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BOTM 11/12: Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon


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And now for something completely different......:bigeyes:

This month's BOTM has been suggested to me a couple of times now, so I thought why not. I know there has been some talk of it here in a couple of different threads. From what I can gather, it's a Beam product made for Costco. Anyway, let's here your thoughts about Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon.

I haven't tried this one yet, so no comment from me this month. Bet y'all are glad about that. :grin:

Cheers! Joe

Edited by fishnbowljoe
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Special Reserve

Not carried in MI. Oh well! For what it is worth, I haven't participated in past months selections when I could have. So please don't take this as a complaint.

Will

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michaelturtle1

Opened the bottle(batch B-5183 if the # means anything), tasted it neat in a glen cairn. The nose has alot of alcohol and a surprising amount of wood for being a 7 year bourbon. On the palate it has a bit less heat than I expected from 103 proof has alot of wood flavor and a bit of sweet corn, the mouth feel is very thin and slightly oily with a very short finish. All in all it is not terrible, my wife thought more of it than I did. My intent in buying it was for a mixer which is what it will be used for.

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I better jump in here since I'm one of those who has been urging Joe to select Kirkland as BOTM.

First I'd like to point out that, at least in Illinois, one need not be a member of Costco to purchase liquor there. Tell the door-person you're just buying booze and you'll be let in. At the register be ready to pay in cash, and maybe wait for a supervisor approval (Costco only takes its own AmEx credit cards).

Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon is 103-proof and 7-y-o and sells for $20 a liter. A Costco clerk told me it was made by Woodford, and the bottle is a hybrid of WR and KC and clearly aimed at buyers of those brands. But the closed SB thread "Costco Bourbon?" details the tracking down of the Kirkland brand's COLA registry that shows it is a Beam product. (I found this very interesting as I hadn't yet learned about the COLA registry.)

There are also quite a few tasting notes on that long "Costco Bourbon?" thread, many of which I agree with. I found my bottle of Kirkland to be quite good. Color a little lighter than KC, perhaps a bit more brown/less gold--at least in Costco light. Nose was agreeable, but mild--maybe subtle is a better word choice. Good legs and a full mouth. I'm partial to wheaters, but this had a nice, spicy rye flavor--with a bit of a bite--that I enjoyed. Finish was pleasant and lingered. It's not as complex or sophisticated as a Beam small batch bourbon, but I think it's quite a bit better than the JBW and JBB of my most recent memories. If other batches match what's in my bottle, I'd say it's an excellent value at $20 a liter.

If you want to stock up, Costco also has good prices on the other bourbons it carries. if memory serves, that's usually Kirkland Small Batch, Jim Beam White, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark (& 46), and Buffalo Trace.

Edited by Chuckles
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All batch numbers are the same, as far as I've seen. I thought this juice was pretty good, but doesn't rise above the shackles of it's Beam origin. I'll reach for WT101@$18/750 over this every time.

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First I'd like to point out that, at least in Illinois, one need not be a member of Costco to purchase liquor there. Tell the door-person you're just buying booze and you'll be let in. At the register be ready to pay in cash, and maybe wait for a supervisor approval (Costco only takes its own AmEx credit cards).

I am a Costco member but it is good to know, at least in Illinois, you don't have to be. Nice notes on this bourbon too Charlie...good enough for me to continue to pass on it :grin:.

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In Michigan you don't have to be a Costco member to buy beer, wine, and spirits at Costco.

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Ohio folks, can you tell me if it is available there? If so I will run down and pick some up so I can try it for this month.

Best regards, Tony

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I have heard this topic come up before. Apparently in some states, stores like Sam's and Costco must allow non-members the ability to purchase alcohol. My understanding goes something like this. In those states there is a law that says a person can not be asked to pay extra or join a club in order to purchase alcohol. The state reserves the sole right to regulate alcohol sales. My question is, does anyone know which states do, or don't have this law? It has been stated before that many store employees are unaware. Does anyone have a list, or know where to find out? :rolleyes:

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Sorry, Tony. Alcohol sales in OH are highly regulated. Costco sells wine and beer but no "hard liquor" in the Buckeye State. I have, however, purchased Kirkland in FL, AZ, and SC.

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Sorry, Tony. Alcohol sales in OH are highly regulated. Costco sells wine and beer but no "hard liquor" in the Buckeye State. I have, however, purchased Kirkland in FL, AZ, and SC.

Thanks, appreciate the information. Looks like I will have to wait until I get to do some traveling to try this.

Best regards, Tony

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I have heard this topic come up before. Apparently in some states, stores like Sam's and Costco must allow non-members the ability to purchase alcohol. My understanding goes something like this. In those states there is a law that says a person can not be asked to pay extra or join a club in order to purchase alcohol. The state reserves the sole right to regulate alcohol sales. My question is, does anyone know which states do, or don't have this law? It has been stated before that many store employees are unaware. Does anyone have a list, or know where to find out? :rolleyes:
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With a little help from my wife, did a semi-blind tasting in Glencairns of Kirkland with bigger brothers KC and Baker's. "Semi-blind" because I knew what the three bourbons were but not what was in each glass. After a few minutes, that was fairly easy to figure out. The Kirkland hit me right off with a lot of sweetness and honey, some cloves, and licorice. Very pleasant but noticeably less complex than the others. The KC had more maple, a sweet burnt sugar I associate with creme brulee, some caramel, a little citrus, and licorice. The Baker's came through with a chocolate caramel like a high quality truffle, vanilla, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. It had the creamiest mouthfeel of the three. The family resemblance was quite clear.

