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Kirkland Signature Pale Ale | Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

75 Reviews
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Kirkland Signature Pale AleKirkland Signature Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Washington, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Troyone on 03-19-2009

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 183
Photo of fitweed
4.25/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good beer! Seriously---unreasonable to assume Kirkland beers are taking a 1 pt. hit in the ratings from the un-hip brandage alone? It's like the first "store-brand" beer I can ever remember existing!

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There isn't anything wrong with this ale. It is well crafted and has good balance. It has a taste that reminds me of Sam Adams Boston Lager, even though they are different styles. It's not an over the top brew, it's very reserved.

I will try to get more of this, but I will need to count on my sister and her Costco membership. There isn't one close to me.

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Photo of Justin23060
3.98/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light beige head that was slow to disipate & clung somewhat. Color is golden orange. Great fresh smell, bordering on an IPA but with a bit more malt. Taste is very well balanced. The mild malt sweetness reminds me of an English brown only it finishes w/ a pleasant semi-sweet slightly bitter hop finish that lingers just enough. A little thin but w/ adequate carbination. It's not really complex but I don't think beers always need to be. This really is a great simple solid beer and under a buck a bottle at that. I'm definitely gonna get this one again.

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Photo of hmk22
3.94/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review! I got all geeked out thinking I would be the first to review this beer to pop my Ba review cherry, and in a way I am -- I got mine at a Costco in New York, where it's contract brewed by New Yorker Brewing Company in Utica, NY.

Anyway. All I would add to the previous reviews is that this is an awesome value for the money -- in terms of taste and aroma there is nothing that can touch this for a similar price ($18.99 for a mixed case of all 4 styles). Great pale ale taste -- prominent hops but not off the charts. It does not have the complexity or the body of (say) Sierra Nevada or Victory products but I'd be interested in how this would stack up in a blind taste test because its appearance, color, etc., while not remarkable, are right up there. I wonder how the CA version would compare because having lived in both states I find that many NY State beers suffer owing to (in my opinion) the water up there (but that's for another review). I give Costco a lot of credit for this because their beer offerings (at least in my area) are polarized between the (formerly) US macros and Beck's on one hand and variety cases on the other. Definitely something to check out at a low risk.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.93/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Initially I was a bit apprehensive of this beer. I hear their vodka is Grey Goose quality, but I haven't heard anything about the beer. A mixed 24 for around 20 bucks wasn't to be passed up on though. Pouring into my Sam Adams sensory glass a lot of my fears were allayed. Looks like a pretty solid pale ale, nice orange amber hues and a one finger wide white head. Visible carbonation supports the head, while a thick lacing coats the side of the glass. Very appealing looking.

S - The best word I can use to describe the smell is clean. A nice solid hoppy aroma that doesn't have any alcohol or grainy odor to it. Not terribly strong, which is a little underwhelming, but what's there is very enjoyable.

T - The hoppy smell I got certainly isn't lacking in the taste. Very citrusy. However, there's a little soapy taste to this as well. Not exactly appetizing, but not strong enough to be offputting. Not at all balanced, but that's what you'd expect I suppose. What malt flavor there is takes a nice side step to let the hops really shine. Overall, I'm really impressed by the taste of this beer.

MF - Medium bodied, but a little too carbonated for my liking. Coats the throat as it goes down.

D - I can't find a good reason to put this beer down. Really goes down easy and has a nice dry finish. A little too carbonated as I said before, but overall a very enjoyable beer, especially for the price. I just hope the rest in the variety pack are this good.

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Photo of scottteague
3.92/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: has a 24 karate gold look to it, decent head to it when poured into glass.

Smell: not bad for Pale Ale, not the biggest Pale Ale fan.

Taste: went down prety smooth, could easily drink more then one in a setting.

Mouthfeel: You can feel it, which is more than I can say for the cheap amarican crap.

Drinkability: I could put down a few of these without question. $18 for a mixed 24 pack is worth a try anytime.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.9/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice amber golden color. Exceptionally clear beer, no haze at all. The head is just under 1/2" and is white/tan in color. Head is fluffy rather than consistent across the surface indicating a little protein remaining for head retention.

S - American hops dominate the smell, but some sweet caramel malts are noticeable. Solid fruity esters as well.

T - Very nice hop flavor. Very light bread/toast flavor to balance out the hops, but the hops are more prominent. Fruity esters are very much a part of the flavor of this beer.

