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Who Makes Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey? (2024 Best Edition)

who makes kirkland tennessee whiskey

Last Updated on March 29, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Costco is one of the largest alcoholic beverage retailers in the world, and it carries about 50 spirit expressions, with 20 carrying the Kirkland Signature brand.

Previously, Costco did not disclose the producers of Kirkland spirits which spiked unceasing speculation about who makes it. 

In this post, we will set things straight and clarify who makes Kirkland Tennessee whiskey. Read on. 

Who’s Really Making Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey?

Tennessee Distilling Company 

Master Distiller Mike Williams and the Tennessee Distilling Company are behind Costco’s well-acknowledged Kirkland Tennessee whiskey.

Each bottle of Kirkland Signature Tennessee Whiskey bears the signature of Master Distiller Mike Williams. 

Moreover, based on the label, the Tennessee whiskey is bottled by Tennessee Distilling Company, which shows that they are also part of the production of Kirkland Tennessee whiskey. 

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey & Who’s Behind It 

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey & Who's Behind It 

Tennessee Distilling Company 

Old Tennessee Distilling Co.

As seen on the Kirkland Tennessee whiskey label, Tennessee Distilling Company is the distillery producing the spirit.

Tennessee Distilling Ltd. is located in Columbia, Tennessee, and based on the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Mike Williams is one of the distillery’s co-owners. 

Tennessee Distilling Company is one of the top-producing distilleries in the United States, and they produce traditional charcoal-mellowed whiskey, rye, corn, bourbon, and malt whiskeys. 

Mike Williams

Mike Williams is the Master Distiller of Kirkland Tennessee whiskey, and you can see his signature imprinted on the label of every bottle. Mike Williams is also the Master Distiller of Tennessee Distilling Ltd. 

Being a Master Distiller, Mike Williams is in charge of creating Kirkland Tennessee whiskey. He oversees the raw ingredients, production line, quality control, and whiskey tasting. 

Read: Kirkland Bottled-In-Bond Price Guide

Does Costo Own A Distillery? 

Costco does not own a distillery, so every whiskey they sell is sourced from different distilleries but bottled under their brand, Kirkland Signature.

In the case of Kirkland Tennessee whiskey, the Tennessee Distilling Company oversees the production of every bottle-from raw ingredients to bottling. 

The Tennessee Distilling Company ensures that every bottle of Kirkland Tennessee whiskey adheres to the regulation of Tennessee whiskey production. 

How Is Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey Made? 

Whiskey Mash Bill

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey comprises 70% corn, 15% malted barley, and 15% rye. The mash bill is cooked and fermented with old mash before it is distilled to remove the impurities.

Unlike other whiskeys, Tennessee whiskeys should undergo the Lincoln county process before aging. 

The unaged whiskey will undergo filtration in charcoal chips from sugar maple wood for a mellow and unique flavor profile. The distilled spirit will be aged in charred oak barrels in Tennessee for an undisclosed time before bottling. 

Is Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey Made In Tennessee?

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey

Yes, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is made in Tennessee. The Tennessee Distilling Company, located in Columbia, Tennessee, oversees the production of Kirkland Tennessee whiskey.

Tennessee whiskey is one of the highly regulated spirits in the world, and it should follow strict regulations to be labeled as one. 

By law, a distillery can label Tennessee whiskey as one if it is manufactured in Tennessee [1]. In addition, it should be aged in charred oak barrels in Tennessee.

If you are familiar with bourbon production requirements, Tennessee whiskey is almost the same; however, it should be manufactured in Tennessee and undergo Lincoln County Process. 

Was It Discontinued?

No, the Kirkland Tennessee whiskey is not discontinued. There are no press releases about discontinuing the product, and the bottle is continuously available in different Costco warehouses. 

As of August 5, 2022, there are 836 Costco Warehouses worldwide, and there are 14 states where you can buy liquor without needing a membership.

You can easily score a bottle of Kirkland Signature or have it delivered to your doorstep using Instacart. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey Jack Daniels?

No, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is not Jack Daniel’s. While both are Tennessee whiskeys, they are distinct brands. Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is produced and bottled exclusively for Costco under their Kirkland Signature label. On the other hand, Jack Daniel’s is a well-known brand of Tennessee whiskey produced by the Jack Daniel Distillery, which is owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Tennessee whiskey, including both Kirkland’s and Jack Daniel’s, is characterized by its unique production process. It undergoes charcoal filtering, known as the Lincoln County Process, before aging in new charred oak barrels. This process imparts the distinct flavor profile and smoothness associated with Tennessee whiskey.

Where does Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey come from?

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is sourced from various distilleries in Tennessee. Costco, the parent company of the Kirkland Signature brand, has not publicly disclosed the specific distillery or distilleries that produce their Tennessee whiskey.

