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Who Makes Kirkland Whiskey For Costco? (2024 Best Edition)

who makes kirkland whiskey

Last Updated on March 30, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Costco is known for its massive selection of alcoholic beverages under its private-label liquor line Kirkland Signature. 

Generally, the Kirkland whiskey selection is a good purchase because of its reasonable price and quality; however, the internet abounds with rumors about who makes Kirkland whiskey. 

If you want to discover whether the rumors are true, read on. 

The Manufacturer Behind Kirkland Whiskey

Kirkland Bottled-in-Bond Master Distillers

We all know that Costco does not own a distillery, and it sources every bottle of Kirkland whiskey from different distilleries and independent bottlers.

Currently, Costco stores have ten whiskey expressions under the Kirkland signature brand: three bourbons, four Scotch whiskies, a Canadian, an Irish, and a Tennessee whiskey. 

The four Kirkland Scotch expressions are bottled by Alexander Murray & Co, while the Kirkland Signature Canadian whisky is made in the similar distillery as Crown Royal.

Previously, the Kirkland Bourbons were produced by Jim Beam and George Dickel before ending up with Barton 1792. 

Irish Distillers Ltd is behind the Kirkland Signature Irish whiskey production, and Tennessee Distilling Ltd makes the Kirkland Tennessee whiskey

Kirkland Whiskeys & Who Makes Them 

Kirkland Whiskeys & Who Makes Them 

Kirkland Scotch Whisky

Blended Scotch Whisk

Kirkland Blended Scotch Whisky on desk

Costco keeps their lips tight regarding who makes their Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch. There are rumors that it came from Macallan Distillery, but based on Market Watch Mag and Punch, Alexander Murray Co. is behind the Blended Scotch. 

Chances are high that it is true because every Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch bottle is labeled with Murray & Co. Also, based on Market Watch Mag, Murray has supplied spirit for Costco since 2007. 

12 YO Blended Scotch Whisky 

12 Blended Scotch Whisky

The 12 YO Kirkland Scotch Whisky is another independent bottling by Murray & Co. The distillery of the whisky remains a mystery because they do not disclose the source of their spirit except the broad geographic designation of where it came from. 

The Kirkland Signature label may remind you of Dewar’s; however, according to Cameron Johnston (Brand Manager of Murray & Co), the Master Distillers crafted the spirit based on the flavor profile of Dewar’s but they are not from a similar distillery. 

20 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish (Single Malt) 

The 20 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish was bottled by Murray & Co.The brand released the 20 YO Speyside spirit in 2019. 

Costco does not usually disclose the producers of Kirkland whiskeys but based on the label of 20 YO Speyside, Murray & Co is the independent bottler in charge of the whiskies. 

22 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish

Like the three Kirkland brands of whiskies mentioned above, 22 YO Speyside Sherry Cask Finish is bottled by Murray & Co. 

Based on Johnston, the 20 and 22 YO Single Malt expressions were drawn from different distillers because there are no single distilleries with enough inventory to meet the needs of Costco.  

Kirkland Bourbon

Kirkland Single Barrel

Single Barrel

The Kirkland version of Single Barrel bourbon is distilled and produced by Barton 1792 Master Distillers. By 2021, Costco and Barton 1792 are in clear partnership to create Kirkland Brand whiskey at an affordable price but of good quality. 

Unlike older bottles of Kirkland bourbon from Jim Beam and George Dickel, Costco recently disclosed 1792 Barton as the producer of their bourbon.  

Small Batch

Kirkland Small Batch bourbon came from the same distillery- Barton 1792. As seen on the label, the Kirkland Signature Small Batch bourbon is made by Barton 1792 Distillery Master Distillers. 

Barton 1792 Distillery is located in Bardstown, Kentucky, and was established in 1879. The distillery is owned by Sazerac Company, just like the Old Montreal Distillery. 


