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I was at my local Costco yesterday (Northern California) and saw, to my amazement, Macallan 18 year scotch with a Kirkland label. It was $59.99 per bottle. Just to put it into perspective, Macallan 18 (distilled and bottled by Macallan) is about $150 per bottle.

Costco has done this before. Earlier in the year, they had a 19 year old Macallan with their label on it. Many reviewed it quite favorably to the Macallan labeled variety.

This particular scotch is finished in sherry casks. From what I've read, Macallan often has surplus of liquid which they sell. A third party likely did the bottling for Costco.

Here is a picture: Kirkland Macallan Scotch

Costco Item# 717170

Additional information from Costco's Newsletter

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None at Heather Ridge store in Laguna Niguel.

realdealesq (Feb. 23, 2008 @ 6:49p) |

I've seen something very similiar here in Texas where basically Macallan is leasing their distillery to another party. ... (more)

txlonghorn1989 (Feb. 24, 2008 @ 12:12a) |

i haven't see any more of the macallan or 1L glenmorangies anymore at costco these days. they seem to have a good suppl... (more)

asianrebel (Mar. 18, 2008 @ 12:03a) |

According to the manager at west plano,tx costco , costco's in texas do not sell HARD liquor. so this is a no go in the Lonestar State
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good find. love the single malt.

wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Netzaper said: wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Sorry about the OT, but had to ask. What's this "dumb law" that you refer to?

deyab said: Netzaper said: wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Sorry about the OT, but had to ask. What's this "dumb law" that you refer to?


I'd especially like to know, since I'm in NY and ready to nip down to Costco for a case or so.

Macallan distills the very best single malt Scotch whiskies, particularly if you are looking for a classic Highland Scotch whiskey. IMO, the 18 year old is a sweet spot in the Macallan line in terms of price and quality. The 12 year old is cheaper, but less refined, while the 25 year old is much more expensive but only minimally better (I own all three maturities of Macallan).

This is a great price if it is true 18 year old single malt Macallan. However, the Kirkland label on the bottle somehow detracts from the cachet of this outstanding Scotch whiskey. If you can get beyond that issue, then this is a great deal.

Edit: Not available at Costco's in Virginia due to state law.

I'm tempted to get a bottle of this and pour it into my near empty Macallan. Cheap, yes, but technically I'm still serving my friends a fine Macallan.

This is a good deal, but it may not be the same EXACT as the real whiskey. The distilleries sell their batches that don't come out PERFECT to other labels. Again, good price for an 18 year, but you're not really getting the Macallan quality whiskey.

OP could you please post the costco item number .

Maybe this should be mandatory for all costco deals

Costco sometimes is very regional on stuff they carry , so i could call my local warehouse to see if they carry this gem !!!

This is true. If a distillery is dissatisfied with a batch of their whiskey, it is sold to companies that blend the whiskey with other imperfect batches from other distilleries to make blended Scotch whiskey. This is where Chivas and Dewar's blended whiskies (among many others) come from. The distilleries are getting rid of their "bad" whiskey which is repackaged and sold under another name.

I would think that if Macallan allowed its name to be used on this whiskey being sold at Costco, it is probably very close in taste to real 18 year old Macallan of the same vintage. However, I still wonder why Macallan, a premier distiller of Scotch whiskey, is selling its whiskey through Costco.

em3ti8 said: This is a good deal, but it may not be the same EXACT as the real whiskey. The distilleries sell their batches that don't come out PERFECT to other labels. Again, good price for an 18 year, but you're not really getting the Macallan quality whiskey.

msgodec said: Macallan distills the very best single malt Scotch whiskies.

That's one opinion. Do a little more sampling and you might discover some more sophisticated options beyond the Macallan ho-hum mainstream taste.

msgodec said: This is a great price if it is true 18 year old single malt Macallan. However, the Kirkland label on the bottle somehow detracts from the cachet of this outstanding Scotch whiskey. If you can get beyond that issue, then this is a great deal.

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SJester said: deyab said: Netzaper said: wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Sorry about the OT, but had to ask. What's this "dumb law" that you refer to?


I'd especially like to know, since I'm in NY and ready to nip down to Costco for a case or so.


