13 Popular Kirkland Liquors At Costco, Ranked By Online Reviews

If you aren't buying Kirkland Signature spirits from Costco, you're missing out. After all: just because it says "Kirkland" on the bottle doesn't mean it isn't a name brand. The bottled liquor is often incredibly similar to your beloved Grey Goose or Crown Royal bottle. Plus, since it contains many of the same ingredients, is made similarly with an eye towards quality, and is low cost, well ... why wouldn't you give it a try?

Thousands of Costco members are happily sipping Kirkland Signature spirits. The numbers don't lie, after all. The data showed Costco sold over $4 billion worth of alcohol in 2018, with sales jumping to $5 billion by 2020. Quite an impressive climb considering that of the thousands of products Costco sells, only around 20 are liquor products sold under the Kirkland Signature label. Since Costco is not a producer, the company sources its signature spirits from outside distilleries. But it only uses high-quality, custom labels created to its specifications and aims to provide a similar product to the recognized labels we love at a more affordable price.

Of course, not all Kirkland Signature spirits are equal. Based on online reviews from critics and consumers, our own experience with several products on this list, and several other factors (like cost), we ranked some popular Kirkland Signature liquors. This way, you'll know which bottles are worth adding to your bar cart — and which to avoid.

13. Kirkland Signature Spiced Rum

Traditionally, spiced rum is produced by macerating natural herbs and spices into white rum, infusing flavor (similar to how gin is made). The macerated rum is then aged in oak barrels. This creates deep flavors and a complex palate with the spices lending the brown color. Anything less than this process is a "rum with natural flavors," a label that retailers are legally required to note on the bottle – which may be why we suggest you skip the Kirkland Signature spiced rum.

In years past, Costco sourced its rum from a distillery on the island of St. Croix, which then sent it to the U.S. to have flavorings and caramel color added (which created the spiced flavor and dark color. Now, when we previously tasted this bottle, it was clearly a rum with added flavors — but it was manageable. Unfortunately, some reviewers on a 2020 Reddit thread noted Costco seemed to change formulas, with claims abounding that its spiced rum was now flavored artificially given its distinct notes of charcoal, tobacco, and burnt wood.

Either way, Kirkland's spiced rum lacks the nuance and complexity of quality varieties of rum. If you find yourself with a bottle in your liquor cabinet, use it for cooking instead of drinking to add smokiness to spiced rum bundt cake. But since that's all it's really good for, it comes in last place. 

12. Kirkland Signature Silver Tequila

The tequila and mezcal market has been one of the fastest-growing spirits categories in the United States over the past few years. The two alcohols are often categorized together as they're both crafted in Mexico from the sugars of agave plants. The Kirkland Signature Silver Tequila bottle states it's made from 100% blue agave distilled and filtered twice for smoothness.

However, numerous consumers have noted that the brand's silver tequila contains a vegetal and medicinal bite — which makes the liquor particularly unpleasant when sipped solo. To be fair, that spiritous sting reveals itself in several other liquors produced under the Kirkland Signature label. But it's especially prevalent in its silver tequila.

While the silver tequila should have subtle notes of roasted agave, fresh flowers, and pepper, this store-bought tequila brand leads with alcohol. It may be generally inexpensive (which helped it beat out Kirkland Signature's spiced rum for second-to-last place). But if you purchase a bottle, do so solely to mix with your evening cocktails.

11. Kirkland Signature Añejo Tequila

The best añejo tequilas are made from 100% blue agave and take time to produce. After all, agave plants need seven years to mature before harvest, and the average agave plant only produces ten or so bottles of tequila. Additionally, after distillation, añejo tequila must be aged in oak barrels (similar to the aging of bourbon whiskey) for one to three years. The type of oak and length of aging affect the richness and depth of flavor of the spirit — which are lacking in Kirkland Signature Añejo Tequila.

