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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.