Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin
If you’ve ever been to Costco, you probably know that they have some of the widest selections for alcoholic beverages. The business even branched out into creating their own alcohol brand, which they named Kirkland.
But we know Costco is all about retail selling — none of that whiskey distilling. So who makes Kirkland Bourbon for Costco? Let’s find out.
Who’s Making Costco’s Kirkland Bourbons?
Sounds familiar? Yes, the 1792 Bourbon is produced in the very same distillery.
Like 1792 Bourbon, Barton did not publicly disclose the mash bill they used for Kirkland Signature Bourbon Whiskey. We would assume they both use a high-rye mash bill — at least 25 percent, alongside the standard 51 percent corn.
The juice is distilled twice for optimal purification and aged inside new charred oak barrels. We can also assume that the spirit has aged at least two years.
That wasn’t always the case, though. Before teaming up with Barton 1792, most bourbon expressions from the Kirkland brand were sourced from two other major distilleries: Jim Beam and George Dickel.
Fun fact: Kirkland Bourbon Whiskey was named after the city of Kirkland, Washington, where Costco’s head office currently resides.
Distilleries That Possibly Manufacture It
Jim Beam American Stillhouse
Jim Beam used to distill all of Kirkland Bourbon Whiskey, but Costco has partnered with other distilleries to produce their bourbon whiskeys.
Barton 1792 Distillery
The Barton 1792 Distillery produces the three labels under the Kirkland Signature brand: Small Batch, Bottled-In-Bond, and Single Barrel.
This distillery is famous for producing the award-winning 1792 Bourbon, which won Gold at the Whiskies of the World Competition and the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.
After ceasing business with Jim Beam, it is said that Costco has partnered with George Dickel to produce their flagship bourbon bottles.
The George Dickel distillery in Tennessee is one of the oldest in the state and is owned by Diageo today.
3 Bourbon Types of Costco’s Kirkland Bourbon
1. Kirkland Signature Bottled-In-Bond
Average Price: Around $25
Alcohol Content: 50%
The Barton 1792 Distillery produces Kirkland Bottled-In-Bond, which, for about $30, is a great bang for your buck. This has a perfectly balanced profile, with oaky notes and pleasant spice.
Of course, it also has signature caramel and vanilla notes, with a candied fruit note.
We drank this neat on our first sip, but we find that adding an ice cube works wonders in making this BIB’s subtle notes and aroma shine through more. But what’s the best bourbon at Costco?
2. Kirkland Signature Small Batch Bourbon
Average Price: Around $20
Alcohol Content: 46%
The Kirkland Signature Small Batch Bourbon, made again by Barton 1792 Distillery, is another solid bottle that’s enjoyably smooth.
We have to say that this is the best out of the bunch for sipping neat. Tasting notes include creamy vanilla, caramel, and a little oak and rye spice.
Overall this is a great choice if you’re looking for something friendly and uncomplicated, but we have to admit that the Kirkland Small Batch wasn’t that memorable.
3. Kirkland Signature Single Barrel
Average Price: Around $30
Alcohol Content: 60%
The Kirkland Single Barrel has the highest proof among the three at 120. This is palpably stronger with a lot more spicy burn, which is expected with such a high proof.
The pleasant dried fruit notes in the mid-palate make way for a cinnamon and clove spice finish.
At first, the ethanol aroma might turn you off, but serve this on the rocks or serve the bourbon whiskey chilled to dampen that a little bit — you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. And at just about $30, this bottle is an awesome steal.
Is Kirkland bourbon the same as 1792?
No, Kirkland Bourbon isn’t the same as 1792 Bourbon. The George Dickel distillery produces Kirkland Bourbon, and the Kirkland Signature line is produced at the Barton 1792 Distillery.
We would assume that the signature line uses the same undisclosed mash bill as 1792 Bourbon, but its taste is vastly different.
Is Kirkland bourbon made in Kentucky?
Kirkland Bourbon is not made in Kentucky but rather in Tennessee. The George Dickel Distillery produces the spirit under the Kirkland label, and it is considered Tennessee whiskey.
Kirkland Bourbon used to be made in Kentucky when Jim Beam was still producing the flagship spirit for the brand.
Costco’s bourbon, Kirkland Signature, is produced in the Barton 1792 Distillery in Kentucky.
Barton 1792 is a reputable distillery known for producing some of the best bottles to graze liquor shelves, like the 1792 Bourbon and Kentucky Gentleman.
It makes perfect sense why the retail business partnered with them for their three new bourbon expressions: Single Barrel, Bottled-In-Bond, and Small Batch.
The George Dickel Distillery produces the flagship Kirkland Costco Bourbon, which Jim Beam previously produced.