quality of its spirits may surprise you.

Person holding Kirkland scotch
Updated May 13, 2024
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If you have a membership card with Costco, the warehouse retailer has great deals on any number of products. One of the best Costco hacks is to buy Kirkland Signature products. The retailer’s in-house generic brand is so good, it can sometimes be confused for its name-brand competition.

Costco’s Kirkland brand shines in its selection of alcohol. The retailer offers a variety of products with the in-house label on the front of the bottle. Here’s a look at how Kirkland Signature scotch stacks up against the brand names.

How good is Kirkland scotch?

Who makes Kirkland Signature scotch? The bottle’s label says it’s from Alexander Murray & Co. The distillery also provides blended scotch whiskey for retailers such as Total Wine and Trader Joe’s.

A quick check of the label also mentions Speyside and Islay, both towns in Scotland. The only issue is that both places are well-known for having many distilleries, so which one exactly provides the amber liquid for Kirkland’s scotch is a bit of a mystery.

Where the scotch comes from may not be as important as how it tastes. Costco prides itself on having quality products under the Kirkland brand name and its scotch whiskey is no exception. 

The warehouse retailer tries to make sure products under its brand are similar to or even difficult to distinguish from the name-brand versions, and that includes Kirkland alcohol. The Kirkland brand is blended, meaning that it comes from several different sources to create the perfect combination for scotch drinkers.

Of course, Costco blended scotch is not going to be as high-end as some of the more expensive bottles available, but it’s good as an everyday bottle for your bar. You can drink it neat or on the rocks, depending on what you prefer.

It’s also a good bottle to have around for cocktails and mixed drinks. Try Kirkland Signature scotch at your next party as a mix-in for drinks like a Rob Roy, Rusty Nail, or a Godfather, which combines scotch with amaretto. And of course, there’s the classic scotch and soda if you want a simple and delicious way to enjoy your Costco scotch.

The cost for a bottle of Kirkland-brand scotch can vary depending on the type of scotch and the size of the bottle, but it usually costs less than its brand-name equivalent. By some estimates, Costco sells 100,000 cases or more of scotch per year. So, you will be in good company if you buy a bottle for your home bar or as a gift.

Other alcohol at Costco

Scotch isn’t the only thing you can pick up under the Kirkland Signature brand in the warehouse retailer’s alcohol department. Shop at Costco for any number of deals on hard liquor, wine, beer, and other spirits.

The warehouse retailer carries two different versions of vodka, including an American-sourced vodka and a more-expensive version that tastes similar to name-brand vodkas like Grey Goose.

If you like Crown Royal, Costco sells a blended Canadian whiskey with a Kirkland label that could be mistaken for the real thing. Costco also has bourbon, dry gin, and spiced rum on its shelves with its Kirkland Signature label that are similar to more well-known — and more expensive — products on the market.

Costco also has plenty of wines to choose from under its Kirkland Signature label. Wine lovers can select from white wines like pinot grigio and chardonnay, as well as red wines such as cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir.

And if you want something with a few more bubbles, try Kirkland’s champagne or prosecco.

Not a Costco member? No problem

Even if you are not a Costco member, it’s still possible to perhaps get the same deals from the retailer’s alcohol section that those with a Costco membership enjoy.

Several states have laws that require retailers like Costco to offer alcohol for sale to members of the general public as well as to those with store memberships. That means you can still take advantage of Costco’s great deals on alcohol, including their Kirkland brands, without having to pay the annual membership fee. Check with your local and state laws, along with your nearby Costco, about whether you can purchase spirits without a membership.

Some states also allow same-day delivery of alcohol from places using Instacart, which Costco also uses for food delivery. Again, check with your local regulations to see if you can get delivery of the latest Kirkland scotch and other tasty drinks to enjoy.

If you are a nonmember shopping at Costco for alcohol, check out what else is on the shelves that could net you a deal if you did have a membership. In addition to deals on everyday items, some Costco membership benefits you might not know about include discounts on prescription drugs, vacations, gift cards, and new and used vehicles.

Bottom line

There is no shame in buying a bottle of liquor with Costco’s in-house brand on the label. Kirkland Signature may be more affordable than big-name brands while also offering the same great taste and finish.

In fact, your guests might not be able to distinguish Kirkland brands from the real thing. Try different types of Kirkland alcohol to see which ones you enjoy most. Experimenting is made easier by the fact that Costco’s bottles are usually cheaper than picking up a brand-name equivalent.

Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.