Kirkland Signature Amber Ale | Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

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Kirkland Signature Amber AleKirkland Signature Amber Ale

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Troyone on 03-19-2009

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Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of Kemmerlin
2.45/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of JackieTH
2.88/5  rDev -10%
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 -11.6%
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 -6.3%
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 +10.9%
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 +14.1%
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 +3.1%
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%
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%
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.

 1,072 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.06/5  rDev -35.6%
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 +25%
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.

 645 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.15/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pure amber in color with a full-smooth slightly off-white head, good looks overall.

Very nice roastie malts up-front, dark wheat, black licorice, brown sugar...really complex malty aroma. Nice earthy hop scent underneath.

This has a really great malt flavor with goo complexity for this style. dark and slightly roast crystal malts, dark wheat and very crisp effect. Hops add a peppery, dry, earthy tone that is in just the right place. Subtle brown sugar to the malt adds a bit of sweet.

The feels is also really nice, mega-crispy medium bodied that just keeps going.

This one was a really nice surprise with great complexity and easily one of my favorites of this style.

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Photo of gpogo
3.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Wonderfully clear amber red body with a nicely sized cream coloured head. Very lively carbonation.

A- Sweet caramel malt aroma. Some faint floral hop aromas as well.

T- Sweet caramel with a bit of a carbonation bite. When it was cooler I got some phenolic notes.

M- Medium body, moderate carbonation.

D- One of the better Kirkland beers. The flavor seems slightly off, but this I would almost consider paying for.

 421 characters

Photo of Snow81
3.41/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber

Head: Light tan head, nice lace on the sides of my glass

Smell: Carmel with a light toasted malt

Taste: Sweet caramel with some brown sugar and a hint of grassiness

Weight: Medium to light body with a medium
amount of carbonation

Finish: Subtle hops in the cheeks with aroma of toasted sweet malts left on the palate

 354 characters

Photo of cpolking
1.97/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours medium brown, translucent when held to the light with a bit of orange around the edges and a slight head that leaves some lacing down the glass.

The aroma is burnt caramel, cooked broccoli and a touch of manure. I hope it tastes better than it smells.

The taste is watery burnt caramel with a touch of sharp rye. This is the bum steer of the Kirkland Signature lot.

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Photo of velosuds
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes: 4/22/2011 from the guest refrigerator at my favorite B&B. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by 6/20/2011.

A-Pours a medium amber with about a two finger head and decent lacing.

S-Very faint floral hops and a mild caramel malt aroma.

T-Fruity with some hop bitterness and malt sweetness but kind of nondescript. Just ordinary.

M-Smooth with good carbonation level.

O-A decent offering form Costco. At $18 a case for 4 different, not quite, craft beers, this is a good value. However, I would much rather, and will, pay $24 for a full case of Mirror Pond, or Jubelale when released.

 619 characters

Photo of hoppyhound
3.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The thing about this beer is that its not brewed in one place. Costco contracts out to breweries around the country and even though they use the same recipe in theory they can have dramatically different results. On the East Coast this beer tends to have an oddly sweet (and not in a pleasant way) taste to it. And the feeling in the mouth is quite heavy and sticky. Once I moved to colorado I found it to be quite good and I noted that a different brewery had made it. In general on the Kirkland beer I would say that consitency is the biggest problem here.

 558 characters

Photo of HUXC
2.48/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Serving Type- Served from a chilled 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Mild amber color with shades of copper. somewhat transparent, almost watery appearance. When poured it had almost a fingers worth of white head with a brown/tan undertone. The lacing left on the brim of the glass quickly dissipates leaving nothing but condensation in its place.

Smell- Faint roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee and a slight notion of hops.

Taste- At first taste there isn't much flavor to speak of. After a few moments a mild roasted malt flavor comes into play followed by a coffee undertone. Leaves the mouth with a mildly bitter coffee tinge.

Mouthfeel- Not very carbonated. Watery at first followed by a very mild bitter bite.

Overall- I bought a variety pack from Costco because it looked interesting and, well, I was curious to see what kind of beer Kirkland Signature produced. Considering that it just might be the most inexpensive beer that I purchased in a long time, it led up to my expectations. Compared to most Amber Ales however, it wasn't all that impressive.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.63/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Final (of the) Four, and poured into a pint glass. This Kirkland brew from Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co. pours a somewhat light amber gold in color. Quite clear and bright on the pour whilst topped with a thin nearly white cap which offers a somewhat brief retention.