Though it's made from 100% blue agave and barrel-aged for a year, Kirkland Signature's añejo varietal doesn't have the full character of truer añejo tequilas. The taste has more artificial flavorings than roasted agave and toasted oak, and tracks closer to vanilla and spice (possibly from wood chips added during aging). Since añejo is often considered a sipping tequila that's best served neat or perhaps with an ice cube, it's worth the higher-end splurge whether you're shopping at Costco or elsewhere.

A bottle of Kirkland Signature Añejo Tequila may be cheaper than other options. But that doesn't mean it can stand up to other brands when it comes to taste. It is slightly better than its silver tequila, though (and the less said about Kirkland's spiced rum, the better), so it outranks the bottom two entries.

10. Kirkland Signature London Dry Gin

We'll admit the appreciation of Kirkland Signature's gin is subject to each palate. Every gin contains signature flavors, after all, which often consist of some combination of juniper berries, herbs, florals and botanicals, citrus, or fruit. But there are hundreds of options within these broad categories. Apple to berry, lemon to orange, fresh mint to dried mint — virtually every flavor combination imaginable exists. Of course, while determining the best gin depends on each consumer's preference, you still want to ensure the quality is there.

Now, rumors suggest Kirkland Signature London Dry Gin is made by either Tanqueray or Gordon's — two highly regarded London gin producers. Along those lines, the Kirkland Signature's gin has received high marks in the past, including a 2018 silver medal from Tastings. However, reviews on Reddit in early 2021 from loyal Kirkland Signature London Gin drinkers say it had become undrinkable. Some noted the gin contained piney, acrid, and rose bush flavors (none of which are enjoyable).

Like many other Kirkland liquor options, its London Dry Gin is affordable (roughly $25 for a 1.75-liter bottle as of March 2024 depending on the location. Still, go ahead and spend a few extra dollars on the good stuff. It isn't as bad as the brand's three lower-ranked bottles. But it can't best the nine higher-ranked options, either. If you're a dry martini fan, you'll thank us for dodging this bottle.

9. Kirkland Signature Irish Whiskey

When Costco began liquor sales under the Kirkland Signature label, it kept the production sources under lock and key. This led to years of speculation and taste tests to discover who made what (and where). While the origin of some Costco spirits has been identified, the origin point of its Irish whiskey remains a mystery. But the bottle label clearly states it is, in fact, an Irish-made whiskey — which means it meets the specific rules and regulations for this style of whiskey.

For a spirit to be Irish whiskey, the mash must include malted barley and has to be distilled and aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks in Ireland. Irish whiskey must also be devoid of additives, with water and e150a caramel coloring the only exceptions. Though once reported as a 2019 "best buy" by Wine Enthusiast, reviews since then suggest Kirkland's version of the Irish spirit has the burn of a high-alcohol liquor — without the weight or body to support it.

The 80 proof whiskey lacks the recognized aromas expected from a barrel-aged spirit like honey, vanilla, and spice. The flavor offers slightly more character — dried fruit, warm spice, and caramel poke through — than expected (and helped it earn ninth place). But the overall hit of liquor dominates the whiskey when sipped straight rather than in cocktails, so it can't rank any higher.

8. Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky

A signature spirit of Scotland, Scotch whisky (which omits the "e" used in whiskey) is produced in the country — often in either Speyside or Islay. Scotch whisky makers from Islay use peat soil when drying the barley used to make Scotch whisky. Peat gives this whisky style its specific wet, smoky, earthy quality. The flavor characteristics of peat are found in every bottle of Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky, lending a forest floor and damp athletic sock aroma to the spirit.

An 80 proof spirit, Kirkland's blended Scotch is relatively thin and lacks complexity, with a musty, loamy bouquet. At best, it's similar to Dewar's White Label. This earthiness leads to candied apple and dried fruit flavors that produce an unexpected sweetness on the palate. However, it lacks the texture and density you would hope for in Scotch. Critics agree this bottle produces the distinct (and expected) peat note along with oak, likely from a short period of barrel aging and the heated bite of alcohol.

Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky isn't bad by any means, but it does belong in the lower hald of our rankings. If you buy this, your best bet is to add it to your cocktails instead of sipping it straight.