Me too! Are you confusing law with tax?

do they sell the whiskey where the wine is because I was at the one in toledo and I did not see any whiskey.

I own over 50 single malt Scotch whiskies, several of which are not available in this country, with maturities up to 75 years. I've been on the Whiskey Trail in Scotland on several occasions and I have visited a couple dozen of the distilleries.

Most connoisseurs of single malt Scotch whiskies would agree that Macallan is probably the premier Highland (Speyside) single malt Scotch whiskey, though everybody has their own taste. I particularly enjoy 21 year old Springbank, a Campbeltown Scotch whiskey, and I like it more than Macallan. My comments are for anyone who is interested in trying single malt Scotch whiskey. You can't go wrong with Macallan.

With regard to the label, of course it makes no difference to the taste of the whiskey. However, the distilleries of single malt Scotch whiskies go to great effort to present their product in truly beautiful bottles, often with elaborate boxes. I think Macallan has a particularly elegant label and bottle throughout its line. The packaging adds to the attractiveness of the product, and the distilleries know it. If you prefer drinking your whiskey from a dirty bottle with a torn label, feel free.

Fauntleroy said: msgodec said: Macallan distills the very best single malt Scotch whiskies.

That's one opinion. Do a little more sampling and you might discover some more sophisticated options beyond the Macallan ho-hum mainstream taste.

msgodec said: This is a great price if it is true 18 year old single malt Macallan. However, the Kirkland label on the bottle somehow detracts from the cachet of this outstanding Scotch whiskey. If you can get beyond that issue, then this is a great deal.


Edit by Moderator: Removal of a delete quote

LOL. Trader Joe's has the same Macallan 18 yr trick for $40+. Don't remember the exact price but it wasn't as good as the regular Mac 18. Costco normally has the Glenmorengie 18 for $56. That's a better 18 yr scotch.

I'll have to see if this is also available in So. Cal.

Nice find OP.

I'm not sure I understand the relevance of your comments. You just seem pissed off and angry.

No one has to spend alot of money to enjoy a single malt Scotch whiskey, and the deal the OP presents is a way to buy Macallan at a very good price. It's an outstanding single malt Scotch whiskey. If you prefer something else, that option is always available.


Edit by Moderator: Removal of a deleted quote

This is probably the best solution to the problem of the Kirkland label. Everyone's satisfied.

luv2ctheworld said: I'm tempted to get a bottle of this and pour it into my near empty Macallan. Cheap, yes, but technically I'm still serving my friends a fine Macallan.

msgodec said: Macallan distills the very best single malt Scotch whiskies, particularly if you are looking for a classic Highland Scotch whiskey. IMO, the 18 year old is a sweet spot in the Macallan line in terms of price and quality. The 12 year old is cheaper, but less refined, while the 25 year old is much more expensive but only minimally better (I own all three maturities of Macallan).

This is a great price if it is true 18 year old single malt Macallan. However, the Kirkland label on the bottle somehow detracts from the cachet of this outstanding Scotch whiskey. If you can get beyond that issue, then this is a great deal.

Edit: Not available at Costco's in Virginia due to state law.


Use an empty Macallan bottle.

I have about an 2" of Mcallan 18 left.

So I will bite the bullet and do a blind taste test. Granted, with 18 no two bottles ever taste the same but if there is a quality issue that will be picked up on.

Had to twist my arm didn't you...

kapper said: SJester said: deyab said: Netzaper said: wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Sorry about the OT, but had to ask. What's this "dumb law" that you refer to?


I'd especially like to know, since I'm in NY and ready to nip down to Costco for a case or so.


Me too! Are you confusing law with tax?


nope, the law that says you can only buy liquor in a liquor store, not a supermarket. Hence Costco in NY doesn't sell liquor, though some have another shop nextdoor but i dont think its actually a part of costco so they prob wont have this deal (please prove me wrong!)

Hey guys, I edited the original post with the item number. Good luck finding it and please post your tasting notes!

