Costco members may want to avoid the warehouse store’s Kirkland Signature American Vodka — at least for the near future. According to multiple reports from Costco superfans on Reddit, the popular $15 vodka is suffering from quality issues, with shoppers comparing its new flavor to “Flintstones vitamins" and describing it as “atrocious.”
“I just opened a new bottle and made vodka sodas. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever dumped out cocktails,” a Costco shopper from Sacramento, California, wrote. “It’s bad.”
In another popular thread posted to r/Costco on Wednesday, two Redditors who say that they’re Costco employees shed some light on the change.
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“There was supposed to be a pull on certain batch numbers of this SKU. They didn’t tell us why,” one employee wrote. “I’m assuming it was quality concern reasons, seeing as how many people on Reddit have been saying this.”
Another Redditor who says they work in the regional office said that the batch has “hints of rum due to a container not being completely cleaned” before transport. “It has no health risks or implications, but it gave the vodka notes of rum!” they added.
In the past month, there have been three threads that have raised the quality issue on r/Costco, with the earliest post being in mid-July.
Die-hard fans typically swear by Costco's selection of cheap, white-label alcohol. One shopper even compared Kirkland Canadian Whiskey to Crown Royal despite it being half the price. Industry experts have also named Costco’s imported $25 Kirkland Signature French Vodka as some of the best Costco alcohol to buy. The in-house brand’s $15 American Vodka has earned less praise from critics, though it still has a passionate following among penny pinchers.
Although there's a rumor that Grey Goose produces the store's Kirkland Signature American vodka, USA Today debunked that claim in 2020. According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s registry, Costco only has one approved producer of Kirkland Signature vodka: LeVecke Corp in Mira Loma, California.
Cheapism has reached out to Costco for comment and will update this story if we hear back.