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The Best Costco-Brand Liquors to Buy — and Which to Leave on the Shelf

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Most people are aware that Costco is where it's at for deals on tons of pantry and home staples. Even Costco's house wine is considered a solid buy, but what about liquor? Since you can only buy liquor from Costco in a handful of states, it's not talked about as often as the warehouse club's other deals, but it should be. Here are some of Costco's most notable Kirkland Signature brand spirits and how they stack up to name-brands — along with the bottles you can leave on the shelf. (Not a Costco member? Apply here.)


Note: Because Costco doesn't have online listings for any alcohol it carries in-store, we've linked to Instacart which delivers Costco orders at an adjusted price. Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: 24 Costco Brand Products That Shoppers Love

Kirkland Signature French Vodka
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Buy: Kirkland Signature French Vodka

Estimated price: $20

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What do the kids say these days? When you know you know… that is the case for Costco's Kirkland Signature French Vodka — not to be confused with the American Vodka. Named by many online reviewers as the single best deal at Costco period, The Kitchn's panel of industry experts ranked it as their favorite vodka in a blind taste test with premium name-brands, noting it's "sweet and bright" flavor. Many a liquor connoisseur has compared it to the high-end Grey Goose — in part because its made in the same distillery — but get this: it outranks the higher-end brand in most face-offs. For a silky, smooth taste, it's a third of the price of Grey Goose. Trust us on this one — you'll want to snatch up Kirkland's French Vodka.


Related: Spirits and Mixers Every Home Bar Should Have

Kirkland Signature American Vodka
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Leave: Kirkland Signature American Vodka

Estimated price: $13

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Many experts warn while reviewing the Kirkland Signature French Vodka not to confuse it with the Kirkland Signature American Vodka. Why? It just doesn't stack up. Compared to the French Vodka, the American Vodka is just plain bland according to The Kitchn's taste test. Even though it's distilled six times, it comes in dead last for its tasteless, watery thin taste. That said, if it's mixed drinks you're going for, then for the price, it might just do.


Related: How to Fully Stock Your Bar for Under $300

Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky
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Buy: Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky

Estimated price: $18

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Expert reviewers aren't necessarily blown away by the Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky, but for the price and the fact that it's clean and easy to drink Forbes finds it to be an exceptional choice. It mixes well with others and makes a fine after-work daily drink, but for special occasions, you might want to splurge a little more on a single malt.


Related: Best Whiskeys Under $50 for 2021

Scotch (3)
Scotch (3) by Adrian Scottow (CC BY-SA)

Splurge: Kirkland Speyside Scotch

Estimated price: $80

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If you're looking for a single malt scotch that can easily stand on its own and is sure to impress, look no further than the Kirkland Speyside Scotch. While yes, the nearly $80 price tag is a bit of a splurge, the expert tasters at The Seattle Times were absolutely wowed. This would be up to snuff with even experienced scotch drinkers, and the expert tasters agreed it was hands down the best bottle of liquor out of the six bottles they sampled. Even at a higher price point, Whiskey Monster points out that it's still an excellent price for the quality scotch you're getting. No doubt about it, this is a splurge worth taking.


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bourbon whiskey
bourbon whiskey by Yamanaka Tamaki (CC BY-NC-ND)

Leave: Kirkland Signature Small Batch Bourbon

Estimated price: $30

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Bourbon is a personal preference, and one bourbon fans take very seriously. Costco's version, the Kirkland Signature Small Batch Bourbon, is one most reviewers can do without. While it doesn't review terribly, it doesn’t score as great anywhere. Most reviewers agree that you can find better at the same or close enough price point. A reviewer at Reddit says it best: “the price is the only thing that it has going for it. The taste is so mild and the alcohol burn is too much and way out of balance with the flavor. There are so many other inexpensive bourbons out there that taste way better... pick almost anything over this one.”


Related: Boozy Gifts That Don Draper Would Endorse

Kirkland Irish Cream
Cheapism

Buy: Kirkland Signature Irish Cream

Estimated price: $10

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When you can't tell the difference between the Kirkland brand and the name-brand counterpart, then you know you've got a winner on your hands. The experts at Taste of Home like it better than the standby Baileys Irish Cream. Their tasters say it has the same exact Irish whiskey taste, blended with chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut flavors for a fraction of the price — a deal you just can't beat.

Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian Whisky
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Buy: Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian Whisky

Estimated price: $19

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Tasting eerily like Crown Royal, the Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian Whisky is a hit with whisky fans. One reviewer on Proof66 says, "for the price just can't beat it. Very close to Crown Royal and at more than half the price for a 1.5-liter bottle." Other reviewers on the site agree. One reviewer says it's great with a mixer and neat on its own, while another points out he can tell a slight difference between the Costco version and the real deal, Crown Royal, but admits he doesn't mind the difference.

Kirkland Signature Tequila Silver
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Leave: Kirkland Signature Tequila Silver

Estimated price: $22

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One Costco liquor that falls flat is the Kirkland Signature Tequila Silver. In a taste test done by The Seattle Times, the expert tasters were overall not impressed with what they deemed this "unnaturally sweet, odd" tasting tequila. In short, both tasters agreed that it just doesn't have what you look for in a good tequila. It doesn't fare much better on The Tequila Tourist blog. While the reviewer said it was decent, those commenting generally disagreed. "The smell is disgusting, lacking any standard agave floweriness…it even ruins a bloody Mary," one reviewer gripes, and most agree.


Related: 15 Best Tequilas Under $30 a Bottle for Your Home Bar

Kirkland Signature Añejo Tequila
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Leave: Kirkland Signature Añejo Tequila

Estimated price: $25

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Deemed equally as inferior, if not worse than its silver counterpart, the Kirkland Signature Anejo Tequila was ranked dead last in The Seattle Times liquor taste test. In fact, one of the reviewers mistook it for cheap brandy because it didn't even taste like tequila. Those reviewing the cheap tequila on Proof66 aren't quite as put off by it, though. Users agree that it has a much sweeter taste than most tequilas, a personal preference, but some don't mind it for sipping. However, several suggest it is terrible in a mixed drink. "Not a very good mixer because it overpowers the drink, but it's okay for sipping. I prefer something smoother and more refined, but the price is unbeatable for essentially an Extra Anejo," sums up one reviewer.


Related: 20 Splurge-Worthy Tequilas for Celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Home

 Kirkland Signature Spiced Rum
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Leave it: Kirkland Signature Spiced Rum

Estimated price: $15

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Also not getting much love is the Kirkland Signature Spiced Rum. One of the main problems One reviewer on RumRatings attributes to it to what he calls a “Costco sized serving of artificial flavors”. He goes on to say the artificial aftertaste is strong. Other reviewers remark that it is too sweet. "Kirkland spiced rum was gross," sums up one Proof66 reviewer where the spiced rum scores a barely mediocre 467 out of 770. To be honest if you spend just a few dollars more you can get a better-tastingfsddgsg spiced rum. Sorry Costco, but this one's a hard no.