M - A bit thin and watery. Carbonation is moderate to light.

D - Very drinkable. I could spend an afternoon enjoying this beer inside and away from the hot summer heat.

A very good american pale ale. While it is aggressive on the hops and esters, it is a but weak on the malt character. This tends to lean towards hops and fruit. If it had a little more specialty grain, it would balance out nicely, but then it may not be so easy to toss back.

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Photo of Troyone
3.75/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.75/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.7/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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Photo of cpolking
3.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a medium copper and amber in color with a small head of white foam. The aroma is light biscuit to scone with red plum jelly. The taste is somewhat malty and fruity with a slightly bitter and dry finish. As like the IPA, there is a bit of tea with honey and lemon in the aftertaste. For a store brand, this is a good approximation of an English-style pale ale.

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Photo of psruss
3.68/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.66/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is honey/copper in color with brillant clarity. 2 Finger head with respectable retention and lacing.
Smell is mild hop aromas for a true APA, but pleasant mellow floral citurs hop notes. Some sweet caramel malt is in the nose also.
Tastes as it smells, and seems very similiar to a lighter more mellow version of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If you like SNPA, you may like this one, if not, you won't.
Light-medium body, medium carbonation, bitter and sweet dance on finish.
Drinkability is good for the price as a "mellow and semi balanced APA".

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Photo of jwc215
3.63/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
3.62/5  rDev +15.3%
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.


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Photo of mooseisloose
3.6/5  rDev +14.6%
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!

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Photo of FacistCannonBall
3.6/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty decent pale ale from Kirkland (Costco) that is purchased at $19 a mixed case in my neck of the woods. It's a nice golden yellow poured into a glass with a decent head and moderate lacing. The smell is modest but inviting nonetheless for its balance between malt and hops. The taste mirrors this in that it has decent malt sweetness and hop bitterness and zest on the finish. This is a very non-taxing or over powering beer that is really easy and enjoyable to drink. Pretty good for the price. The other beers in the mixed case follow along these lines in that they are honest, easy drinkers with good flavor.

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Photo of BeerMark
3.59/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got my Kirkland Signature Pale Ale from a mixed case of ales available at Costco. Visited store as a guest of a paying member. I don't pay to shop anywhere. This beer has a very nice caramel color which may be it's best attribute. It's taste is malty and bready but lacking a good hop presence. Non offending but unremarkable. Not worth seeking out but for the money - not bad.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.59/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a perfectly transparent copper with a one finger, white head. Moderate amounts of carbonation form streams to the surface. Head is gone a quarter of the way down the glass. Lacing isn't too sticky, and only a few splotches are left behind.

S - Piney smell with a bit of citrus zest from the cascade hops on a biscuity malt backdrop.

T - Piney upfront. Cascade hops provide bitterness in the body and not much else, making them conflict a bit with the biscuity malt background. Dry finish to leave a slightly piney aftertaste.

M - Substantial carbonation with a body that is on the weaker side of medium. Could use more heft.

About as I expected from Costco brand beer - Textbook, and decent, but nothing to get excited about. My dad picked up a case of the variety pack while I was in town. I imagine the pack will make a good introduction to him of different beer styles.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear copper with a slight orange tint and a thin finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of grassy hop and sweet caramel malt. Bit of biscuit as well.

T - Starts off with a mix of herbal hops and some sweet buttery biscuit malt. Through the middle, the caramel comes through a bit and the hops start to fade. Touch of bitterness comes through. Finish is a mix of sweet caramel and some buttery biscuit.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels fairly smooth though a bit watery and muddled.

D - Very drinkable. Could have used a bit more hops and a less strong malt presence. Not a very good balance here.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.47/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, caramel color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left little no no lacing.

S - It smelled malty and floral. Not much else, maybe some faint caramel.

T - It tasted somewhat spicy with biscuity malt and sweet caramel. There was a mild bitterness.

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

O - This is an okay pale ale. An easy drinking beer at an affordable price.

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Photo of bonkers
3.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend gave me this to try. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a pale yellow with a moderate 2 finger head. The aroma is strong on pine and a bit sweet. The taste is a let down. There is a bit of citrus and a slight bitterness to it, but IMO it is a bit too thin. It is not a terrible beer, especially at 18 bucks a case, but it is not a case I would pick up.

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Photo of wingman14
3.43/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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