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Kirkland Signature Amber Ale - Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

Not Rated.
Kirkland Signature Amber AleKirkland Signature Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 186
Avg: 3.21
pDev: 15.58%
Wants: 1
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 186
Photo of Yackmo360
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Good looking beer when you poor it out of the bottle. Nice clear color and a good head.
The head quickly dissipates. The nose is disappointing. Smells like a cheaper beer.
Flavor is not that great either. Almost metallic aftertaste. You get what you pay for.

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Photo of Vixie
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber colored head with about an inch of an off white head. Doesn't seem to be a lot of carbonation going on.

Smell is a bit nutty, hints of caramel and bread as well.

Taste starts out a bit sweet, like a caramel type of sweetness. Little bit f nuttiness and bread, finishes with a bit of hop bitterness that lingers a bit.

Nothing too special about the feel, nothing bad either. Could use a little more carbonation.

Not a bad beer, not a great beer, kind of an inoffensive one that is still several cuts above mass market beers. When you consider the price, as I spent roughly 50 cents per bottle, it is actually a really good value. This would be a great beer for a party when you have people timid about craft beer, and want to give them something a bit better than the usual mass markets, and don't want to spend a lot.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.26/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear amber color with a small white head. The head fades rather fast to leave a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is rather light overall with some light breadiness, caramel sweetness, and a tiny amount of nut.

Taste – The taste begins a little on the sweeter caramel side with a nice bready backbone. As the flavor advances more some of the sweeter flavors fade as a light nutty and toasted malt flavor comes to the end. At the finish of the taste, the sweetness comes back with a light citrus hop joining the rest to leave a lightly sweetened and moderately roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer was average in terms of thickness with a carbonation level that was rather average. Both are appropriate for the style. But nothing too extraordinary.

Overall – Not too complex in flavors, but it is a fairly easy drinking and slightly sweeter brew. For ~ 80 cents per bottle it is well worth it.

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Photo of JimKal
3.8/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured int a Shaker pint glass.

A: a nice amber color with a minimal head. Clear with a good amount of carbonation.

S: For me this gave of only faint aroma.

T: This had a nice hoppy, caramel taste to it. It reminded me of Bell's Amber. I think someone who preferred a more hoppy amber would enjoy this one quite a bit.

M: A pretty good overall mouthfell for a beer with a less than 6% ABV. The carbonation, hop presence, and caramel all came together.

O:I tried this as part of the Costco mixed case. This was the second one that I tried. The first, the IPA, didn't measure up, but I think this is a decent Amber. Again, if you only enjoy the high ABV Imperial stouts and IPA, this is not one you will enjoy. But, I think it is a good low cost offering from Costco. If the final two, A German style lager and a Pale Ale are OK, it will make the $19 case price a bargain.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was one bottle of 24 in a pack acquired at Costco today for $19.00. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Oskar Blues pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; this is my third Kirkland Signature beer and the two before it varied between poor and average. I certainly like the price. 5.4% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger light khaki colour head of some limited cream, decent thickness, and average retention. Body colour is a dark clear copper-auburn. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Lacing is sparse and unimpressive.

Sm: Amber malts - with some light toasted character, vague nuts, and biscuit malt. A below average strength aroma. Little sticks out.

T: Malty, yes. Limited roast, some biscuit, the usual amber sweet malts. Sure, there's some middling floral hop character. It's too sweet, all around, which seems a ploy to disguise its extract feel. Some understated nut notes are a highlight; hazelnut, maybe chestnut too. Underwhelming balance and build. A pretty simple beer, even for an amber. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I'm far from impressed.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thickness is average. Overcarbonated. Not at all well executed or tailored to the flavour profile. Meh.

Dr: Drinkable but pedestrian. Not a bad option for the price, but there are far better Ambers for not much more than this. I wouldn't bother with this again. Hides its modest ABV well.


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Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

354ml bottle, one of many, many, (did I say many?) in the Costco mixed pack.

This beer pours a clear, brassy amber hue, with two fingers of tight, puffy pale beige head, which leaves a few instances of broad spectral lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of sweet bready caramel malt, some indistinct orchard fruitiness, a mild oily nuttiness, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is quite upfront with the caramel malt, tinged with toffee and a waning biscuity breadiness, some still indecipherable nuttiness, a slight orange and pear fleshy fruit character, and more soft earthy, musty leaf hops.

The bubbles are pretty laid back, to the point of me wanting to shout a hearty "Get a damned job, ya hippie", but I'll hold back for now, the body a sturdy medium weight, and actually rather smooth, the caramel candy nature having strong pull here. It finishes fairly off-dry, the malt still redolent with caramel and thin toffee notes, and little beyond some weak drupe fruit and earthy hop posturing to form any kind of a counterargument.

