The 8 Best Costco Whiskeys Under $100, According to Shoppers

Best Costco Whiskeys Under $100

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Whiskey on the Rocks
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Cheap Costco Whiskey

Even if you’re a whiskey drinker on a budget, you don’t have to settle for Jack Daniel’s or Crown Royal. They’re widely available, cheap, and popular, but you can do a lot better without spending hundreds of dollars on a dram of top-shelf rye. The trick is taking advantage of Costco’s cheap, high-quality liquors, many of which are sold under its in-house Kirkland Signature label. Whiskey enthusiasts on Reddit recently shared a roundup of the best Costco whiskeys under $100, the top eight of which we’ve listed below.

Kirkland Signature Single Barrel Bourbon
Reup Liquor

1. Kirkland Signature Single Barrel Bourbon

  • Price: $48
  • Region: Kentucky
  • Tasting Notes: Honey, caramel, and dried fruit
  • Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 60%

Because Redditors focused on brand-name whiskeys in the $100 and under price range, Costco’s Kirkland whiskey was short-shrifted in the thread. And yet, the retailer’s single barrel bourbon received one shout-out for being the best bang-for-your-buck whiskey available at Costco. The Whisky Study called this Kentucky straight whiskey, produced by a subsidiary of the renowned Sazerac company, the “holy grail of affordable bourbons,” especially for drinkers who appreciate oak and wood notes.

Glendronach 12-Year Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Total Wine

2. Glendronach 12-Year Single Malt Scotch

  • Price: $47
  • Region: Highland, Scotland
  • Tasting Notes: Oak, sherry, raisins, and soft fruits
  • ABV: 40%

Glendronach 12 is the 200-year-old distillery’s entry-level scotch, aged in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. The Whisky Study praises this bottle for its price-to-quality ratio. For $50 (or less), you get a complex scotch that comes close to matching Glendronach 15, which costs almost twice as much.

Nikka Whisky From The Barrel
Total Wine

3. Nikka Whisky From The Barrel

  • Price: $59
  • Region: Japan
  • Tasting Notes: Malt, peat, and spice
  • ABV: 51.4%

This Japanese blend earned Whisky Advocate’s top spot in its ranking of most exciting whiskeys of 2018. Its flavor, which the publication called “balanced and elegant,” is thanks to a mixture of over 100 different whiskeys and several different casks, from bourbon barrels to sherry butts. However, whiskey enthusiasts should know that its “from the barrel” title is a misnomer: The blend is bottled at 51.4% ABV, shy of a true barrel-proof designation.

Macallan 12-Year Single Malt Sherry Oak Scotch
Total Wine

4. Macallan 12-Year Single Malt Sherry Oak Scotch

  • Price: $70
  • Region: Highland, Scotland
  • Tasting Notes: Dried fruits, ginger, oak spice
  • ABV: 63.5%

You can’t go wrong with Macallan 12. As one Redditor puts it, this single-malt Scotch whisky is a “respected, mild scotch” that comes in an appealing package. It’s the sort of scotch that makes a great gift, whether it’s for a seasoned drinker or a novice. The 12-year-old spirit liquor gets its flavor from the dozen years it’s spent in a sherry-seasoned oak cask.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

5. Elijah Craig Barrel-Proof Bourbon

  • Price: $75
  • Region: Kentucky
  • Tasting Notes: Caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch
  • ABV: 63.5%

Elijah Craig bottles each batch of barrel-proof whiskey with an uncut selection of 12-year-old bourbon. Whiskey nerds will know that the bourbon’s quality will vary by release — C922 is a “VERY heavy hitter,” according to one Redditor — and that Elijah Craig is continually producing new batches. Still, this award-winning bourbon is likely to be excellent no matter which bottle you pick up.

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Woodford Reserve Bourbon

6. Woodford Reserve Double-Oaked Bourbon

Price: $75

Region: Kentucky

Tasting Notes: Caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch

ABV: 45.2%

Costco shoppers claim that this small-batch bourbon is the best whiskey they’ve tasted under $100. Each batch is aged in two charred oak barrels, giving it notes of vanilla and a smooth, sweet finish that some liken to “candy.” Even reluctant whiskey fans say they find something to enjoy in this award-winning domestic spirit.

Related: The Sam's Club Member's Mark Liquor Lineup: What to Buy and What to Skip

Lavagulin 16-Year Scotch Whiskey
Total Wine

7. Lagavulin 16-Year Single Malt Scotch

  • Price: $80
  • Region: Islay, Scotland
  • Tasting Notes: Smoke, peat
  • ABV: 43%

Reviewers write about Lagavulin 16 with equal parts reverence and fear. Reverence because the award-winning distillery has been around for more than 200 years, and fear because this Islay single-malt Scotch whisky has an intense, smokey flavor. While fans sing its praises, those who haven’t acquired a taste might find its burnt taste overwhelming. “I love whisky, but Lagavulin tastes like I am sucking on some smoked moss,” one commenter writes.

Related: Here's How Kirkland Hard Seltzer Stacks Up Against White Claw

Suntory Hibiki Harmony
Total Wine

8. Suntory Hibiki Harmony Blended Whisky

  • Price: $80
  • Region: Japan
  • Tasting Notes: Honey, candied orange peel, white chocolate
  • ABV: 75.5%

While Suntory’s Hibiki Harmony is blended (and therefore scorned by some snobs), one whiskey fan says that it’s a good “go-to” for introducing newbies to the world of whiskey. According to The Whisky Study’s review, a bottle of Hibiki can include up to 100 different grain and malt whiskeys from its Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita distilleries.

Related: Top 21 Most Expensive Bottles of Alcohol Ever Sold

Whiskey on the Rocks
Jonathan Austin Daniels/istockphoto

Other Top-Rated Costco Whiskeys

Given this thread’s focus on Costco whiskeys that make great gifts, it’s no surprise that the Kirkland Signature Brand only appeared a handful of times. Unless you’re dealing with a true cheapskate, an off-brand gift might come across as a tad tacky. But if you’re buying whiskey for your home bar, you should consider the following Costco Scotch and other whiskeys, which receive praise from reviewers and consumers.

  • Kirkland Signature Canadian Whisky

  • Kirkland Signature Speyside Single Malt Scotch

  • Kirkland Premium Small Batch Bourbon

Related: Costco Superfans Reveal Their Favorite Kirkland Brand Liquor

Man at the supermarket buying a bottle of alcohol

How To Pick a Whiskey

1. Determine Your Budget

Setting a budget is crucial when selecting a whiskey. Prices can range from affordable options at stores like Costco and Trader Joe's to premium age statement whiskeys from independent bottlers. A clear budget helps you narrow down choices.

2. Figure Out How You Like Your Whiskey

Do you enjoy a whiskey with a hint of orange zest and bitters? Neat? On the rocks? The best whiskey for mixed drinks is going to be a lot different than the best ones to drink straight.

3. Pick a Style, Proof, and Profile

Whiskey comes in various styles, proofs, and profiles. Whether you prefer a light, floral whiskey or a robust, high-proof spirit, there's something for everyone.

4. Ask a Professional

If you're still unsure about your choice, don't hesitate to consult a professional. Staff at liquor stores, especially those at specialty whiskey shops, are usually well-versed in their inventory and can offer invaluable advice.