7. Kirkland Signature Barton 1792 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Secrecy aside, Costco has opted in recent years to include producer names on the packaging of select spirits — thus highlighting its partnerships with leading distillers to club members. One of these ollaborations is with Kentucky's Barton 1792 Distillery. The oldest fully-operating distillery in Kentucky, Barton 1792 Distillery began in 1843 by producing corn, wheat, malted barley, and rye bourbon whiskey expressions from their Bardstown, Kentucky home.

Costco began a partnership with the distiller in the early 2020s. It stated bourbon from the award-winning legacy producer would be available on a rotating basis. Some believe the spirit is reminiscent of other Barton whiskeys and note Kirkland's small-batch bourbon has a point of sweetness on the front end like fruit punch. 

It also had a relatively thin palate washed with subtle charcoal and cherry, and a distinct alcohol burn on the finish. It may not the most interesting bourbon on the market, but for the price? It's a good base for a smooth old fashioned or classic Manhattan cocktail – and perfectly placed in the middle of our rankings.

6. Kirkland Signature Irish Cream Liqueur

Irish cream liqueur is whiskey, cream, and sugar. What's not to like about that? Add some ice and stir it into your cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and soon you'll be doing an Irish jig. Thankfully, Kirkland Signature Irish Cream Liqueur is good — and we're not alone in that opinion. The liqueur is reminiscent of more well-known, high-end cream liqueurs, with a velvet finish and melding quality that benefits your drink. Some even believe it may be better than popular brands like Bailey's, with one Reddit reviewer in 2019 describing it as "the cream of the gods." 

Kirkland Signature Irish Cream Liqueur combines layers of chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel within a thick texture. But as it turns out, there are two versions of Kirkland's dreamy Irish cream liqueur. One version has 17% alcohol and is made with Irish whiskey (similar to the production of traditional Irish cream liqueur like Bailey's). The other is a wine-based liqueur with 13.9% alcohol marketed as Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream. The latter is slightly sweeter than the whiskey-based offering, but reviews say both are worth purchasing — and we agree. Hence, it comes in at sixth place on this list.

5. Kirkland Ready To Drink Golden Margarita

The fastest-growing alcohol segment in the country in 2021 was the pre-mixed/ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails category. Kirkland Signature's ready-to-drink Golden Margarita variety costs a fraction of the price of many name similar brands – and delivers a worthwhile taste all the same.

In our opinion, the pre-mixed cocktail has an authentic taste accompanying the bite of sharp tequila. This sweet, slightly sour thirst quencher is a summer favorite that features lime juice, cane sugar, and triple sec. Despite maximum flavor, the Kirkland Signature Ready-to-Drink Golden Margarita has a moderate alcohol content of 12.7% ABV per serving (similar to a glass of wine).

While this still won't be the same as the top-shelf margarita from your favorite Mexican restaurant, it can serve as a satisfying refresher in a glass with ice. Plus, the cost of a full bottle will likely be the same as just one of those high-end restaurant orders, so this Kirkland liquor kicks off our top five.

4. Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian Whisky

The style and character of Canadian whisky distinguish it from neighboring styles to the south. Though similar to American bourbon whiskey (with the "e")— they both use a significant quantity of corn in the production. However, Canadian whisky has always contained a high percentage of rye, which is responsible for creating its signature flavor. The most popular brand of Canadian whisky is Crown Royal, which happens to be one of the top-tasting whiskey brands out there. Fortunately, Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian Whisky shares comparable characteristics and flavors to the famed Canadian brand.

It's full but not paunchy and doesn't bite so much as it boldly presents. Kirkland Signature Canadian Whisky is a solid option if you're a fan of whiskey from north of the border. Oak-cask aged for six years, the whisky integrates vanilla, cinnamon, clove spice, and toffee. Add that it costs a fraction of the named brand options (roughly half as much as a bottle of Crown Royal), and we consider this a qualified choice for any bar cart. Some may find it a little thin and dry (hence it can't crack our top three Kirkland Signature liquors). Still, most agree that if you're a Canadian whisky fan, this is a solid option at a good price.

