Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Lydia Martin
There have been rumors about Costco’s Kirkland products over the years as the origins of their privately labeled alcoholic drinks remain primarily secretive.
Grey Goose commonly topped the blind taste tests for Kirkland Signature French Vodka, so many think they are the same stuff.
But who makes Kirkland vodka?
Here’s what we find out.
Who Actually Makes Kirkland Vodka?
Based on the records of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) we gathered, the distillery with Certificate of Label Approval for making Kirkland Brand Vodka is the LeVecke Corp.
Retail stores like Costco only deal with producers to supply high-quality goods, but they do not own a distillery and cannot produce their spirits, so the Kirkland French vodka is a sourced spirit.
In addition, Costco seldom reveals the brands of their spirits.
Aside from confirming that their Kirkland Scotch is under the private bottler Alexander Murray, other distilled alcohol brands remained a mystery for years .
What Is Kirkland Vodka?
Kirkland Signature Vodka is a distilled spirit bottled at 40% ABV that has been poking the curiosity of every alcohol enthusiast out there.
One of the reasons for all the attention is how Kirkland French Vodka frequently defeated Grey Goose in blind taste tests, including ours.
Also, some argue that Kirkland American Vodka tastes like the domestically made Tito’s Vodka, an American vodka distilled from corn.
Kirkland Signature Vodka is available in two different bottles only at Costco. The two vodkas have different labels, but both are Kirkland-brand vodkas.
The French vodka house brand is in a red-labeled bottle, with notes that it has a smooth and elegant finish. On the other hand, the Kirkland American version comes in a minimalist bottle with a blue label.
How It’s Made
The process of making Kirkland’s Signature Vodka is as elusive as its brand. But based on our research, it follows the strict guidelines of the United States for this kind of spirit.
It is unaged and distilled at 95% ABV using state-of-the-art distilleries, though each variety has a slight difference. But what’s the general vodka proof?
The Kirkland American brand underwent six distillation processes at Mira Loma, California – where the Levecke Corp is.
On the other hand, the Gayant Distillery made the French version of the Kirkland brand with distillation techniques sourced from the famous neighboring Cognac houses.
The bottle label states that it underwent five distillation processes similar to Grey Goose, which share the same gensac springs (water source).
Kirkland Signature French Vodka Ingredients
Kirkland Signature Vodka uses the finest American heartland grains and purified spring water to create a product with a thin texture and biting finish.
Most distilled spirits choose premium ingredients to maintain the exclusivity of their brand, but it could be hard to create neutral drinks like vodka.
The multiple distillation processes strip vodka of its taste, leaving only hints of flavors.
On blind taste tests, the minimal tasting notes of Kirkland brand vodka will determine if it is good. It is good to drink straight or with a mixer for cocktails.
The LeVecke Corp: Who Are They?
LeVecke Corp. has the only label approval from TTB to produce and supply Costco Vodka. The company has a humble beginning as a family business that started distributing beer in 1949.
After many years of hard work and business partnerships, LeVecke Corp in Mira Loma made distilled spirits and wine for retailers such as Supervalu, Safeway, Kroger, and Costco.
Among the products of LeVecke Corp is the PAU Maui Vodka, which is the world’s only pineapple vodka.
They also teamed up with musician and businessman Jesse James Dupree to produce America’s Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey.
Grey Goose: The Rumored Producer
In a past interview, Grey Goose’s global head, Joe McCanta, denied the long-time rumor that they supply vodka to Costco .
“Grey Goose Vodka does not produce nor privately label Kirkland vodka…” -Joe McCanta, Grey Goose’s Global Head of Education
However, many people still believe in the rumor that Grey Goose and Kirkland Vodka are the same even after that interview, but no one can blame them.
Kirkland French Vodka and Grey Goose Vodka have two similarities out of three key factors of making vodka.
First, both products have water sources from the same Gensac Springs in France’s Cognac region. Second, they both went through the same six distillation processes.
The difference is that Grey Goose only uses wheat milled in their distillery using their exclusive technique, and it is a pricier brand.
Also Read: How Many Smirnoff Ice Will Get You Drunk?
Other Brands Rumored To Produce Kirkland Vodka
For a long time, the Grey Goose brand has not been the only focus of rumors regarding the maker of Kirkland Brand Vodka.
Among the famous vodka brands mentioned are Tito’s Handmade, Pinnacle, Buffalo Trace, and Ketel One.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka resembles the tasting notes of Kirkland Signature American Vodka.
Meanwhile, Pinnacle Vodka comes from the same region as Grey Goose and Kirkland Signature French Vodka.
Both Buffalo Trace and Ketel One produce vodka with a soft and smooth texture, almost like Costco’s Kirkland Vodka.
Kirkland Vodka vs. Grey Goose
Kirkland Vodka, known for its affordability, offers a surprisingly smooth and clean taste, rivaling premium brands like Grey Goose.
While Grey Goose is celebrated for its exceptional quality and distinct flavor profile, Kirkland provides a cost-effective alternative without a significant compromise in taste, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers who still appreciate quality.
Kirkland Vodka vs. Tito’s Vodka
Kirkland Vodkas stands out for its value, delivering a quality comparable to higher-priced vodkas like Tito’s.
Tito’s, a well-respected brand in the vodka market, is known for its handmade, gluten-free production and smooth taste based on our blind taste tests.
However, Kirkland’s competitive pricing and comparable smoothness make it a favored option for those seeking quality at a more accessible price point.
Is Costco’s Kirkland Signature Vodka of Good Quality?
Yes, the Kirkland Signature Costco Vodka is a good quality distilled alcohol.
The Kirkland Signature Vodka is smooth and has hints of sweetness on the palate that many consumers associate with the domestic brand of Tito’s Handmade.
But because it has a biting finish that can be harsh for some people, we recommend this vodka as a cocktail mixer.
“When it comes to great palate and great value, Kirkland Vodka delivers.” -Liquor Laboratory
The Kirkland Signature French Vodka often beat the pricier brand of Grey Goose in blind tastings.
Described as a silky and bright liquor, it is available in the same size bottle of Grey Goose but with a much more affordable price of around $25.
What kind of vodka is Kirkland American vodka?
Kirkland Signature American Vodka is a plain vodka made of grains and purified spring water.
The grain will be mixed with water in a heated chamber to convert it into sugar and leave it for four days of fermentation. It goes through six distillation processes before hitting the market.
Where does Kirkland get their vodka?
Kirkland gets their vodka from LeVecke Corp. It is Costco’s registered supplier of vodka. The French vodka is produced and bottled in France, making the Kirkland brand more popular.
Another rumor we heard is that Tito’s Distillery makes Kirkland vodka, but since TTB confirms that Kirkland brand vodka mentions LeVecke Corp in their COLA, we might as well quit the claims .
What is Kirkland vodka comparable to?
Kirkland is popularly compared to Grey Goose because of its tasting notes. In addition, it is also compared to Absolut vodka for its sharp and intense burn.
Kirkland American vodka is a gluten-free alcoholic drink, even if it is made from grains. However, it no longer is if it is mixed with flavorings as you drink cocktails.
The LeVecke Corp of Mira Loma, California, makes Kirkland Vodka based on the approved Certificate of Label Approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
The records of TTB showed that it is indeed from the LeVecke Corp, a distillery based in California.
This company has also partnered with other retail stores like Supervalu, Safeway, and Kroger, and they even manufacture distilled spirits for restaurants owned by celebrities.
Costco’s Kirkland vodkas  are surprisingly good despite being under the house brand of a retail store.
Contrary to rumors, Kirkland Signature Vodka does not share the same supplier or distiller as Grey Goose and Tito’s.