Clicky

Who Makes Kirkland Scotch? Revealed (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Costco’s lips are tightly sealed on who their manufacturer is, so many wonder who makes Kirkland Scotch.

The thing that makes people intrigued more is how the price point of Kirkland Scotch whisky is so low considering that it is a well-aged and decent Scotch whisky. 

Scroll down to find out who is the producer behind one of the best-selling spirits of Costco. 

The Real Manufacturer of Kirkland Scotch 

The Real Manufacturer of Kirkland Scotch 

Costco is one of the largest retailers of spirits in the world, and like other retailers, they own a proprietary brand: Kirkland Signature.

Different distilleries are behind the production of Scotch whiskies, but Alexander Murray is the independent bottler in charge of sourcing the whiskies from Scotland.

Currently, four Scotch whisky expressions are offered by Costco: (1) Blended Scotch whisky, (2) 12 YO Blended Scotch whisky, (3) 20 YO, and (4) 22 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish. 

Does Alexander Murray Make All Kirkland Scotch Whiskies? 

Does Alexander Murray Make All Kirkland Scotch Whiskies? 

Blended Scotch Whisky

Blended Scotch Whisky on desk with glass

Blended Scotch whisky is rumored to be produced by Macallan Distillery based on some similarities in the flavor profile. However, based on Punch and Market Watch Mag, Murray & Co is behind the Scotch. 

It can be true because every bottle of the Kirkland brand Scotch is labeled with Alexander Murray & Company. Moreso, the independent bottler has been supplying spirits for Costco since 2007, so the chances are high. But what are the best whiskey brands at Costco?

12 YO Blended Scotch Whisky 

12 YO Blended Scotch Whisky on table with glass

Based on the Brand Manager of Murray & Co, the Master Blenders of their company crafted the 12 YO Blended Scotch whisky based on the tasting notes of Dewar’s. However, it is clear on the label that Murray & Co is responsible for bottling the whisky. 

The whisky source remains a mystery except for the broad geographic designation of where it came from. Over the years, Murray & Co has been the main supplier of stores like Trader Joe and other brands. 

20 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish (Single Malt) 

The 20 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish (Single Malt) was released in 2019 and based on its label, it was bottled by Murray & Co.

Costco’s management did not disclose the whisky manufacturer. Still, the geographical location where the whisky is sourced is in Speyside.

The internet is going crazy over the 20 YO Speyside Single Malt Scotch because of its cheap price and blend. While the company behind the whisky production is a secret, it is a smooth and good quality drink. 

22 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish

22 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish

Like the three Scotch whiskies mentioned above, the 22 YO Speyside Single Malt Scotch is bottled by Murray & Co. 

Since Costco has a large inventory, the independent bottler draws whiskies from different distilleries to meet their needs.

Different Scotch whiskies will be blended in the Alexander Murray warehouse to create the Scotch. The Single Malt Scotch has distinctive sweetness and is a good deal for its smell, wood notes, flavor, and price. 

Read: Who’s Making Kirkland’s Gin?

7 Possible Distilleries That Make Kirkland Scotch Whisky 

7 Possible Distilleries That Make Kirkland Scotch Whisky 

1. Caol Ila

Based on Thrillist, Alexander Murray works with Caol Ila to fill up bottles of private labels, so there’s a big chance that it is a possible secret distillery that makes Kirkland Scotch. 

Caol Ila is situated on the North Eastern of Islay, known as the Islay Home of Johnnie Walker. Johnnie Walker is the world’s most widely distributed Scotch whisky. [1]

2. Tomintoul

Tomintoul

Tomintoul is another distillery that works in partnership with Murray & Co in filling bottles of private labels like Costco and other retailers.

We compared the taste and aroma of Kirkland Scotch and Tomintoul, which is similar, especially with the 20 and 22 YO Speyside. 

Tomintoul is situated inside the Glenlivet estate, within the Speyside region. It was built in 1964 and has established a great reputation, so it is not surprising if it is one of the lines that makes Kirkland Scotch. But who makes Kirkland whiskey for Costco?

3. Dalmore

Dalmore has a rich history and royal heritage way back in 1263- in the reign of King Alexander III.

Dalmore has set the highest standards in making whisky and based on the quality of the Kirkland brand, there can be a chance that Murray & Co sources whisky from the company.

There’s an exclusive bottle of Dalmore for Murray- Dalmore 19 YO “Alexander Murray.” 

4. Mortlach

Mortlach

Mortlach also works with Murray & Co, and there’s a big chance that the line sources whisky from the Mortlach Distillery. The distillery was founded in 1823, and until today, it is home to different bottles of Scotch. 

Mortlach has a robust taste and aroma compared to other Scotch brands, and since the Kirkland brand has a nice taste and mild pepperiness, it can be possible. 

5. Glenrothes

Glenrothes has an exclusive partnership with Murray & Co. Actually, two of the vintage offerings of Murray & Co came from Glenrothes Distillery, so there can be a chance that it is one of the companies that makes Kirkland Scotch. 

Glenrothes produces high-quality alcohol, and the company was established in 1879.

On the palate, Glenrothes can be slightly compared to the taste of the Kirkland brand. In addition, it has a big inventory of Scotch, so there can be a chance that they supply for Murray & Co. 

6. Tullibardine

Tullibardine

Based on Thrillist, Tullibardine is another distillery that can supply Scotch whisky for Kirkland. The Murray & Co’s Polly’s Cask is sourced from Tullibardine, so the whisky from Kirkland may be sourced in their company. 

7. Macallan 

Macallan Distillery is one of the alleged suppliers of whisky for Kirkland. While the Alexander Murray label is in every bottle of whisky, the quality, taste, and aroma point out Macallan Distillery. 

We compared the Kirkland with Macallan Distillery products and found quite a few similarities and some differences in texture and taste. 

FAQs 

What is Kirkland blended Scotch whisky similar to?

The Kirkland blended Scotch whisky is similar to the Trader’s Joe’s bottle. It is bottled by Murray & Co, so there’s no surprise that it has some similarities in quality, sweetness, texture, and spices. 

Is Kirkland Scotch whisky affordable?

Yes, Kirkland Scotch whisky is affordable. Each bottle ranges from around $25 to $80, which is affordable compared to other whiskies from Scotland.

It is available in Costco’s warehouse and other sites like Drizly and Instacart. However, they sell the liquor with a bit of markup. 

Summary

Kirkland Scotch is made by Alexander Murray & Co, and they source the whiskies from different Scotch whisky makers.

While Costco [2] remains firm with not disclosing the source of their whisky, the tasting notes and texture points out Macallan and Dewar’s. 

Experienced Costco shoppers will agree with us that every expression under Kirkland is relatively cheaper than other labels. Aside from its price point, the quality of the whisky makes it well-received by many. 

References:

  1. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/22/enacted 
  2. https://www.forbes.com/companies/costco-wholesale/?sh=82f085e2b29e

Leave a Comment