3. Kirkland Signature American Vodka

Vodka is one of the most popular spirits in the U.S., and Costco members agree. After all, vodka was the top-selling liquor at Costco stores in 2021. More than that, Kirkland Signature American Vodka and Tito's Handmade Vodka are among the most popular spirits sold at the club — with the former among the three best spirits sold by the chain.

Costco's American Vodka is created from corn and certified for production by the LeVecke Corporation in California. The process involves the spirit being distilled six times for smoothness, which creates a neutral product with the subtle but apparent edge of an 80 proof alcohol. The best-selling vodka in the country, Tito's Handmade Vodka, is also made from corn, has a neutral flavor, and is an 80-proof spirit. 

Now, both popular American-made vodka brands are produced from corn, contain 40% ABV, and deliver a smooth yet pronounced presence. But considering the Costco brand sells for half the price of a similarly-sized bottle of $Tito's, it's clear which is the better buy in this economy. The third-best Kirkland Signature liquor (based on online reviews and our own experience), the brand's American Vodka will be a perfect addition to a spiked pink lemonade on a summer afternoon.

2. Kirkland Signature French Vodka

Over the years, many have speculated whether Kirkland Signature French Vodka is the same as Grey Goose. It's not — though there are similarities. Kirkland Signature and Grey Goose come from the same Cognac region in France and share the same water source (the Gensac Spring). This water source is important, as water is an essential ingredient in the production of the spirit. Adding water reduces the alcohol by volume of vodka after distillation, bringing the level from mid-70% to 40% (or the minimum to be sold as vodka in America).

Using the most pristine water will create a completely neutral spirit, which is the goal for many vodka distillers. Despite being similar, Grey Goose executives adamantly deny its vodka is found in Kirkland Signature's bottles. For one thing, Grey Goose claims to use a private well from the Gensac Spring that's not shared with Costco's vodka.

However, the brands are very alike in flavor. Each has a clean, soft palate and subtle taste — and some even prefer Kirkland Signature over Grey Goose when compared side-by-side. Aside from a comparable style and taste, Costco's brand costs drastically less than Grey Goose. So be sure to pick up a bottle — with the red label versus the blue label, as red signifies the French variety — the next time you're at Costco. It may not have taken the top spot, but Kirkland's French vodka is a fantastic option.

1. Kirkland Signature Speyside Sherry Finish Single Malt Scotch

When Scotch whisky is aged in a barrel, it loses liquid before being bottled due to natural evaporation over time (referred to as the "angel share") Up to 2% of a barrel may evaporate each year — and up to 40% of the original volume may be lost before bottling. Given this, well-aged single malt whisky is rare and often expensive, with exceptionally uncommon bottles often exceeding a reasonable budget. Of course, we think there should be a place for this type of premium liquor alongside accessible options.

Now, Kirkland Signature Speyside 20-year-old Sherry Finish Single Malt Scotch whisky may be the latter. But it's still crafted by aging malted barley from a single distillery in barrels over an extended period, which helps explain why it's the best Kirkland Signature liquor sold at Costco. Kirkland Signature Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky starts by aging in used bourbon barrels, before being finished for six months in barrels previously used for Oloroso sherry.

This aging process (combined with Speyside's regional characteristics) imparts dried fruits, toffee, brown sugar, and caramel flavors in the flavorful spirit. Some may feel it's not as pronounced as you'd expect from a Scotch whisky of this age. Still, we believe this is one of the most beautifully matured Scotch whiskey options for the price and the number one Kirkland Signature liquor on the market.


While we've personally sampled several Kirkland Signature liquor products included on this list (as well as several that are no longer widely available at Costco stores), we largely relied on online reviews when assembling the rankings. We first compiled a list of popular and widely-sold Kirkland Signature spirit varieties, then established our ranking of the selections.

In addition to online reviews from customers on various websites and social media, we considered critic reviews (mainly professional) from a variety of different experts and sources. Additional factors taken into consideration when ranking Kirkland brand liquors included the cost (particularly in comparison to similar popular liquor brands) and the general availability of each variety at numerous Costco stores.