What’s in a name?: The story behind Costco’s private label ‘Kirkland’ bourbon
Two things Kentuckians know, right down to their marrow: They know their basketball and they know their bourbon.
So here comes Costco out of Issaquah, Wash., that most mass of mass merchandisers, with its own brand of bourbon. “Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon.”
And my first thought is: Go back to Issaquah and stick to what you know! We wouldn’t come up to Seattle peddling Natural Falls of the Ohio pure bottled water. Or Genuine Bardstown Road mountain climbing gear. Or the Kentuckiana Digi-Tech Incubation Center.
You already have Amazon and Microsoft, Starbucks and Nordstrom — keep your hands off our bourbon.
The name Kirkland, by the way, refers to a nice-enough waterfront town in the Eastern Seattle area, right across Lake Washington. But it has no history of moonshine or stills, hooch-runners or revenooers. It’s not rural and romantic, it’s suburban and antiseptic. It’s probably about three months old.
And Kirkland is also the brand of all Costco private label merchandise. It would be like saying, “We’re out of bourbon right now, but try our Pappy Van Winkle frozen cheesecake.”
So am I just being grumpy and territorial? Is this stuff in fact drinkable?