The Difference Between The Cheapest And Most Expensive Kirkland Whisky

One of the most recognizable brands in America is Kirkland, which is sold at mega-retailer Costco. They produce everything from animal crackers to dishwasher pods to batteries, all of which can be had at a low cost compared to other grocery stores since it's sold in bulk (via Kiplinger). 

But perhaps one Kirkland-branded option carried by Costco that you didn't know about is their selection of liquor and hard alcohol. From Kirkland-branded tequila to vodka to spiced rum, they offer a wide variety of boozy products (via Eater). Naturally, they're all a bit cheaper than the name brands that you might be familiar with, such as Captain Morgan's or Tanqueray. But sometimes, you don't need the fancy stuff. Kirkland-branded alcohols are perfect if you're having a party and need to whip up some drinks for a crowd. All you need is a Costco membership card and a few twenties and you'll be all set for a lively night.

The difference between the cheap and expensive whiskey is due to its age

The cheapest Kirkland-brand whiskey available at Costco is the Costco Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky which can be had for $22.99 for a 1.75-liter bottle (via 20 Something Finance). The Costco tasting notes say that this whiskey has a "slightly sweet, malty taste, which gives way to a long, gently warming finish." 

On the other side of the spectrum, you have the most expensive Kirkland branded whiskey — the Costco Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky — Aged 12 Years. This whiskey costs $52.99 per 1.75-liter bottle. The Costco tasting notes say that this one has "notes of caramel, spice, and smoky peat [which] prevail on the nose and palate before a long, smooth finish." 

Both of these spirits are 80 proof and are blended, as opposed to single malt. But the cheapest whiskey is only aged for six years and the most expensive one is aged for a dozen. What exactly does that mean? When hard alcohol is aged in wooden barrels, a longer period of time typically results in a smoother taste and less of that rubbing alcohol finish (via The Spruce Eats). So there you have it. The difference between the cheapest and the most expensive Kirkland whiskey? Six years.