Aroma is light and along the vein of the brewery. A background hint of hops and a remote sense of caramel malt.

Flavor is right up the same alley with a hint of caramel followed by a rather dry and biscuity finish and with a touch of almond and hazelnut. Feel is quite thin for the style and without a whole lot of character either, more along the lines of a Vienna Lager.

Interestingly the entire set of Kirkland beers offers a very thin approach to ales in general. And while each of the four seem to have the same genes, two bottles of the same style are often quite different from each other. And while none are unpalatable, they are universally mediocre at best.

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle
5.7% abv

Kirkland Signature Amber Ale was amber in color with good clarity. It had a beige head with decent retention and lacing. The smell was sweet toasted malt. The taste was sweet malt upfront with some hop flavor coming through later. The finish was dry with some residual malt flavor. The mouthfeel was above average with a medium body and medium carbonation. The drinkability was above average as well. This is a decent Amber Ale and worth a try.

 472 characters

Photo of engagechad
3.22/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This beer was purchased in a mix case from Kirklands - poured into a Sam smith 20oz pint

This beer poured great, Beautiful mahogany in color with good head. Smelled like soap and corn, somewhat reminded me of Yuengling lager. Tasted good, adequate amount of hop bitterness with a smooth malt backbone and okay feel. Very drinkable. Good Pizza beer

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Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 12 0z bottle, "best by" dated June 18, 2011. Served in pint glass. Brewed by "New Yorker Brewing Co., Utica, NY". Also from bottle: brewed with "dark-roasted crystal malt ... from England". IBU = 25

Pours a clear reddish mahogany color with medium bubbling and a limited amount of tan head. Head has moderate retention and leaves little lacing.

A - unusual floral malty aroma. Vanilla; toffee? Subtle

T - Resembles brown ale. Rather sweet, especially on initial portion of tasting. Less sweet, hop-tinged toasted malt dominates thereafter. Primary flavor component: a roasted chocolate malt, which lingers into the finish. Much as I love chocolate, I'm not a big fan of 'chocolate' flavor in beer; if you are you'll probably like this one more than I do. More flavor, even if unchanged, would be welcome.

M - medium/light body with medium carbonation; smooth. Carbonation looks higher than it feels.

D - not bad, but particularly appealing either.

At $19 a case, this is a good buy ... I think it is only available in mix packs with 3 other varieties - PA, IPA, Belgian White -- all of which I prefer.

 1,116 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into pint glass, a clear amber color with a light tan head tmhat sticks around and provides good lacing as it goes down.

S: Caramel, toffee, roasted grains, some metallic, copper penny aroma. Faint citrus and herbal hop aromas add to the bitter nose.

T: Roasted and nutty flavors mix with sweet caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Some citrus hops add bitter to balance but finish is more sweet.

M: Medium body with sharp, bubbly carbonation.

D: A decent beer with no big flaws or big standout notes. It goes down pretty easy and has no bad aftertaste.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into Fuller's pint glass.

A - Pours a medium brown with a thick tan head that shrinks slowly, stays at about a half cm or so. A bit of lacing. Pretty nice looking actually.
S - Slight crystallized brown sugar and caramel smell. Some floral notes. Perhaps some citrus as well. Not much to the smell.
T - A bit malty followed by a hoppy citrus flavor, finishing with an unexpected bitterness. A bit soapy and cardboard-y too but those are very faint.
MF - Pretty weak body- drinks like water. Light carbonation - adds a bit to the smoothness perhaps.
DB - Would be easy to drink a lot but I'd expect that.

Reasonable beer, very solid for the price point. I agree with other reviewers; better than the hefeweizen and the pale ale.

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Photo of notsoprobeer
3.17/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The tasting: Color is is deep amber / copper. It has a white head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves no lacing. I'm didn't notice much in the aroma department. Taste is mainly caramel malts with a bit of a nutty flavor. Very little bitterness. Medium bodied and nice carbonation. While you can feel the effervescence in your mouth, this isn't over-carbonated like their Pale Ale and Hefeweizen.

This a good beer. The problem for me it comes in a mixed case with two beers I don't like.

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Kirkland Signature Amber Ale from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
3.2 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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