Kirkland Signature Pale Ale - Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

Not Rated.
Kirkland Signature Pale AleKirkland Signature Pale Ale

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175 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 175
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.06
pDev: 15.36%
Wants: 0
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Troyone on 03-19-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by BeerBelcher:
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.27/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I love all things Kirkland and am also a big fan of Costco, but this beer was a genuine let-down. As a craft beer fan, I love hops that really punch you in the face, but as a realistic beer consumer, I also know that a lot of people who drink beer DON'T like this, and as a result there are quite a few more mild mannered beers out there, which is fine. I guess what is disappointing to me about this beer is that the name "pale ale" sort of implies to me that at least some discernible hop presence is contained within the bottle, and I did not find that to be the case here. Much like Bud American Ale, which promised hops and taste and delivered a disappointing blandness, I feel as though this beer is not what it implies.

It pours an attractive brassy color, with a pretty nice amount of head. Aroma is biscuity and malty, and not really at all hoppy. Flavor is very mildly hoppy - these beers are relatively new and the one I tried I thought was fresh, but the flavor within reminded me of hops gone bad - like when a super hoppy beer gets old and loses both its hop punch and its balance, becoming a big malt-ball. Mouthfeel was unremarkable.

I love Costco, and I am a big fan of their store brand (Kirkland), but that respect does not extend to their beer. I cannot in good faith recommend this to anyone.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poached a few bottles from a mixed case at a super bowl party to bring home and sample/review. 12 ounce bottle, with best before dating (May 09,2010) etched onto the bottle. Pours typical amber, clear, moderate light tan head, that leaves respectable strands of lace. Light tropical fruit nose. Bland, middle of the road pale, lacks even a moderate hop punch, thin on the tongue. Not much of interest here.

Photo of jondeelee
3.7/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a pale straw yellow, Kirkland's Pale Ale opens with a fruity whiff, with bananas, apricots, and berries intermingling with citrusy threads of grapefruit and touches of pine. Biscuit and toast linger in the background, as well as hints of wet wheat fields. The aromas are quite light, and seem to vanish rather quickly from an open bottle, such that after only thirty seconds or so they've diminished by half. But the aromas that are present are decent, and evidence a good malt and hop selection, as well as quality ingredients (even if delivered in light quantities).

On the tongue, the beer is heavy on grain flavors, with biscuit, wheat toast, and wheat stalks up front, giving the beer a good Grape Nuts cereal, or Shredded Wheat-like base. Add to this a handful of berry, apricot, and orange flavors, as well as light grapefruit bitterness from the hops, and the beer becomes quite drinkable, the flavors mingling well and proving refreshing. Late in the mouthful, as the sugars die off, the bitter hops move closer to the front, accompanied by an increasing pure grain presence. The aftertaste is a continuation of these latter flavors, with touches of berry remaining, and fades with medium quickness--except for the bitter grapefruit hops, which linger for some time. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, I admit surprise at the flavors and drinkability of this beer, and while I do find the malt flavors light, I recognize that they are still much more finely nuanced and catalytic that I normally expect from a cheap pale ale (the entire 24-pack was only $19 at Costco). Also surprising was the decent accompaniment of hops, lightly tingling the tongue with their 35 IBUs. The 5.4% ABV makes this great summer fare, or lunch-worthy material after a morning of hard labor. For the price, most beer drinkers would have a hard time going wrong with this one.

Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Undated but very recently purchased bottle served in pint glass. Brewed by "New Yorker Brewing Co., Utica, NY"

Pours a clear copper/amber color with medium bubbling and about one finger of whitish. Most of the head dissolves quickly but thin partial head remain and leaves a little lacing.

A - faint toasted grain and light hop aroma.

T - Starts crisp with a nice and substantial citrus hop flavor. The malt comes thru next, so the flavor sweetens nicely, with some caramel, herbal and toasted grain notes. Well balanced pale ale with a decent finish; a bit of burnt off-flavor in the aftertaste.

M - medium/light body with medium carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

Drink- good; certainly higher than most beers that do not cost more.

At $19 a case, this is a very good buy ... except: only available in mix packs with 3 other varieties, some of which may be less palatable.

Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

354ml bottle, the next in a rather large (duh) serving of beer from the local Alberta Costcos, courtesy of the Gordon Biersch brewery in California, even if it doesn't say so anywhere on the packaging.

This beer pours a crystal clear medium amber hue, with one finger of somehow puffy, foamy off-white head, which leaves low-lying island atoll landform lace around the glass as it gradually abates.