However, it’s known that Costco partners with established distilleries to produce their Kirkland Signature spirits, including whiskey.

Costco’s Kirkland Signature line is known for offering high-quality products at competitive prices, and their Tennessee whiskey is no exception. While the exact distillery source may not be readily available, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is crafted to meet Costco’s standards of quality and value.

Who makes Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee?

The exact distillery responsible for producing Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee has not been officially disclosed by Costco. Similar to their Tennessee whiskey, Costco partners with various distilleries to produce their Kirkland Signature bourbon. This practice allows Costco to offer a diverse range of spirits under their private label while maintaining high standards of quality and value.

Bourbon, by definition, is a type of American whiskey that must meet specific criteria, including being made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, and distilled to no more than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume). Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee likely adheres to these standards, offering consumers a bourbon with the rich flavors and characteristics associated with the style.

In summary, while the precise sources of Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey and Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee are not publicly disclosed, Costco collaborates with reputable distilleries to produce these spirits, ensuring they meet Costco’s standards of quality and value.

Who makes the Kirkland whiskey?

Kirkland whiskey, encompassing a range of expressions such as Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey and Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee, is meticulously curated and crafted exclusively for distribution by Costco under their esteemed Kirkland Signature label.

The intricate process of producing Kirkland whiskey involves a careful selection of distillery partners by Costco, although the exact distillery responsible for its creation remains confidential.

This practice underscores Costco’s dedication to providing consumers with high-quality spirits that meet their stringent standards while simultaneously offering exceptional value.

By collaborating with established and respected distilleries, Costco ensures that Kirkland whiskey delivers a premium drinking experience that embodies the essence of craftsmanship and quality synonymous with the Kirkland Signature brand.

How good is Kirkland Tennessee whiskey?

The quality assessment of Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey may vary depending on individual taste preferences and experiences. While some consumers may find it to be a satisfactory choice, others may have differing opinions or preferences for other brands or higher-priced options. Taste is inherently subjective, influenced by factors such as personal palate, flavor preferences, and the context in which the whiskey is enjoyed.

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is formulated to meet the discerning standards set by Costco, providing a well-crafted and reasonably priced option for enthusiasts of Tennessee whiskey. Its production adheres to the distinctive techniques associated with the Tennessee whiskey style, including the renowned Lincoln County Process, which involves charcoal filtering prior to aging in new charred oak barrels.

While it may not boast the same level of recognition as some premium brands, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey aims to deliver a satisfying drinking experience consistent with the style’s hallmark smoothness and flavor profile.

What brand is the Costco Tennessee whiskey?

The Tennessee whiskey offered by Costco under its Kirkland Signature label is simply marketed as Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey. While the precise brand identity of the distillery behind this product remains undisclosed by Costco, the company’s commitment to partnering with reputable and established distilleries ensures that Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey upholds the high quality standards expected of Costco’s private label offerings.

Although Costco does not explicitly reveal the specific brand name associated with their Tennessee whiskey, consumers can trust that it is crafted to deliver an authentic Tennessee whiskey experience. The spirit undergoes meticulous production processes to capture the essence of Tennessee whiskey, characterized by its smoothness, depth of flavor, and the distinctive influence of the Lincoln County Process. As with all Kirkland Signature products, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey is designed to offer exceptional quality and value to discerning consumers.

What brand is Tennessee whiskey?

Tennessee whiskey stands as a distinguished category within the world of spirits, representing a tradition deeply rooted in the state of Tennessee, United States. It encompasses a variety of brands, each with its own unique heritage and character.

Among the most renowned are Jack Daniel’s, celebrated for its smoothness and iconic black label, and George Dickel, known for its nuanced flavors and craftsmanship.

These brands, along with others, epitomize the essence of Tennessee whiskey, adhering to time-honored production methods such as the Lincoln County Process.

This process, which involves filtering the whiskey through charcoal before aging, imparts distinct qualities that set Tennessee whiskey apart from other varieties.

Thus, while Tennessee whiskey is not confined to a single brand, it embodies a rich tapestry of history, tradition, and craftsmanship woven by esteemed distilleries across the state.

What type of whiskey is Kirkland?

Kirkland, under its Kirkland Signature label, offers a diverse array of whiskey expressions tailored to cater to a broad spectrum of palates and preferences. From Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey to Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee and beyond, each variant represents a meticulous fusion of quality and affordability synonymous with the Kirkland brand.

The whiskey produced by Kirkland spans various styles, including bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, blended whiskey, and occasionally single malt Scotch whisky.

This versatility allows Kirkland to cater to the discerning tastes of its customers, ensuring that each expression delivers a memorable and satisfying drinking experience.

Grounded in a commitment to excellence, Kirkland whiskey upholds the highest standards of craftsmanship and quality, making it a favored choice among aficionados seeking exceptional spirits at exceptional value.

