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Each year, Costco releases a batch of aged scotch branded with the Kirkland label. Last year’s was labeled as a Macallan 20 year old. I had an opportunity to try that when I only had a few tastings under my belt and found it underwhelming – not at all what I would expect from a Macallan with its lofty reputation. I suppose, however, it could be argued that that bottling was not a true Macallan.
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Got a bottle of this year’s Kirkland batch for Christmas. Since it was labeled as Speyside scotch, I initially thought that this was from the Speyside distillery (www.speysidedistillery.co.uk), but many seem to think it is a disguised Glenfiddich. I don’t currently have any Glenfiddich to compare it against, so my judgement is reserved until I can taste both side by side. Early thoughts are that this is a good beginner’s whisky. Not too complex…easy going down. A good one to serve to those new to scotch.

Positives:

  • Smooth as can be
  • 40% abv means little to no burn (if that’s your thing)
  • Although this was gifted, my research into this bottle turned up a price point…very low cost for a 20 year old.

Negatives:

  • Can be tough to find. Especially if you don’t have a Costco membership or live in a state where liquor sales aren’t allowed at Costco
  • Nothing overly special about it other than the age. This is not a whisky that leads to lengthy conversations about what you do and do not taste or smell.
  • The smoothness reminds me of blended whisky. That’s not necessarily a knock. There are some blended whiskies out that that are amazing. It’s just that I was expecting a greater depth of flavor from my first 20 year old bottle.
  • I can’t take credit for this because I saw it on a message board, but I sure wish I thought of it first. One key to this product is the ABV. An ABV of 40% tells us that this scotch has been watered down a bit. That could help explain the low price for a 20 year old as well as a loss of depth of flavor. Just something to consider.

The bottom line: a good, but unchallenging scotch.

 

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5 thoughts on “Kirkland Speyside 20

  1. Pingback: Recent Gifts | Whisky Spot

  2. For a 20 year old, it wasn’t anywhere near as creamy or think as I would expect. Doesn’t leave long legs, I found it inferior to the 15 year Glenlivet. To me, very reminiscent of the Glenlivet 12, though slightly smoother and with a shorter finish.

  3. This is a nice sipping whisky, you really can’t beat it for the price. This has a definite Mcallan feel to it. I sampled this whisky with a little water in it really opened up. I have also tried it with ice and still found it very drinkable. The bottom line; I don’t know who makes it but I look forward to enjoying more.

  4. With costco you do not need a membership, i tried the 20 year macallan they released this year and i found it to be quite robust and to my liking.

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