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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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 190
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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Photo of scruffwhor
3.74/5  rDev +16.9%
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 -4.4%
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 -3.1%
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 -31.3%
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 +9.4%
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 +5.6%
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 -26.3%
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 +7.8%
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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Kirkland Signature Amber Ale from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
3.2 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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