Costco Item# 717170 KS18YRSCOTCH 59.99

msgodec said: This is true. If a distillery is dissatisfied with a batch of their whiskey, it is sold to companies that blend the whiskey with other imperfect batches from other distilleries to make blended Scotch whiskey. This is where Chivas and Dewar's blended whiskies (among many others) come from. The distilleries are getting rid of their "bad" whiskey which is repackaged and sold under another name.

I would think that if Macallan allowed its name to be used on this whiskey being sold at Costco, it is probably very close in taste to real 18 year old Macallan of the same vintage. However, I still wonder why Macallan, a premier distiller of Scotch whiskey, is selling its whiskey through Costco.

em3ti8 said: This is a good deal, but it may not be the same EXACT as the real whiskey. The distilleries sell their batches that don't come out PERFECT to other labels. Again, good price for an 18 year, but you're not really getting the Macallan quality whiskey.


This is incorrect.

Most distilleries manufacture to sell to blenders and keep some of that which is sent to blenders which they then cask and age.

The 'bad' stuff is simply thrown away and it is rare to ruin a batch of whisky these days with so much being semi-automated. Of course, the skills in creating a wonderful product are still human but little is wasted.

I spent a number of years as a close friend of a distillery manager from the West Coast of Scotland and learnt alot about the trade from him (he wanted me to come work with him on the logistics side).

If this bottle says Macallan 18 year old on it then you are getting Macallan 18 year old. They wouldn't put out an inferior product.

Personally I would love a bottle of their 1964 but at 3k a bottle I will have to pass. If you find any with a Kirkland label at less then $200 I will have it

From Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch (Second Edition) -

The Macallan

Distillery Rating - 5 out of 5 stars

"The Rolls-Royce of Single Malts" is a soubriquet often bestowed upon this persistent winner of competitions. From its unusually small stills to its insistence upon sherry ageing (always in dry oloroso casks, shipped unbroken from Spain), Macallan is a purposefully traditionalist distillery. In the big, heavily sherried, style, there is no malt more widely acknowledged than The Macallan. It is the classic example of this type of Speyside whisky.

Even in the seven-year-old, bottled exclusively for the Italian market, this malt is full of flavour. There is considerable development of character between the 10- and 12-year-old while many devotees prefer the 18-year-old."

18 yo Macallan (1991 bottling)

Color - Full Amber
Nose - Assertive sherry character. Very perfumy.
Body - Full, round.
Palate - More complexity and fullness of flavour, with flowering currant and Calvados-like notes.
Finish - Slow at first, then oaky, sappy, and powerful.

Score - 94 (100 point scale)

Of the hundreds of single malt Scotches rated by Jackson in this volume, only 25 year old Macallan and 16 year old Lagavulin were rated higher than 18 year old Macallan, each with scores of 95 out of 100.

Not sure where all the haters are coming from, but here's my 2 cents. My wife and I used to do blind taste testing on scotch; one of us would pour 4 or 5 shots (from a collection of 20-30, none of them super high end) and bring them to the other, who had to guess what they were. Over time we developed surprising accuracy, and Macallan 18 was definitely one of our favorites. I could often call it from the bouqet alone; the 12 year old was (IMHO) much harsher while the 25 year old was kind of flat. If Costco is really selling Macallan 18 at $60 a bottle, it's an out-and-out steal.

I don't intend to suggest that Macallan is selling "bad" whiskey to the blenders, which is why I put the word in quotes in my post above. I meant that their preferred batches of whiskey (based on a variety of factors) are used for their single malt whiskies while the batches that don't meet these exacting standards are sold to the blenders. Sorry for the poor choice of language.

Many distilleries sell most their whiskey production to blenders and their single malt Scotch whiskies are a much smaller portion of their business. Macallan historically has been a source of premier Scotch whiskey for blenders (so called "top dressing" in the trade), but in the past 30 years, the new generation of family management has chosen to emphasize single malt production and they have been very successful.

I agree that if the Macallan name is on the bottle, it almost certainly meets the exacting standards of the distillery (see my comments below).

Moggi1964 said: msgodec said: This is true. If a distillery is dissatisfied with a batch of their whiskey, it is sold to companies that blend the whiskey with other imperfect batches from other distilleries to make blended Scotch whiskey. This is where Chivas and Dewar's blended whiskies (among many others) come from. The distilleries are getting rid of their "bad" whiskey which is repackaged and sold under another name.

