Kirkland Signature Amber Ale | Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

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Kirkland Signature Amber AleKirkland Signature Amber Ale
190 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of scruffwhor
3.74/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Kirkland mixed case available only @ Costco!

Pretty quick head and no residual foam. Nice caramel and deep copper colored brew with decent bubbling.

The aroma is a bread crust with a soft bitterness that makes me think of licking a dandelion.

The taste is a nice and malty with a great hop balance that gives this beer a smooth and slight dry palate. Pretty simple taste and palate, but worth drinking again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

44th review on BA
Bottle to Pint

I reviewed the Hefe then the pale ale after my father in law happened to get me a 24 pack on his most recent jaunt to Costco. Here try these he says. Thanks! It took me a while to get the nerve for round 2,3,4 but here goes.

App- This by far had the best color and head of the four. I was pleasantly suprised. Nice lacing as well.

Smell- Very light to the nose. Not much there.

Taste- I had high hopes for this one but it was not meant to be. Something just got lost in translation from bottle to mouth. It was a decent effort with sub par results.

Mouth- Watery and a bit of a let down

Drink- Since I only have some REALLY special things at the house. Pretty hight at the moment.

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Photo of wingman14
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a small off white head that fades quickly. The smell has a strong malt presence with some sweet notes. The taste was a bit underwhelming for the nice malty smell that this one gives off. The flavor starts malty, moves into a weird flavor, then finishes with a sweet malt that lingers. The mouthfeel is somewhat of a detractor, harsh on the tongue with some bitter notes that probably shouldn't be there. This one is an ok drinker, an average beer with some high and low notes.

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Photo of Khazadum
2.2/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Final bottle in this series of four. It started to lose steam towards the end of this flight, but lets hope it picks itself up for the finale.

Little bit greater than one finger worth of real teeth whiteness rises above the ruby red darkness of the craft beverage. It is what I would imagine thinned blood would look like. No carbonation at all can be seen from within its depths. That is probably why it died away way too fast. Left me with a moderate collar and no skin.

Enjoyable. I wish it was stronger, but you get what you pay for maybe. Caramel and apple notes come out of this one. A tad bit of lager-like malt presence blends in.

Flavor Profile
Something about this is off. There is this eruption of metals in the middle of this that make me cringe. It is almost as if I poured my beer into my coin jar and just started enjoying away without a care at all. The front is moderately sweet and flavorful, but quickly gives way to the coin purse. The finish has a finish that reminds me of sinus infections. I hack up some awful bit of phlegm that lands on my tongue. This aftertaste is almost comparable to that.

Oral Sensations
For a beer that has almost no visible carbonation, this one has an acceptable amount. There is a pleasurable amount of tingle that distracts from the let-down of a flavor collection. It has an average body for the 'style' and doesn't let itself linger anywhere but the finish on the back of my tongue.

If you burn your tongue on coffee or ruin your sense of taste for an evening this would be perfect. It is smooth enough and has what you'd want for carbonation. I would only fail to drink this free beer again for fear of the taste. Too bad that is the biggest reason to consume beverages other than water.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.16/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

VDubb had his doubts about this one, but I figured I'd take a shot anyway. It pours a clear russet color topped by a quickly-dying finger of off-white foam. The nose is pretty dead, though I think I get some light toffee and even lighter florals. It could just be my imagination, though. The taste has some flavor to it, already indicating an improvement over the nose: Notes of burnt toffee, orange peel, and flowers work their way across the 'buds. The body is a heavy light, with a light carbonation and a kinda watery feel. Overall, an average amber at best, but easily drinkable.

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Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color, more towards the brown side. The beer has a small tight creamy head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of brown bread, a bit nutty, and mineral water. A touch of brown sugar as well. The taste is of a solid bready malt with caramel sweetness. Again there is some mineral notes to go along with a lemony tea like bitterness. Almost seems to be more of a brown ale than an amber but whatever. The amber has a moderate body with fizzy carbonation with some light grassy bitterness in the end. A bit dry and astringent. Probably the best out of the 4 CostCo brews, this is solid all around

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Photo of jdense
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle purloined at niece's wedding.

Clear dark brown/amber body, some visible carbonation, one finger white head with medium dissipation and minimal lacing. Malt dominated nose, some roast and sweet, with floral hop aromas. Taste is malt forward, same as nose, minimal bitterness on back end. Medium mouthfeel, decent effervescence. Pretty drinkable. This seemed more like a marzen than amber due to roasted malts, tastes a lot like Gordon Biersch Marzen, which given the fact they were the contract brewer for this, is no surprise.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
2.36/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A - Surprisingly deep amber. Brown through and through. Completely transparent. Very visible carbonation and no haze. 2 fingers of bright white head that forms a nice crown. No lacing.

S - Very light smell. Slight cereal grain, but not much of anything. No alcohol, which is good.

T - Thick malty taste. Slight grains and cereal. By far the lightest of the 4 in the variety pack. I really want to say more but I'm struggling. I can tell you there's no alcohol and very little hop bitterness in here.

MF - Very watery.

D - High, just because there's nothing here.