It smells of bready, doughy malt, a touch of caramel, soft aged lemon, a bit of cooked apple, and mild earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more bready, pastry-like malt, very much on the pale side, natch, with a weakly innocuous orchard fruitiness, and subtly functional, yet sweepingly unimpressive dry earthy hop offset.

The carbonation is pretty laid back, though supportive in its own special way, the body a just south of heaven medium weight, and generally smooth, with a mild clammy adjunct. It finishes on the sweet side, the pale malt puffing its chest, in the face of little hop, spice or booze rejoinder.

A drinkable, if not overly impressionable Yankee pale ale, one that I could at least pawn off on the aspirational beerophiles I might encounter (just kidding, sort of), or granted, even myself, in a particularly weak moment. My wankery aside though, worth a healthy go, given the average competition these days for this style.

Photo of Snow81
3.24/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Very light tan head

Smell: Right upfront is grassy with a little hope note

Taste: Grass with a subtle bitter hop

Weight: Medium body with a low carbonation

Finish: Grassy with a very little hop note in the background

Photo of nickd717
3.1/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to my roommate. When Costco stamps their brand on a beer, you know it's got to be a quality product. To be honest, this really isn't an awful beer.

Pours clear golden with a medium-sized white head.

Aroma is grainy and malty with some slight floral and herbal hop notes.

Flavor is pale and caramel malt, grains, and just a bit of hop bitterness, mostly herbal.

Medium-light body with average carbonation and nothing particularly exciting on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability is decent. Overall...meh, but hey, at least this beer is cheap and better than BMC.

Photo of HalfFull
2.48/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An interesting pour from my brown bottle. This beer has historically, from notes that is, poured an orange amber in color. Now, from this new mixed case which includes a Wit and an IPA, the Pale Ale pours quite pale. Downright golden in color, perhaps a deep straw, and quite clear. A different beer indeed which lacks any true carbonation and offers only a fleeting cap of foam before surrendering to a thin ring.

Nose is ultra pale in nature. Bit of malt in the background and with a very light hint of citric hops. Quite 'Blonde Ale' in nature at best, and thin at that.

Flavor follows suit. All malt perhaps and slightly bready with a minimal hop profile. Offers a moderate amount of coarse spice on the feel. A decent Blonde Ale to a point but somewhat of a fail for a Pale Ale.

Offers a hollow and over filtered yeast lameness which is somewhat reminiscent of a Sam Adams beer. In fact, I think that's what it is...Oops, I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?

Photo of Troyone
3.75/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with an apple juice hue and minimal white head with moderate action and a hint of sediment.

Caramel and barley grain malt aroma with florals.

Has a grainy barley malt taste with a hint of grapefruit and butter.

Light bodied, resinous and slight butter feel, with lively crisp carbonation.

Definite session beer and the grainy barley taste is not to sweet.

Photo of Gmann
3.35/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear golden color with a dense off-white head that dissipates into a light cap. Pretty much spot on for an APA. The aroma is of light floral hops and some fruit notes as well. Some cereal sweetness picked up towards the end. The taste is mostly of bitter grassy hops, not too strong. There is also a bit of a tin flavor with some rust. Some caramel malt gives the brew a touch of sweetness and a light bready character. The feel is light to moderate with some airy carbonation. The APA is dry and astringent and leaves a tea like bitterness on the palate. All of these CostCo brews has this astrigent character to it. It needs to go. An average APA, would like to see more hop flavor and more of a crispness to it.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.23/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured In: Tulip Glass

My dad went to Costco and gave me a bottle of each of their beers. Let's see what they have to offer...

Appearance: Pours a very attractive amber and brassy color with three fingers of head. The gentle pour still produced that much head. When held up to the light you can see that the beer is quite effervescent; it's also extremely clear. It doesn't look like it was bottle conditioned as the bottom of the bottle has zero yeast resting. The amount of lace on the side of my snifter is actually quite impressive. Thick sheets are completely surrounding my glass.

Smell: The nose isn't particularly exciting. A little bit of malt sweetness in the form of caramel, but not a whole lot. There's also a little bit of citrus hop in the nose, but, again, very little.

Taste: The palate isn't too far off from the nose. Some malt sweetness leads the tasting off, and then the bittering hops and flavor hops kick in. A little bit of pine and orange peel contribute to the hop character. I'd actually say this beer isn't too far off from being a decent pale ale, except that in the middle of the tasting I found the beer to be rather watery. It just needs a little more malt in the background to throw away some of that watery flavor. Personally, I'd also bump up the hops if I was adding more malt. However, I think they could get away with a well rounded pale ale by just adding more malt so long as the taster had a fresh bottle.

