Kirkland Signature Speyside 18

Thanks to /u/DistillAsian for this one!

Kirkland Signature. We all know it. Sorry, those of us who need the deals at Costco just to get by in this boring dystopia that is Capitalistic North America know of it.

Canadians and Americans have different ways of reacting to store brands. In Canada, we grew up with them, and even high-end versions of them. Americans, from what I’ve learned in marketing CPGs and since wanted to forget, view them as poor people things that are proof that someone isn’t pulling themselves up enough by their bootstraps, those lazy fucknuts. It’s totally not a system that perpetuates poverty at all!

Enter Kirkland Signature. You see, all store brands are just a brand making an item under a stores label in return for shelf space. So if you buy an orange juice at a store and that store has more room for Pepsico OJ, it’s mostly Tropicana that may have been watered down (but probably not). That’s it.

Costco goes a step further, totally goes Mortal Kombat on that shit, and lets them fight it out. Since they are so big (one of the largest alcohol buyers on the planet), they have Scotch.

So we have Kirkland Signature Speyside 18, served to me blind. Enough learning about the constant machine that will someday destroy your children: How does it taste?

Price: No idea, but reports say $50-55 freedom bucks in places that allow alcohol sales and don’t infantilize their adults

Region: Speyside

Cask Type: Matured in ex-bourbon barrels then 6 months finish in Oloroso sherry casks

Abv: 46%

Colour: 5Y 5/8

Nose: Tea, peach, mint/herbal, caramel, banana

Tannins, fruity, and sweet. A nice dimension of minty/herbal aspects to really bring it to that next level. Nothings combining up (maybe the tea and peach? That’s a hard argument) for really big complexity, but the parts are all here.

Taste: Grass, chocolate, guava, papaya, grape, anise, bananas foster

Grassy, chocolate, definitely sherry influence, lots of fruit. Takes some time/water for brown sugar to come out. Very tropical.

Finish: Mineral, cherry, golden syrup, raisin, caramel, red licorice

Too much fruit? Boom, here’s some mineral… followed by a bunch of more sugar. Alright, too much sugar. It’s nice, but I’m addicted to the stuff.

Don’t believe me? Currently, I’m telling myself I have to write reviews and get them ready, or I don’t get chocolate. Yeah, it’s working.

Conclusion: Decent sherried dram with a good selection of flavours. Yes, the selection process of Costco is scary, but I certainly can’t disagree with the results. I personally thought it was a stronger, if younger, version of GlenDronach, though mostly because it does sherry well and I assumed that the person had bought something there (because he recently visited it).

That said, the only thing we know about this one is it isn’t Macallan. The mixture of bourbon and sherry casks works quite nicely, though it comes a bit short of similarly aged whiskies at similar alcohol. That said, and no, price doesn’t affect my score, the price is better here.

I enjoyed this. I genuinely liked drinking it, loved sitting down with a nice sherried dram, and love sweets. If you too like sweets, get it.


Guess: Sherry, GlenDronach, 14 years, 53%?

Actually: Kirkland Signature Speyside 18

Scotch review #1084, Speyside review #304, Whisky review #1689

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