Who Makes Costco's Kirkland Brand Canadian Whisky?

If you're lucky enough to live in one of the states where Costco sells liquor, don't miss out on the Kirkland brand. This secretive label produces a full range of spirits at a price point that's often more affordable than their competitors. Not all the expressions are created equal, but if you buy the best ranked Kirkland liquors you won't be disappointed.

A large part of the intrigue — as well as quality discrepancy — is the range of producers responsible for these liquors. Costco doesn't always reveal the distiller behind their Kirkland brands. So if you're keen to sample the brand's Canadian whisky, it can be helpful to know the producer for a better idea of what the bottle holds.

No one knows for certain, but many suggest their Canadian whisky is Crown Royal, or at the very least, produced in the same facility. The two spirits both pack in sweet and smooth notes, with a similar nose. Kirkland's expression offers a bit more spice and notes it has been aged for six years, while Crown Royal doesn't disclose any barreling durations. Investigation of the Kirkland's bottle source reveals older bottles were operated by Wide World Importers, who cooperated with liquor industry giant Sazerac. The company did have a Canadian distillery in their portfolio, although it wasn't Crown Royal. Such leads complicate the whisky's origin story, meaning it's impossible to know the source for certain.

Many suggest Crown Royal produces Kirkland brand Canadian whisky

In addition to Crown Royal's line of different flavored whiskys, the brand is known for their expansive blending — nearly 50 variously aged whiskies can go into a bottle. Such a large whisky canvas has led consumers to theorize that the Kirkland bottle is a distinct mix from the distillery's expansive portfolio. Unlike some Crown Royal products, Costco publishes their mash bill on the bottle — it's predominantly a corn-based mix, with a bit of sherry mixed into the final product. Some cite their ingredient mix is atypical for Crown Royal, however it's impossible to untangle for certain.

Regardless of whether or not Kirkland's Canadian Whisky is made in Crown Royal's Manitoba facility, one thing is certain: The liquor is well-priced. A 1.75 liter bottle of the spirit can found for as little as $19, making it an excellent candidate for parties, mixers, or perhaps a warm and cozy hot toddy. Some cite the whisky as light on the body and low in complexity — it won't wow connoisseurs. However, since it sells at an affordable price point, the straightforward nature is understandable; so pick up a bottle and enjoy.