Using a clothing metaphor, Kirkland reminds me of my comfortable, working-in-the-garden clothes that always seem to feel best just before they completely fall apart. At $20 liter, the equivalent of $15/750, I'll have no trouble buying more Kirkland next time I'm in a state that allows Costco to sell it. The KC is how I would dress for a casual dinner with friends. The Baker's is for a nice restaurant. Booker's, of course, would be what to wear when going someplace really special.

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With a little help from my wife, did a semi-blind tasting in Glencairns of Kirkland with bigger brothers KC and Baker's. "Semi-blind" because I knew what the three bourbons were but not what was in each glass. After a few minutes, that was fairly easy to figure out. The Kirkland hit me right off with a lot of sweetness and honey, some cloves, and licorice. Very pleasant but noticeably less complex than the others. The KC had more maple, a sweet burnt sugar I associate with creme brulee, some caramel, a little citrus, and licorice. The Baker's came through with a chocolate caramel like a high quality truffle, vanilla, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. It had the creamiest mouthfeel of the three. The family resemblance was quite clear.

Using a clothing metaphor, Kirkland reminds me of my comfortable, working-in-the-garden clothes that always seem to feel best just before they completely fall apart. At $20 liter, the equivalent of $15/750, I'll have no trouble buying more Kirkland next time I'm in a state that allows Costco to sell it. The KC is how I would dress for a casual dinner with friends. The Baker's is for a nice restaurant. Booker's, of course, would be what to wear when going someplace really special.

Excellent and informative post Flyfish and great work you put into it. Semi-blind is the next best thing to blind and do it myself regularly. I'm still not interested in the Kirkland but enjoy reading intelligent analysis on it...and you even got my taste up for a Beam and just poured a KC Reserve from the best one I've had so far... Binny's Barrel 153.

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Do you happen to know your batch# as my bottle had very little spicy rye?

Sorry, bottle is gone.

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I have heard this topic come up before. Apparently in some states, stores like Sam's and Costco must allow non-members the ability to purchase alcohol. ... It has been stated before that many store employees are unaware. ... :rolleyes:

Even though I am a Costco member, I tried a liquor purchase as if I weren't. I told the doorman I was buying booze, and he waved me right in. I tried to put the purchase on my MasterCard, and the clerk said Costco Card only. So I tried cash instead--he called a supervisor over, got an okay, and I paid and departed with my booze, no hassle.

I also understand that--again, I only speak for Illinois--that you do not need to be a member to have a prescription filled at Costco at its discount rates. Also, you don't need to be a member to have photos processed.

I'm not an employee or stockholder or anything of Costco--I just like the one in my 'hood (Glenview, IL) and feel I've gotten good deals on some decent quality items there. I did not feel this way about Sam's Club when I was a member there.

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I have heard this topic come up before. Apparently in some states, stores like Sam's and Costco must allow non-members the ability to purchase alcohol. My understanding goes something like this. In those states there is a law that says a person can not be asked to pay extra or join a club in order to purchase alcohol. The state reserves the sole right to regulate alcohol sales. My question is, does anyone know which states do, or don't have this law? It has been stated before that many store employees are unaware. Does anyone have a list, or know where to find out? :rolleyes:

You can but alcohol and prescriptions at Costco in CA without being a member.

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This Bourbon is a Beam product. Looks like it was on its way to being Knob Creek, but was pulled early at 7 years instead of 9. The proof is decent and in the barrel longer than KC. A good value at 20 dollars for a liter. Do a side by side with KC and let me know what you think. Its the same recipe.

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This Bourbon is a Beam product. Looks like it was on its way to being Knob Creek, but was pulled early at 7 years instead of 9. The proof is decent and in the barrel longer than KC. A good value at 20 dollars for a liter. Do a side by side with KC and let me know what you think. Its the same recipe.

How about this?

With a little help from my wife, did a semi-blind tasting in Glencairns of Kirkland with bigger brothers KC and Baker's. "Semi-blind" because I knew what the three bourbons were but not what was in each glass. After a few minutes, that was fairly easy to figure out. The Kirkland hit me right off with a lot of sweetness and honey, some cloves, and licorice. Very pleasant but noticeably less complex than the others. The KC had more maple, a sweet burnt sugar I associate with creme brulee, some caramel, a little citrus, and licorice. The Baker's came through with a chocolate caramel like a high quality truffle, vanilla, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. It had the creamiest mouthfeel of the three. The family resemblance was quite clear.

Using a clothing metaphor, Kirkland reminds me of my comfortable, working-in-the-garden clothes that always seem to feel best just before they completely fall apart. At $20 liter, the equivalent of $15/750, I'll have no trouble buying more Kirkland next time I'm in a state that allows Costco to sell it. The KC is how I would dress for a casual dinner with friends. The Baker's is for a nice restaurant. Booker's, of course, would be what to wear when going someplace really special.

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I actually had the bottle in my hand yesterday, but the town of "Clermont" on the label kept me from taking it to the check-out.:lol:

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