Is Kirkland Scotch similar to Dewar’s?

Kirkland Scotch is a private label Scotch whisky produced for Costco under their Kirkland Signature brand. While Costco typically does not disclose the specific distillery or distilleries that produce their Scotch whisky, it’s rumored that Kirkland Scotch may sometimes be sourced from established distilleries in Scotland.

As for its similarity to Dewar’s, it’s essential to recognize that Scotch whisky, including Kirkland Scotch, encompasses a wide range of flavors and styles influenced by factors such as region, distillation techniques, and aging processes.

While Kirkland Scotch may share similarities with Dewar’s or other Scotch whisky brands in terms of flavor profile or production methods, each brand typically has its own distinct characteristics and nuances. Ultimately, the similarity between Kirkland Scotch and Dewar’s would depend on the specific expressions being compared and individual taste preferences.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

Whiskey and bourbon are both types of distilled spirits, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart:
Ingredients: Whiskey can be made from a variety of grains, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Bourbon, however, must be made from a mash bill that consists of at least 51% corn, along with other grains such as barley and rye or wheat.

Production Location: While whiskey can be produced anywhere in the world, bourbon has geographical restrictions. It must be made in the United States, with the majority of production occurring in Kentucky, though it can also be made in other states.

Aging: Both whiskey and bourbon are aged in charred oak barrels, but bourbon has specific aging requirements. It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels, whereas whiskey can be aged in barrels that have been previously used for other spirits.

Flavor Profile: Due to its higher corn content and specific production process, bourbon often exhibits sweeter and fuller flavors compared to other types of whiskey. It may have notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, with a smooth finish.

In summary, while all bourbon is whiskey, not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is a type of whiskey with its own set of regulations and characteristics that distinguish it from other types of whiskey.

Who makes Costco 7 year bourbon?

The artistry behind Costco’s esteemed 7 year bourbon is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship inherent in their Kirkland Signature label. However, the veil of secrecy shrouding the precise distillery entrusted with the production of this exceptional spirit speaks volumes about Costco’s dedication to delivering unparalleled quality while maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

Within the corridors of Costco, the selection of the distillery responsible for crafting the Kirkland Signature 7 year bourbon is a closely guarded secret, emblematic of the brand’s commitment to preserving the mystique surrounding its private label offerings.

By forging strategic partnerships with esteemed distilleries, Costco ensures that their Kirkland Signature 7 year bourbon embodies the epitome of artisanal expertise, offering consumers an unparalleled drinking experience characterized by depth, complexity, and unparalleled smoothness.

Is there a Kirkland brand bourbon?

Nestled within the illustrious array of Kirkland Signature offerings lies the cherished Kirkland brand bourbon, a true embodiment of excellence and value. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail and a passion for perfection, Kirkland bourbon serves as a testament to Costco’s unwavering commitment to providing consumers with the finest spirits at exceptional prices.

While Costco remains steadfast in its tradition of excellence, the identity of the distillery behind Kirkland bourbon remains a closely guarded secret, adding an air of intrigue to the brand’s offerings.

Despite the veil of secrecy surrounding its provenance, Kirkland bourbon stands as a shining example of quality craftsmanship, inviting discerning enthusiasts to savor its harmonious blend of flavors and aromas, steeped in the rich heritage of bourbon tradition and craftsmanship.

What type of whiskey is Kirkland?

Kirkland, under its Kirkland Signature label, offers a versatile range of whiskey expressions tailored to meet the diverse preferences of consumers.

Whether it’s Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey, Kirkland Bourbon Tennessee, or other variations available depending on regional offerings, Kirkland whiskey encompasses a spectrum of styles and flavors. From the rich sweetness of bourbon to the smooth complexity of Tennessee whiskey, each Kirkland expression is meticulously crafted to uphold Costco’s standards of quality and value.

While the precise distillery responsible for producing Kirkland whiskey remains undisclosed by Costco, the brand’s dedication to delivering exceptional spirits ensures that each bottle embodies the essence of its respective style, providing enthusiasts with a memorable and satisfying drinking experience.

So, Who Makes Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey? 

Kirkland Tennessee whiskey is made in a clear partnership between Costco and Tennessee Distilling Company.

Upon checking the official Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) database, Kirkland Tennessee whiskey is produced by the Tennessee Distilling Company in Columbia, Tennessee. 

Moreso, each bottle of Kirkland Tennessee whiskey bears the signature of Mike Williams, the Master Distiller of Tennessee Distilling Company.

While it is unusual for Costco to disclose their whiskeys’ producers, it shows that Mike Williams and Tennessee Distilling Company are worthy of recognition. 


  1. 2014 Tennessee Code Title 57 – Intoxicating Liquors
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