I would think that if Macallan allowed its name to be used on this whiskey being sold at Costco, it is probably very close in taste to real 18 year old Macallan of the same vintage. However, I still wonder why Macallan, a premier distiller of Scotch whiskey, is selling its whiskey through Costco.

em3ti8 said: This is a good deal, but it may not be the same EXACT as the real whiskey. The distilleries sell their batches that don't come out PERFECT to other labels. Again, good price for an 18 year, but you're not really getting the Macallan quality whiskey.


This is incorrect.

Most distilleries manufacture to sell to blenders and keep some of that which is sent to blenders which they then cask and age.

The 'bad' stuff is simply thrown away and it is rare to ruin a batch of whisky these days with so much being semi-automated. Of course, the skills in creating a wonderful product are still human but little is wasted.

I spent a number of years as a close friend of a distillery manager from the West Coast of Scotland and learnt alot about the trade from him (he wanted me to come work with him on the logistics side).

If this bottle says Macallan 18 year old on it then you are getting Macallan 18 year old. They wouldn't put out an inferior product.

Personally I would love a bottle of their 1964 but at 3k a bottle I will have to pass. If you find any with a Kirkland label at less then $200 I will have it

It is getting a little testy in this thread. People are passionate about their liquor, and apparently this is particularly true of Scotch whiskey. Hopefully it is not the alcohol speaking.

I agree with your assessment of the Macallan's. The 25 year old, which is very expensive, is too mellow, while the 12 year old is a little harsh (or at least lacking in refinement). I agree that the 18 year old is the sweet spot in the Macallan line.

For comparison, prices of the Macallan at the Virginia ABC stores are listed below -

12 yo Macallan - $49.95
18 yo Macallan - $164.95
25 yo Macallan - $549.95

There are a number of other bottlings of the Macallan of varying ages that are not widely available in the U.S.

tenben said: Not sure where all the haters are coming from, but here's my 2 cents. My wife and I used to do blind taste testing on scotch; one of us would pour 4 or 5 shots (from a collection of 20-30, none of them super high end) and bring them to the other, who had to guess what they were. Over time we developed surprising accuracy, and Macallan 18 was definitely one of our favorites. I could often call it from the bouqet alone; the 12 year old was (IMHO) much harsher while the 25 year old was kind of flat. If Costco is really selling Macallan 18 at $60 a bottle, it's an out-and-out steal.

We killed a bottle drowning our sorrows because of the Cal loss. I drink quite a bit of scotch, including Macallan. I like the 10 yr old cask strength, the 18, and the 25. I've had the 35.

This was pretty good. The sherry wood cask gives it a nice sweetness. The third party bottler is on the label (who? I don't remember). Great price.

As much as I hate to jump in this William Wallace pissing contest, it made me think of something else. Costco (Kirkland) also has their own label of vodka. Any one know who makes that?

As a side note to the Scotch debate, I was in Scotland this past Feb. Did some sampling of the various regions of Scotch and it is amazing how different tasting the different regions are. But I am clearly a noob when it comes to the different varietals in the region. So thumbs up to those that have a discerning pallete. I am clearly either not a Scotch drinker or fell off the back of a double-wide...

regards,

noodle

quaters said: I have about an 2" of Mcallan 18 left.

So I will bite the bullet and do a blind taste test. Granted, with 18 no two bottles ever taste the same but if there is a quality issue that will be picked up on.

Had to twist my arm didn't you...


let us know the results, i have been drinking whiskey a lot lately. and if you guys say this is a good bottle of whiskey for the price regardless of the kirkland label, i cant turn it down

Netzaper said: kapper said: SJester said: deyab said: Netzaper said: wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Sorry about the OT, but had to ask. What's this "dumb law" that you refer to?


I'd especially like to know, since I'm in NY and ready to nip down to Costco for a case or so.


Me too! Are you confusing law with tax?


nope, the law that says you can only buy liquor in a liquor store, not a supermarket. Hence Costco in NY doesn't sell liquor, though some have another shop nextdoor but i dont think its actually a part of costco so they prob wont have this deal (please prove me wrong!)


