Thanks to ScotchGuy_TO for the dram.
Finally I had a tasting, since the pandemic started, in a safe way, and was so excited that I may have overdone it. I took breaks between each “group” of whiskies, and the first break came between “light whiskies in ex-bourbon” and “sherried whiskies”, all before we got to “Islay whiskies”. This is dram number 5, or the first of the sherry, after taking a much needed food break and a much needed palate cleanser.
All good? Alright, let’s dive in.
For those of us with Costco memberships, we know that the Kirkland Signature brand name is something you don’t trust at first, then you try some, then you investigate it, then your family reads nebulous pro-business stuff about it, and eventually you give in because there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism and you may as well enjoy nice bacon.
But what about the whisky? Its store brand whisky! We spend our time comparing things and talking about this, and then someone in North America does this (as well as Trader Joe’s and probably many more I don’t know about).
So Kirkland Signature 20 2020 Sherry Cask Finish has no stated distillery, is not cask strength, has a finish on it of who knows how many years, and comes from a Speyside distillery, which means it’s one of fifty different distilleries, all picked by Alexander Murray.
But the price was right, so it was brought to another tasting. I’m not going to be the fool a third time (since this is the third time I’ve tried a Kirkland Signature Scotch), so I have high standards for this whisky.
Yeah, that’s right, I’m turning it on its head. You’ve built up this house Costco: I’m expecting the world now! Unlimited growth! Line must go up, must be better than before, sacrifice all! All must be sacrificed for the line!
Let’s see if I got the world, shall we?
Cask type: Sherry Cask Finish
Bottled for: Costco
Colour: 5YR 5/10
Nose: Plum, nutty, melon, brine, coffee
Sherry notes are obvious here: Nuttiness, fruit, some earth. That said, there’s a salt and coffee note that really goes the distance.
It’s right on the cusp of being “over sherried” but doesn’t overwhelm the whisky in the end.
Taste: Peanut brittle, apple, peach, ginger
Nutty, sweet, fruity, and spice. That’s what makes people nice? Oh, it’s the alcohol, interesting.
Nothing off putting. Does it taste 20 years old? Not totally, but it’s not going to be kicked out of bed anytime soon.
Finish: Chocolate, ginger, mineral, cloves, apple
Love spice in my chocolate, so this finish? Chef’s kiss. Less fruit, more mineral and earth flavour going on.
Conclusion: Solid sherried dram. Easily drinkable, would be good as a neat pour at a bar, but it’s not so expensive that you’d be sad using it in a higher end cocktail even.
The sherry doesn’t overdo the whisky so much that it tastes like a higher proof sherry. No real off notes going on. It’s an easy pick up, thus continuing on the trend.
Scotch review #1502, Speyside review #426, Whisky Network review #2208