While not the strongest offering in this gargantuan value pack, in amongst its own class, this punches well above average, as said mid-range is usually quite lacking - amber ales are as common as water, but normally not much more interesting, and often less so. Therefore the unexpected gravitas of this offering speaks with more oomph that I would have initially expected. Good, I guess.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.68/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My house on July 13, 2012. Bottle into pint glass. Almost two fingers of head, which stayed for a long time. Copper amber color. Pillowy white lacing on the sides.
Very good retention on the sides. Foamy, white and surprisingly thick for an Amber.

Smelled sugary sweet bread, like a dessert. Also caramel, biscuit and nutty.

Smooth mix of biscuit and caramel to start, giving way to a decent alcohol bite. Roasty nuts late, but smooth.

Medium body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

This was the third of four Kirkland beers that I tried. Another decent beer. Not sure why the ratings are so low for these Kirkland’s.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a decent looking amber color. The head was a light cream color and was a little sticky on the glass. The smell of the beer gives off the aromas of some hops and a good amount of caramel roast. The taste of the beer has a subtle roasted flavor also that has a decent hop bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel of the beer was medium to light bodied with a moderate carbonation. Overall it's a pretty standard Amber Ale.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kirkland's Amber Ale opens with a yeasty, malty aroma, smelling much like the interior of a breadshop which has just finished baking a load of floury wheat rolls. These grain aromas overlay a layer of fruits, including orange and apricot, and a very light touch of grapefruit spritzer lingers in the distance, along with a slight touch of dark brown sugar. The aromas as a whole are quite light, and the breads outweigh the fruits to a fairly large extent. It is largely the delicate nature of the aromas that results in deductions.

On the tongue, the beer opens with earthy, bready notes, the floury wheat rolls coming through strongly in the opening moments. These are quickly joined by a brown sugar and molasses combo, as well as apricot and black cherry fruit esters. Some cola-like notes linger at the edges. A slight buzz on the tongue notes the presence of hops (25 IBUs), though there are only faint hints of citrus or pine in the flavor profile. The aftertaste is mainly floury breads, with lingering bitterness and touches of apricot, and lasts for a little while, becoming more yeasty near the end. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is decent fare, but could have used a better variety of malts to further nuance the flavor profile, and the slight touches of cola in the main mouthful are mildly offputting. The fruit flavors in here are nice, as are the floury bread rolls, and there is just enough of a hop presence to help balance the sugars.

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Photo of dgilks
3.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear mahogany amber colour with a small, tan head. Poor head retention.

Slightly nutty, sweet malt. Simple with some bread notes. Inoffensive but lacking.

Medium malt character with a dry finish. Slight breadiness and a touch of fruit. Nothing special.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is an okay, easy drinking beer. It isn't going to win any prizes but it isn't bad by any means.

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Photo of kbutler1
2.78/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours a clear amber mahagony reddish color with a 1 finger light tan head that settles to collar around the glass. Malty, biscuit, and slight dark fruit notes in the nose. Maybe a silght touch of banana or bubblegum in the nose as well. Sweet, slightly roasty, orange, with a slight bitterness in the end. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, not bad, not outstanding but drinkable.

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Photo of hmk22
3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe the least interesting of the Costco / Kirkland offerings -- way too malty and too few hops. So it seems out of place in their mix-and-match case, which has a Belgian White, in IPA, and a pale ale. I guess that happens a lot with multi-packs -- they sneak a loss-leader in with the better stuff to move it. That acknowledged, this feels like a heavy, uninspired filler product.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - nice head, moderate lace. Color is a little less intense than i like from an amber, i wish the color was a little more red/cranbury color to make it a true amber color.

S - a nutty maltyness. Not much sweetness, and a touch of a wattery light finish.

T - light with a touch of bitterness. Not very sweet, and little matyness.

M - smooth and bright. Finishes slightly wattery and light.

O - In a blind taste i would not think this is an amber, however it is drinkable and pretty refreshing and the added touch of bitterness is not unwelcome.

---Rated via Beer's Advocate for iPhone

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber copper color with a finger of frothy off-white head atop. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind a bit of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet bready malts with some caramel. A tiny bit of noticeably floral hop is there somewhere.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and a bit of biscuit. A bit nutty as well. Through the middle, a bit more caramel comes in a takes over the bready flavor. Bit more nuttiness as well. The finish is a mix of sweet biscuit and just a hint of nuttiness.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a bit of a thin mouthfeel and an sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Decent Amber with enough flavor to keep it interesting. It could have used a bit of balance to clean things up though.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
2.45/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: amber colored with a very thin hard poured head quickly dissipating to nothing.
S: overall biscuit and sharp yeast smelling with sweet caramel barely approaching the back of the nose.
T: lacks the level of hoppiness expected in an amber tastes more like a brown to me. Biscuit maltiness is the primary character not much else. Aftertaste is non existent.
M/D: light bodied easily drinkable not very beerfreshing for the avid taster.