Mouthfeel: This has a rather thin body. I think this needs a little more malt backbone to up the body a bit. I also think upping the body would hopefully get rid of that slightly watery characteristic on the palate. Average carbonation for a pale ale.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer to be honest, although it won't end up in my crate again in the future. I have no idea how much this cost since it was given to me, but if the price for one of these large 12/24 tasting packs isn't too high I could see this being a session beer for some people.

Photo of puboflyons
3.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle brewed in Utica, N.Y. with an expiration date of Apr 04, 2010. Sampled on April 17, 2010. It pours a golden yellow with nice clarity with a decent fizzy white head. The aroma is balanced way. A good malty sensation as well. There is a sharpness and a bitterness to the taste with a moderately hopped finish.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 5.4% ABV, 35 IBUs, Best before Jun 21, 2010 printed on the neck.

A - Completely clear golden amber with moderate carbonation going up to a off-white head. Three-fingers tall with solid retention and patchy lace coating most of the glass.

S - Faint aroma in general that has the majority of the nose coming from lightly citrusy and floral hops. A drop of lemon livens what's there up. A background of pale malts isn't all too supportive.

T - A protein-tannin thing seems to overshadow what little flavor is there. Lemony citrus hop and an herbal touch. Low malt presence. It gets really metallic on the finish.

M - Medium-light bodied with a really dry metallic finish that kills the good hop bitterness at the start.

D - Blah. I can finish it but the metallic flavor and feel gets worse sip by sip. Not something I'd like to have again. Giving the last half to my brother.

Photo of wingman14
3.43/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark yellow with a frothy head that fades fast. Leaves some lacing as you drink. The smell is subtle with hop notes and some sweetness with some citrus background. The taste starts with the subtle hop flavor and moves into some sweetness and ends with slight hints of malt. The mouthfeel is medium, nice and full bodied, and enjoyable. This one is has decent drinkability, the flavor isn't the most exciting, nothing different, but a solid beer that is refreshing.

Photo of PEBKAC
3/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This particular sample case has been contract brewed up in Utica with 400 other recipes. Costco usually just rebrands things(albeit, quality name brands) so I'm wondering if anyone can guess what this stuff is yet.

Best by June 28 2010
Poured into a Rave Vos tumbler.

Half a glass of milky, fluffy, off-white head that is slow to settle. Body is a vibrantly filtered, bronze/amber/lightly steeped tea-colored brew.

Smell is of starch, pine, parsley, alcohol &... new sneakers?

Upfront, the taste is of leafy lettuce-like hops. A mild nutty caramel sweetness follows, backended with just a bit of residual barky bitterness. I agree with the bottle description, it tastes pretty clean. Especially for a ale(bland even). Very grassy, but without much else noticeable in the pot besides a bit of alcohol burn. Subtly sweet, & more bitter then I would of expected(bottle only says 35IBUs). They seem to have used the same boring bittering hops for flavor. :/

Lasting head gives it an airy feel. Good carbonation, without being too sharp. Very dry finish, giving up just a bit of lingering metallic bitterness.

A bit boring, but better then the last one(I think).

Photo of jeffjeff1
3/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was average for a pale ale.

Appearance- gold color, transparent

Smell- malty aroma

Taste- grainy malt

Mouthfeel- light bodied

Drinkability- pretty drinkable, ok, great for the price, great deal on these at Costco, got a case of 24 beers for 15 bucks

Photo of josiahschlender
3.75/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This mixed case from a Portland Costco for $18 is quite the deal for craft brew.

Pours golden straw into a pint glass. Lighter than many pales, but darker than say, most American lagers. A white cap quickly fades, leaving no lacing.

Grainy, nutty, bready malts on the nose, with some herbal hops. Maybe even some grassy, Noble hops? Less hoppy than I typically expect from a West-Coast pale, but I'm liking the balance on this one. Not the most intensity, but not bad.

Modest grain and hop flavors, as well. Good balance, maybe could have used more hops, I'm beginning to think even more that it might have some Noble hops, I'm reminded of a pils I had recently. Bittering is moderate, enough to notice, but not too much. Medium body and medium finish is good.

Overall, not unimpressed, certainly for the price, but it's no Mirror Pond or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I might be getting the case from Costco again, but it probably won't be on the strength of this pale. The easy drinking nature of this beer, with the low price point and versatile food pairing makes this high on my drinkability scale.