Kirkland Signature Bottled-In-Bond was made by Barton 1792, and unlike other bourbon offerings, the Bottled-In-Bond bourbon underwent strict production regulation by the Federal Government. 

The Kirkland Signature BiB should be distilled by Barton 1792 alone, within one distilling season, and aged in a government bonded warehouse for at least four years [1]. 

Read: Whiskey Advent Calendar At Costco

Kirkland Irish Whiskey

Kirkland Signature Irish whiskey is distilled thrice, and since Costco has high demand and inventory, only one company can supply: Irish Distillers Ltd (IDL). 

IDL is the largest whiskey distillery in Ireland, and it is also the producer of Jameson Irish Whiskey, the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world.

Some people think Kilbeggan and Bushmill produce the Kirkland Signature Irish Whiskey; however, Kilbeggan is double distilled, and Bushmill makes malt whiskey only. 

Kirkland Canadian Whisky 

Kirkland Canadian Whisky with glass on table

Kirkland Signature Canadian whisky has a similar taste to Crown Royal, and there are rumors that they share the same distillery. Crown Royal is produced at the Gimli distillery in Manitoba, the possible distillery of Costco’s Canadian whisky. 

The Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian whisky can be made from component whiskies used to make different Crown Royal expressions.

It is evident and possible because, based on our blind taste test, Kirkland’s Canadian whisky has a similar taste profile and aroma to Crown Royal but is a bit spicier. 

Kirkland Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey

Tennessee Distilling Ltd makes Kirkland Signature Tennessee whiskey, and Master Distiller Mike Williams is in charge of the production line and quality of the spirit.

The signature of Mike Williams- co-owner of the distilling company, is imprinted on the Kirkland Tennessee Sour Mash whiskey label. 

The whiskey must undergo charcoal chips filtration made from maple wood before aging. The Lincoln County Process [2] is one of the requirements for a Tennessee whiskey to be labeled as one. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Kirkland whiskey the same as Crown Royal?

When exploring the vast landscape of whiskey options, it’s natural to wonder about the distinctions between different brands and labels. Kirkland whiskey and Crown Royal, while both occupying space in the whiskey realm, are indeed distinct entities.

Kirkland whiskey, a product exclusive to Costco under their Kirkland Signature brand, offers a range of expressions sourced from various distilleries and bottlers. On the other hand, Crown Royal stands as a renowned Canadian whisky brand owned by Diageo, boasting its own rich heritage and distinctive flavor profiles.

While there may be some shared characteristics or resemblances between Kirkland whiskey and certain expressions of Crown Royal, each brand maintains its own unique identity and production processes. Thus, while they may share shelf space, Kirkland whiskey and Crown Royal remain separate entities in the world of whiskey.

Who manufactures Kirkland brand?

The Kirkland brand, known for its diverse range of products spanning everything from household essentials to gourmet delicacies, operates under the umbrella of Costco Wholesale Corporation. However, the manufacturing of Kirkland branded products, including Kirkland Signature whiskey, is not limited to a single entity.

Instead, Costco collaborates with a network of suppliers, manufacturers, and producers to bring the Kirkland Signature label to life. This decentralized approach allows Costco to leverage the expertise and capabilities of various industry partners, ensuring a wide selection of high-quality products at competitive prices.

For Kirkland whiskey specifically, Costco engages with different distilleries and bottlers, selecting partners based on their ability to meet Costco’s stringent quality standards and deliver exceptional products that resonate with consumers. As a result, the Kirkland brand embodies a tapestry of partnerships and collaborations, with each product bearing the hallmark of Costco’s commitment to value, quality, and customer satisfaction.

Who is Kirkland bourbon made by?

Unraveling the origins of Kirkland bourbon unveils a tapestry of collaboration and craftsmanship within the spirits industry. While Costco, the purveyor of Kirkland products, maintains a veil of discretion around the specific distilleries and producers behind their private label bourbon, it is widely understood that Kirkland bourbon is crafted by established distilleries renowned for their dedication to quality and tradition.