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Photo of JackieTH
2.88/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured as per the namesake, a brownish amber, smallish head that faded quickly leaving minimal lacing. Smell was so mild as to be nearly undetectable. Trace caramels and malt but absolutely watery. Taste was just ho hum. Somewhere east or west of Newcastle Brown, light caramel malt and an ever so faint nuttiness, and a flare-up of hops for balance.

Being almost totally average in every respect doesn't make an offensive or bad beer, but quite the contrary, at the price point Kirkland sets, it's a fair offering.

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Photo of iSip
2.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours with a brown body, and thin off-white head. The aroma is faint but pleasant.

There is some good malt flavor and a bit of bitter comes through, but the finish is weak.

Overall an OK beer. Great price considering what a six from a craft brewer will cost.

Try the Hefewiesen, Costco does a good job with that one.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light brown/amber with a small head, although the bottle foamed over upon opening. Head doesn't last long, and no real lacing.

Slight smell of malt, but not a strong sense of anything in particular.

Taste is of a slightly roasted malt, with a slightly nutty finish. A very mild amber.

Feels OK in the mouth, a little weak, especially for an amber. Easy drinking, though. A mild amber beer, good for a warm summer day when you don't want something too light.

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled grassy, floral and somewhat of biscuity notes.

T - It tasted fairly nutty for an amber ale. Good roasted malt flavor with a grassy, spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is another nice ale from Costco. A little nuttier than most amber ales.

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Photo of Justin23060
3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber approaching brown. Head is off white and despite diminishing, lasted until the end. Smell is malt with some hop that reminds me of Goldings. Taste is a safe malt, again with the same hop from the smell. It is semi sweet but finishes dry with a mild linger. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery but not disappointing. Kinda reminds me of an English Brown light. I'll say it once again... this is about as good as it gets for 79 cents a bottle. I do plan on getting another Costco mixed pack.

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Photo of brokennedy120
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I can't quite understand why other reviewers tend to bag on Costco beer. True, this is not a stunning beer, but try to overlook the "Kirkland" brand name and I'm sure this beer would do fine in a blind taste test. At least the sampler pack I got was enjoyable for the price.

That said, this is a classic amber that does not set any new standards. Enjoyably hoppy from start to finish but not at all overwhelming. Small head, very little lacing, and a warm caramely aftertaste. However it sits a little too heavy in the stomach.

Not bad for a wholesale.

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Photo of BEERME528
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was very hesitant to drink this based on the label and my experience with other Kirkland brews. I truly did enjoy this beer though. After being poured into a glass, the head disappeared fairly quickly. The color was nice and dark and there were slight carmel scents emitting. It tasted like a basic sweet Amber Ale and nothing too special. But for the price, this is not a terrible option.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from the bottle into my new slightly bowed pint glass

A - Pours a perfectly transparent amber with plenty of small bubbles of carbonation rushing to a two-finger tannish head. Head begins falling apart about halfway down the glass. Leaves behind hints of lacing here and there.

S - Large caramel and malt smell with tiny hint of earthy hops.

T - Malty upfront. The body is malt driven, but there seems to be a conflict between the caramel tones and the Cascade (?) hops causing the beer to feel unbalanced and weak. A little bit more hops presence as the beer passes over the back of the tongue, which transitions into a bitter caramel aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Maybe too creamy as opposed to chewy for the style.

A simply average brew that my dad picked up at Cosco in the northwest (which is filled with extraordinary brews), that will be easily forgotten. Not horrible, but I think the crafters of this beer might want to go back to the drawing board as it and the belgian white are significantly worse than the pale ales.

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Photo of harrymel
2.06/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Best by: 10/27/11

A: pours amber with brilliant clarity and a single finger of creamy head which falls to a broken sheet of the same. No lacing.

S: Sweet malts. A hint of bitter hops. Really syrupy smell. A small amount of chemical astringency.

T: Sweet, malty. Really no character to this beer. Tastes like the Pale Ale, which tastes like the IPA, which tastes like the Amber.

M: Medium body with moderate carb.

O: whatever. Great to have around the house for people you don't respect (in-laws).

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Photo of jsprain1
4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a definite amber, maybe a shade on the dark side of the amber spectrum. Head retention is decent.
S- Smell is of toasted wheat bread. There is a bit of sweetness on the nose too. Almost like a brown sugar/caramel type.
T- Here again toasted bread is the first thing I think of. A bit sweet, it's actually just a little bit honey like in there, but it's just barely noticable. It's relatively straightforward, but it's a pretty tasty beer.
M- Eh, maybe a touch light, but barely so, style considered. Initially crisp carbonation smoothes out in the finish.
O- Probably the best in the Costco box. Simple, but a generally well done amber.

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Kirkland Signature Amber Ale from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
75 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.