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Photo of biggred1
3.45/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coppery amber with a thin, creamy tan head that leaves scraps of lace on the glass. Caramel malt and mild floral hop aromas. Caramel malty with a bit of metallic bitterness that is slightly too pronounced. Medium light bodied with strong prickly carbonation. A very pedestrian amber ale.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. 5.7% ABV, 25 IBUs, Best Before Jun. 15, 2010.

A - A vigorous pour shows that this beer has no problem forming a large head. A full three-fingers tall, the cream-colored, soft head was retained well and left thick lace all the way down and around the glass. The completely clear amber-ish wood brown beer that the head sits on top of is also attractive.

S - Toasted amber malts give off hints of toffee and nuts while grassy hops help in the earthy tone of the nose. Hints of caramel sweetness keep it from falling completely into a dry earthy nose. While the aroma has a bit of depth to it, it's still a little uninspired.

T - The flavor opens with a strong toasted amber malt kick that lasts the duration of the time on the palate. Notes of wood, nuts, caramel, and toffee add depth, but little comes across in the way of hops. The little bit of grassiness in the finish could use some bringing up for balance.

M - This amber ale is certainly malty and smooth to boot. An unusually low carbonation spritz comes out slightly in the finish but its mainly dry and dusty in texture. Some additional hops would help the mouthfeel too.

D - It's really not a bad amber for being slapped under the Kirkland label. It could use some tweaks to better balance the beer but aside from it's good looks, it's a relatively average amber.

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Photo of bcm119
3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some toasty malt hints in the aroma. Clean, toasty caramel flavors. Barely balanced by some soapy hops. Clean mouthfeel, with just a bit of sticky sweetness in the finish. Really not a terrible beer, although I prefer the Pale Ale from the variety case. A tick more hops and slightly higher attenuation would make this a nice amber ale.

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Photo of NeutroMan
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a nonic.

A: Robust dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head.

S: Pale malts and citrusy hops. A mild nutty character permeates.

T: Moderate citrus hop flavor. The pale malts are a little stronger and are fairly sweet up front before transitioning to a more moderate caramel flavor on the back-end. Malts and hops are nicely balanced.

M: Medium-full bodied with medium-low carbonation. Smooth finish with less of a bite one might expect. Pleasant.

D: Probably the best of these Kirkland series - I will look forward to drinking another one.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle brewed in Utica, N.Y. with an expiration date of Apr 04 2010. Sampled on April 16, 2010. The pour is a decent looking brown with a lingering foamy beige head and lively carbonation. The aroma is well malted and sweet in nature with a kind of light hoppiness in the background. The taste is about the same with a slightly dry hoppy finish. It leaves a slight aftertaste but it is actually fairly drinkable.

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Photo of colts9016
2.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 37 Degrees.

Appearance: A healthy 2 finger foamy, creamy, white head, that has some retention to it. The color of the beer is solid amber with orange, copper orange highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear to brilliant and there is some carbonation.

Nose: Is a mild toasted malt with some caramel, floral, and pine notes.

Taste: Is a moderate hoppy flavor with grapefruit, floral, and pine flavors. The malt is light toasty and slightly yeasty.

Mouth feel: Is crisp and clean.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium light and the finish is medium. This is an ok amber ale except for the malt and the hoppiness are out of balance. It is easy to drink.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best before June 15th, 2010. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the bottle.

(A)- Pours a chestnut brown color that produced a fluffy eggshell colored head. Has some decent retention.

(S)- An almond nuttiness with sweet corn meal.

(T)- Same as the smell, only has a touch of vanilla in there.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. A decent maltiness & creaminess. A tad overly sweet though; almost sugary.

(D)- A decent amber with good malts. Its more like a brown ale in most respects, but not bad.

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Photo of jwc215
3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before June 15 2010 stamped on neck:

Pours dark amber - towards brown, with some red hues when held up to the light. A thin creamy tan head has pretty good retention. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted caramel, slightly nutty with an earthy touch.

The taste is of roasted caramel with some roasted nuts. Not overly roasty, though. Some sweetness is balanced by the mild roast and an earthy tone in the finish.

It is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with medium to medium high carbonation. Flavor lingers for a reasonable time.

An easy-drinking darker amber - has some "brown ale" characteristics. Easy-drinking and very well-priced. A good value for the dollar!

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.61/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

"dark English caramel malts with domestic Yakima WA hops"
25 ibus @ 5.7% abv

Appearance was decent amber in color, nice clarity with satisfactory head, retention and lacing.
Smell is weak, mild malty and roasted aromas if any at all.
Taste as it smells with more of a roasted character than most ambers. This one leans more towards the roasted elements of a nut/brown ale than a true amber, but it is still very enjoyable.
Mouthfeel is a bit light, medium+ carbonation.
Drinkability is better than expected. Decent brew all around for the price @ $18 for a case of the Kirkland variety.

Best beer ever? Definetly not.

Good beer for the price? Yes for sure. All 4 brews are decent, the Hefe is the only one not true to style.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.86/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a sampler of Kirkland Signature Beers at Costco, 4 beers 6 bottles of each. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper/amber color, with a lot of bubbles rising in the glass. Creamy off-white head, laces the glass with sticky white rings.

smell is faint, a bit of a sweet bread aroma perhaps.