The precise identity of the distillery responsible for producing Kirkland bourbon may vary from batch to batch, as Costco often partners with different distilleries to source and bottle their Kirkland Signature spirits. Despite this variability, discerning enthusiasts have speculated that Kirkland bourbon may be sourced from well-respected distilleries in Kentucky and Tennessee, regions celebrated for their rich bourbon heritage and unparalleled expertise in whiskey production.

While the exact distillery remains shrouded in secrecy, Costco’s commitment to delivering exceptional quality at an accessible price point shines through in each bottle of Kirkland bourbon. By leveraging their extensive network of industry partners and adhering to rigorous quality control standards, Costco ensures that Kirkland bourbon embodies the hallmark characteristics of premium bourbon—rich in flavor, smooth in texture, and imbued with the unmistakable essence of craftsmanship.

Where is Kirkland liquor made?

Delving into the origins of Kirkland liquor unveils a complex tapestry of sourcing and production that spans across various regions and distilleries. As a private label brand exclusive to Costco, Kirkland liquor is a product of meticulous collaboration between Costco and a network of esteemed suppliers and producers. While the specific distilleries and locations where Kirkland liquor is made are not always disclosed publicly, Costco’s commitment to quality and value shines through in every bottle bearing the Kirkland Signature label.

Drawing upon the expertise and craftsmanship of its industry partners, Costco ensures that Kirkland liquor meets stringent quality control standards and delivers a premium drinking experience at an accessible price point. Whether it’s bourbon from Kentucky, vodka from France, or tequila from Mexico, Kirkland liquor exemplifies the diverse array of offerings curated by Costco to satisfy the discerning palates of its members.

What is Kirkland equivalent to Jack Daniels?

When it comes to Tennessee whiskey, Kirkland Signature Tennessee Whiskey often draws comparisons to the iconic Jack Daniel’s brand. While the exact source of Kirkland’s Tennessee whiskey remains undisclosed, enthusiasts speculate that it may be crafted by reputable distilleries in Tennessee, mirroring the time-honored techniques and traditions of Jack Daniel’s.

Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey shares similarities with Jack Daniel’s in terms of its smoothness, sweetness, and distinctive charcoal mellowing process, which imbues the whiskey with a rich and mellow flavor profile. However, Kirkland’s offering provides a more budget-friendly alternative to Jack Daniel’s, making it an attractive option for whiskey enthusiasts seeking quality and affordability.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey offers a satisfying drinking experience that echoes the legacy of its renowned counterpart. While it may not bear the iconic Jack Daniel’s label, Kirkland Tennessee Whiskey stands as a testament to Costco’s commitment to offering high-quality spirits that delight the palate without breaking the bank.

Where does Kirkland get their whiskey?

Unraveling the origins of Kirkland whiskey unveils a fascinating journey through the world of spirits sourcing and production. As a private label brand exclusive to Costco, Kirkland whiskey is sourced from a diverse array of distilleries and producers, both domestically and internationally. Costco, renowned for its commitment to quality and value, meticulously selects partners who adhere to stringent standards of craftsmanship and excellence.

The exact sources of Kirkland whiskey may vary depending on the specific product and batch. While some Kirkland whiskies may be sourced from renowned distilleries in whiskey heartlands like Kentucky or Tennessee, others may originate from distilleries in other regions known for their expertise in whiskey production.

Costco’s extensive network of industry partners allows them to curate a portfolio of Kirkland whiskies that showcases the diversity and richness of the whiskey landscape. Whether it’s bourbon, rye, or single malt Scotch, Kirkland whiskey embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery, inviting enthusiasts to savor the nuances of each expression.

While Costco may not always disclose the precise origins of Kirkland whiskey publicly, their unwavering commitment to quality ensures that every bottle bearing the Kirkland Signature label delivers exceptional value and satisfaction to consumers. From smooth bourbons to peaty single malts, Kirkland whiskey represents the culmination of Costco’s dedication to providing premium spirits at an accessible price point.

