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Costco Bourbon: Is The Cheap Alternative Any Good?

If you’re like most bourbon drinkers, you’re always on the lookout for a good bourbon at a reasonable price. When it comes to Costco bourbon, you may wonder if it’s worth buying.

After all, some people say that Costco sells lower-quality booze than other stores. However, it also has its fans who sing its praises. But where does the truth lie?

We looked closely at Costco bourbon to discover if it’s worth purchasing.

Let’s jump in!

What Is Costco Bourbon?

Costco’s Kirkland brand is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey made exclusively for Costco stores.

It’s an incredibly popular, widely enjoyed spirit with an amazingly smooth taste and timeless flavor profile that can be purchased at a great price. The Costco bourbon has hints of caramel, vanilla, oak, and rye spice that you can sink your teeth into.

Who Makes Costco Bourbon?

Though past iterations of Costco’s spirits didn’t divulge who produced them for the membership warehouse giant, their current bourbon is made by Barton 1792 Distillery.

Established in 1879, it’s the oldest fully-operating distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, one of several distilleries owned by Sazerac.

With 29 barrel-aging warehouses. The name for Barton 1792 Distillery honors the year Kentucky joined the United States.

Pro Tip: Whether you are planning on buying bourbon or other groceries from Costco, make sure to not commit any of these Seven Deadly Sins of Costco Shopping.

Costco bourbon being poured into glass
The hunt for an affordable and delicious bourbon is over. Try Costco’s Kirkland brand bourbon.

How Much Is It for a Bottle of Bourbon at Costco?

There are three different expressions of Costco bourbon, all made by Barton 1792. These expressions include Small Batch, Bottled-in-Bond, and Single Barrel.

The price depends upon the bottle, which all differ in proof or strength of alcohol. The 46% ABV Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon sells for $19. Stepping up to 50% ABV, Kirkland Bottled-in-Bond is priced at $24 per bottle. Kirkland Single Barrel, sitting at the high end at 60% ABV, sells for $29 a bottle.

Is Costco Bourbon Good?

By most accounts, all three Costco bourbons are good. They are all similar in flavor profile, though you will notice subtle differences. The intensity also increases with the amount of alcohol in each.

As expected, the Small Batch Bourbon is the least aggressive, easiest drinking of the three. With the base flavors of caramel, vanilla, and oak, the Small Batch also has notes of chocolate and apricot.

The Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is more complex than the Small Batch, with a slight tingle on the tongue. Its chocolate notes come across more like cocoa nibs, and it has more potent peach-like flavor notes.

The Single Barrel Bourbon finishes even stronger, with plenty of heat, but also has the most complex flavor notes. Similar to the others, the Single Barrel has more of a tobacco smokiness swirled into the mix.

Man drinking Costco bourbon
Sip on a refreshing glass of either Costco’s Small Batch, Bottled-in-Bond, or Single Barrel bourbon.

What Kind of Bourbon Is Kirkland Small Batch?

Kirkland Small Batch is Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Neither Costco nor Barton 1792 reveals their bourbon’s mash bill, but it’s believed to be high rye. This means it probably has about 20% rye, which is why it finishes with some spicy notes of cinnamon and clove.

There’s no age statement on the Small Batch Bourbon. However, being a straight bourbon means it has to meet all of the legal requirements for bourbon and must be aged for at least two years.

Should You Drink Bourbon Straight?

Drinking bourbon straight definitely has its benefits, especially for bourbon lovers. With neat bourbon, you can taste the nuances and flavors of each whiskey in all its glory.

There is no one way to drink bourbon, however. Adding a splash of water or dropping an ice cube in the glass also enhances the complexities of good bourbon.

When crafting cocktails such as an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, the complexity of flavor from the bourbon is balanced with other ingredients. Bitters and sweet vermouth make for a diverse drinking experience.

Whether you prefer to drink your bourbon neat or in one of these classic cocktails, there’s no wrong answer so let your taste buds be the judge!

Pro Tip: Want to drink your Costco bourbon in your RV? We uncovered Can RV Passengers Drink Alcohol While It’s Moving?

Is Costco Bourbon Worth It?

So, is Costco Bourbon worth it? We would say yes. It’s a quality bourbon with all the flavor notes and complexities you can ask for. The price point is such that it would be challenging to beat Costco’s bourbon with any other brand of the same money.

While Costco’s secrecy about who produced its spirits in the past led many to question them, that concern can be laid to rest with their current line-up of bourbon. Barton 1792 is one of the oldest in the country and is highly respected.

Whether you’re looking for something to drink straight or make classic cocktails with, Kirkland Bourbon is certainly worth picking up the next time you’re at Costco.

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