We Finally Know Who Makes Costco's Kirkland Spiced Rum

For those not familiar, Costco is a major liquor retailer — and a successful one, too. Although the store doesn't sell spirits in every state, much of their Kirkland brand booze has garnered attention. Each expression's sourced distillery is kept secretive, but the bottles are well-priced and delicious, striking a specific niche in the liquor market. Nevertheless, by deep-diving through sourcing and perusing databases, many of the true Kirkland producers have been uncovered.

In the case of Costco's Kirkland spiced rum, exposing the details of manufacturing is easier than other spirits. For older renditions, the label stated sourcing from the Caribbean island of St. Croix, which caused speculation it was made at the Cruzan rum brand facility. However, several years ago, Costco reworked the spiced liquor. We do know that the rum is bottled and distributed by Sazerac Co., as stated on the side of the bottle.

This large company operates over 450 brands, including ownership of familiar distilleries like Buffalo Trace. Rum isn't a typical part of their portfolio; the company has its oldest roots in cognac. Nevertheless, this spiced rendition — bottled in Louisville, Kentucky — holds up in mixed drinks. Occasionally found for under $20 a handle, it's a great choice when the cost is a factor.

Large beverage company Sazerac Co. manufactures the spiced rum

Some spiced rums employ only natural spices with traditional maceration techniques, but that's not the case for Kirkland's rendition. By United States federal law, flavored rum crafted with nontraditional methods and flavorings must say so on the bottle. Such a statement is listed on Kirkland's label, noting the use of additives, both for taste and color.

Especially at such a price point, this tidbit comes hardly as a surprise. And unfortunately, some drinkers aren't fans of such an artificial palate. In a blind taste with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, the Kirkland spirit is noted for stronger sweetness and unnatural notes. Others cite that the vanilla undertones are too dominant, even in a rum and coke.

However, the good news is this spirit is full-proof, clocking in at 46% alcohol by volume– so it'll craft a stiff drink. Plus, opinions are divided, and some do find the flavor palatable, especially when combined with other bold ingredients. So, if you are looking for an accessible spiced rum, it's not a bad call to give the Kirkland brand a shot.