Is Kirkland American or Canadian?

When pondering the geographical roots of Kirkland, it’s essential to recognize that Kirkland is indeed an American brand. Proudly owned and operated by Costco Wholesale Corporation, a retail giant headquartered in the United States, Kirkland finds its origins deeply embedded in the fabric of American commerce.

While Kirkland’s product line may encompass goods sourced from various corners of the globe, the brand itself hails from the land of opportunity and innovation—the United States of America.

Embracing Costco’s ethos of quality, value, and customer satisfaction, Kirkland products stand as a testament to American ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, offering consumers an extensive range of high-quality goods that exemplify the best of American craftsmanship and affordability.

Why is Kirkland brand so good?

The allure of the Kirkland brand lies in its unwavering commitment to excellence across every facet of its product offerings. Embedded within the DNA of Kirkland is Costco’s steadfast dedication to providing consumers with unparalleled quality, value, and satisfaction.

At the heart of Kirkland’s success is Costco’s unique business model, which allows the retail giant to cut out middlemen and offer products directly to consumers through its membership-based warehouse clubs.

This streamlined approach not only reduces costs but also enables Costco to maintain strict quality control standards, ensuring that every Kirkland product meets or exceeds the benchmarks set by leading national brands.

Moreover, Kirkland products are backed by Costco’s sterling reputation for customer service and reliability. With a focus on transparency, integrity, and customer-centricity, Costco stands firmly behind its Kirkland brand, instilling trust and confidence in consumers with every purchase.

Furthermore, Kirkland’s exceptional value proposition sets it apart from competitors, offering premium-quality products at competitive prices that are accessible to a wide range of consumers. Whether it’s Kirkland Signature batteries, Kirkland Signature liquor, or Kirkland Signature toilet paper, consumers can trust that they are getting the best bang for their buck with Kirkland products.

Is Kirkland a generic brand?

When contemplating the identity of Kirkland within the realm of consumer goods, it’s essential to delineate between the notions of “generic” and “private label” branding. While Kirkland products are often colloquially referred to as “generic” due to their lack of a recognizable national brand name, it’s crucial to understand that Kirkland is not synonymous with generic products.

Instead, Kirkland falls under the category of private label brands—products developed and marketed exclusively by a particular retailer, in this case, Costco Wholesale Corporation. Unlike traditional generics, which may sacrifice quality or brand recognition for lower prices, Kirkland products are meticulously crafted to meet or exceed the standards set by leading national brands while offering consumers superior value.

By partnering with reputable suppliers and adhering to stringent quality control measures, Costco ensures that Kirkland products maintain a level of excellence that resonates with consumers. Whether it’s Kirkland Signature coffee, Kirkland Signature vitamins, or Kirkland Signature paper towels, consumers can trust that Kirkland products deliver on their promises of quality and value.

Furthermore, the Kirkland brand enjoys a level of trust and loyalty among consumers that is typically associated with national brands—a testament to Costco’s commitment to transparency, integrity, and customer satisfaction.

In essence, while Kirkland may be considered a private label brand, it transcends the traditional connotations of generic products, offering consumers a premium alternative that embodies the Costco ethos of quality, value, and consumer trust.

So, Who Makes Kirkland Whiskey?

Costco does not produce their own whiskey because they do not own a distillery, so each bottle is sourced from different distilleries.

Rumors are circulating that many big names like Johnnie Walker and Crown Royal share a similar distillery with Kirkland whiskeys, and that can be true.

The Scotch whiskies are bottled by Alexander Murray & Co, while Gimli Distillery makes the Kirkland Canadian spirit.

The three bourbon expressions are produced by Barton 1792 Distillery, while the Tennessee whiskey and Irish whiskey are made by Tennessee Distilling Company and Irish Distiller Ltd, respectively. 


  1. Bottle in Bond
  2. The story of Nearest Green, America’s first known Black master distiller
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