Taste is quite good. A caramel nut flavor up front, with a sweet bread taste, and a mildly bitter finish. It's not overly sweet like I find a lot of amber ales to be.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly clean. There is a very effervescent feel on the tongue. Seems to be a lot of carbonation for the style.

A very drinkable amber. I like it a lot more than some of the sweeter flatter amber ales I have had. And at the $18 a case price point, this one is hard to beat.

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Photo of Billolick
3.11/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, with "Best Before" dating etched onto the bottle. Pours clear lighter brownish amber, the head is fairly typical, medium knaki, moderate height and retention, then a low collar, some light sheeting and bits of lace. The nose is where things start to go downhill, with a hint of vegatal off flavors beginning to become noticable. Malty brew, with the same mild but still off putting bit of vegitation present. Caramel, bread, light cabbadge...oh my..pass this one by...

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Photo of ghebel
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours amber color, very clear. Head is adequate, but does not last long, leaving only sparse lacing on the glass.

S - Caramel malt, hints of dark fruits. Earthy hops in the background.

T - Moderate, noticeable bitterness. Sweet malt. Mild alcohol.

M - Thin to moderate body. Carbonation sting initially. Finishes tart with warm alcohol sensation to finish off the swallow.

D - For the price, very drinkable. Gets better as it breathes.

Overall - A bit thin, but does have some flavor. Aroma is lacking until the beer is agitated.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.45/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured In: Tulip Glass

Appearance: The pour is an amber and dark copper color. The beer is crystal clear, and quite effervescent as well. I'm sitting here with 3 fingers of foamy head that last for a handful of minutes. There is a good amount of lace is on the side of my glass as well.

Smell: The nose is a mixture of hops and malt, leaning more on the malt side. The malt profile is sweet caramel, walnut and brown sugar. There's just a dash of earthy hops that are in the mix as well to balance the malts out.

Taste: The palate is very similar to the nose. It's a well rounded amber, although the watery aspect takes away from it a bit. I'm sure this beer is probably better for me from a nutritional aspect given it's watery flavor. Probably something Costco is after given their enormous customer base. Anyways, the malt flavors are similar to the ones listed in the aroma. It's a blend of caramel, brown sugar and some nuts. There is also a little bit of hop flavor that lingers during the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: I thought the beer was too highly carbonated from the pour, but the carbonation actually was about right from the start. The beer has a medium body, although a little on the thin side of medium since it seems like it's been watered down.

Drinkability: For a weeknight, I must say this was an enjoyable beer to have. The ABV is low, and it's an easy beer to sip on after a long day at work.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Kirkland assortment apparently brewed at New York Brewing in Utica. Smells of caramel and a bit of brown sugar. Pours to a golden amber color. Three finger multi-sized bubble head that stands up for a while then starts receding. Taste is nice and malty up front mildly bitter in the middle and funky sour twang at the end that is quite interesting. The aftertaste is flatly bitter. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, no watery sensation at all. Head still holding up. A tasty brew but for the funky finishing twang. For the price this is hard to beat.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.13/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (best by April 04, 2010) poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- 1-finger, off-white head that drops to about 1/2-finger and leaves really good, sticky rings. The body is a clean, copper color with medium carbonation.

S- Initial caramel malts and soft, floral hops. Not bad, not overly remarkable either. Aroma becomes more pronounced and iviting as the beer warms slightly.

T- Well balanced flavor. More of the caramel malts mentioned in the aroma, with citrus-like hops. It has a bit of a "bite" that seems out of place. I expected things to be a bit more on the "mellow" side.

M- A little too fizzy for my tastes. Carbonation and hopping provide a bit of a bite to an otherwise clean feel.

D- Slightly harsh flavor and mouthfeel make it less enjoyable than I'd expect, especially for a style I consider very drinkable. All in all, not a bad beer. It's something I might pick up in a party situation, but not something I'd seek out or fit into my regular rotation.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps there is a difference between the Gordon Biersch version and the F.X. Matt Brewing version? This American amber ale brewed in Utica, NY is a welcome affordable addition to quality beer. The use of imported dark crystal malt from England, combined with Yakima valley hops make this a very well focused ale. The gentle malt showcase ends with a bit of citrus and caramel in the finish. Very drinkable,

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

I love all things Kirkland and am also a big fan of Costco, but I was a little letdown by their Kirkland branded beers. These beers are being made for Costco by Gordon Biersch, and sadly that lineage is clear from the way these beers taste (ZZZZzzz). I thought the amber was the best of the ones I tried, and is a pretty nice but very middle of the road beer. Aroma is discernible, and is lightly malty and pleasant. Color is a copper color with decent head. Flavor is again lightly biscuity with a barely detectable hop note. Mouthfeel is pretty much akin to a full-calorie macro-lager.

Not bad, but I think so highly of other Kirkland products (their ham is terrific!) that I was a little let down by this line of beers. However, I felt this one was the top of the stack.

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Kirkland Signature Amber Ale from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 190 ratings