Photo of dbmcrorie
3.62/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown long neck bottle poured into a drinking glass. No freshness date. Part of the 24 mix pack from Costco.

Poured a bit watery into a copper/amber orange body with an off-white head. Big bubbles that popped and dissipated rather quickly into average lacing.

Definitely more malt than hops in this brew. Lots of caramel, slight candy/buttery diacetyl, and smooth - no graininess. Citrus and herbal notes from the hops that seem to highlight the malt, but don't make themselves known.

Again, more malt than hops, but that's not entirely a bad thing. Lots of mandarin orange flavors, followed by citrusy hops, pale and caramel malts, with a slight toasty bread finish. Watery mouthfeel and medium bodied. Surprisingly no signature PA bitterness. Rather, a smooth bready finish and a slight hoppy aftertaste.

Not bad at all. Definitely the best of the four in the KS mix pack, and a decent Pale Ale for the price - highly drinkable at that. I would thoroughly enjoy this again and wish I could find a six pack of it by itself (the other 3 six-packs aren't worth the price).
Would do well against mild chili, savory meats (especially game), crusty bread loafs, and nutty cheeses.


Photo of biggred1
3.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale bronze with a finger of bone colored foam that leaves some decent lace on the glass. The aroma is light and fruity with not much detectable malt. Mildly bitter and earthy hop notes with an overall dry quality. I find this beer to be seriously lacking in malt flavors. Medium light bodied and effervescent. I won't seek out Kirkland pale ale again.

Photo of SmokinSmyth
3/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloud amber with about an inch of head initially that recedes fairly quickly, but does leave liberal lacing.

Aroma dominated by hops with a hint of malt.

Tastes good, with the malt overtaking the hops in terms of taste.

Feels good in the mouth, ending with just a slight bitterness.

Nothing bad, but nothing great, an average beer for a lower than average price.

Photo of ghebel
3.15/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear, gold to amber color with one inch head. Foam dissipates quickly to a thin broken layer, leaving minimal lacing on the glass..

S - Caramel malt dominates with only background earthy hops. Aroma is not unpleasant, but is short in hop profile.

T - Sweet malt dominates with some bitterness in the end. Hop flavor is lacking for the style.

M - Thin to moderate body with carbonation bite and foamy sensation. Noticeable, yet mild, bitterness hangs around for a bit after the swallow. Warming, with mild alcohol sensation in the end.

D - Drinkable, but would not choose it first for a special occasion or when I am in the mood for a good APA.

Overall - Drinkable, but lacking in the hop department for my taste. Not too bad for an "economy" brand.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Leave to the ingenious people at Costco to get their "own" beer. Can't beat that, or the price, $17 an assorted case! We'll the price is right, let's give it a whirl to see how it pans out. Bottle smell is citrusy and zesty. Pours to a golden bronze with off white head. Taste is nice and hoppy up front, not overly bitter, transitions to a sweeter malty middle then the hops finish out with a zesty bitterness. Mouthfeel is spot on to spark up the flavor but not mask it. For the style it hits the mark. This is a tasty brew for $4 a sixer to boot. Kudos to Costco for getting the customer what they like!

Photo of psruss
3.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I obviously bought this at Costco as part of a $18.99 mixed case. I tried to read the case box to get some information. It is from Utica, NY, so it must be made by one of the big contract breweries. Don't know if production is regional and if it makes a difference.

I did not expect too much of a hops punch like an earlier reviewer did. It mentions 35 IBU which is fairly mild compared to IPA's or ESB's. I was pleasantly surprised about the drinkability of the pale ale. For a mild beer it was quite good and I expect it to be an all-season kind of beer. Better than average and that's meeting my expectations.

Photo of jwc215
3.63/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before June 15 2010 stamped on neck:

Pours bright golden with a thin lasting white head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is bready with fruity and floral notes. Mild, but pleasant.

The taste is of sweet graininess with a bitterish floral and somewhat tea-like spicy dryness in the finish.

Ample carbonation - even a bit more than ample, though not fizzy or too harsh - thins out the body a bit. Still, it is pretty smooth and not watery.

An easy-drinking, rather basic, though well-balanced, pale ale. A good value for the dollar.

Photo of zestd
3.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The surprise standout of the 2015 pack. I'd rank them Pale, Brown, Blonde, IPA.

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Kirkland Signature Pale Ale from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
71 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.