I have many relatives in NY and I recall that BJs has a seperate hard liquor store up front but not sure about Costco. I live in Indiana where you can go in most big grocery stores and buy any alcohol right off the shelf in an aile like anything else. Many states in the Midwest have this same policy

I purchased a bottle of the Kirkland Signature vodka not too long ago and was told by one of the Costco employees that the vodka is distilled from the same distiller as Grey Goose. I was skeptical, but upon tasting it I have to say I couldn't tell the difference between Grey Goose and the Costco bottle. I forgot how much I paid, but it was 1.5L for about 2/3 of the price of a 750mL Grey Goose bottle.

shellshock said: I purchased a bottle of the Kirkland Signature vodka not too long ago and was told by one of the Costco employees that the vodka is distilled from the same distiller as Grey Goose. I was skeptical, but upon tasting it I have to say I couldn't tell the difference between Grey Goose and the Costco bottle. I forgot how much I paid, but it was 1.5L for about 2/3 of the price of a 750mL Grey Goose bottle.
I tried the kirkland vodka as well. It was $29.99 for a 750ml. I couldn't tell the difference between in and Grey Goose. It was made in France too.

lowpricewanted said: Netzaper said: kapper said: SJester said: deyab said: Netzaper said: wow! i wish NY didn't have dumb alcohol laws

Sorry about the OT, but had to ask. What's this "dumb law" that you refer to?


I'd especially like to know, since I'm in NY and ready to nip down to Costco for a case or so.


Me too! Are you confusing law with tax?


nope, the law that says you can only buy liquor in a liquor store, not a supermarket. Hence Costco in NY doesn't sell liquor, though some have another shop nextdoor but i dont think its actually a part of costco so they prob wont have this deal (please prove me wrong!)


I have many relatives in NY and I recall that BJs has a seperate hard liquor store up front but not sure about Costco. I live in Indiana where you can go in most big grocery stores and buy any alcohol right off the shelf in an aile like anything else. Many states in the Midwest have this same policy


not in minnesota.

quaters said: shellshock said: I purchased a bottle of the Kirkland Signature vodka not too long ago and was told by one of the Costco employees that the vodka is distilled from the same distiller as Grey Goose. I was skeptical, but upon tasting it I have to say I couldn't tell the difference between Grey Goose and the Costco bottle. I forgot how much I paid, but it was 1.5L for about 2/3 of the price of a 750mL Grey Goose bottle.
I tried the kirkland vodka as well. It was $29.99 for a 750ml. I couldn't tell the difference between in and Grey Goose. It was made in France too.


Svedka is $.

haha 18 years old and single was the first thing that caught my attention..

oh gosh i so need a girlfriend!


I looked into this about a year ago when I first saw Kirkland/Macallen Scotch at Costco.

Macallen sells casks of surplus new make spirit to other distilleries/vendors. Therefore, most of the aging process isn't controlled by the people at Macallen. I've never actually tried the stuff myself, so I can't comment on how much of a difference that makes.

tenben said: Not sure where all the haters are coming from, but here's my 2 cents. My wife and I used to do blind taste testing on scotch; one of us would pour 4 or 5 shots (from a collection of 20-30, none of them super high end) and bring them to the other, who had to guess what they were. Over time we developed surprising accuracy, and Macallan 18 was definitely one of our favorites. I could often call it from the bouqet alone; the 12 year old was (IMHO) much harsher while the 25 year old was kind of flat. If Costco is really selling Macallan 18 at $60 a bottle, it's an out-and-out steal.

4 or 5 shots holy moly! I gotta meet a girl like that...

Sadly however, my state (North Carolina) has teh same dumb beer+wine only laws.

luv2ctheworld said: I'm tempted to get a bottle of this and pour it into my near empty Macallan. Cheap, yes, but technically I'm still serving my friends a fine Macallan.

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Skipping 213 Messages...
i haven't see any more of the macallan or 1L glenmorangies anymore at costco these days. they seem to have a good supply of glenlivet 18yr $45.99, maybe i'll try that one of these days. are anybody also experiencing shortage of variety at costco?



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