Side by Side against an 18yr Old Mac...
A couple of friends came by before New Years and we decided to have a couple of Habanos and do a little single malt tasting. I wanted to compare the 19yr Kirkland to the Macallan 18yr (distilled 1987).
Let me start by saying that both whiskeys were exceptional.
The Costco 19yr is only 40% vs. 18yr Mac 43%
This did have an affect on the overall nosing and warmth of the whiskey.
Where as the 18yr had a very familiar long lasting finish with all of beautiful subtleties you would come to expect from this regal vintage, I found the Costco stuff a little short in that department.
The 18yr Mac was a bit richer in color and depth.
I also tasted some Macallan 12yr, and the Costco 19yr was a significant improvement from that vintage as far as flavor, finish and overall smoothness.
The flavors up front in the 19yr are very similar to the 18yr Mac, but I don't know if it is the alcohol content or what, it does not have the lasting impression on the palate like the 18yr.
You can roll both of these spirits around on the tongue for a few and get a very similar taste and experience, but as you swallow and let things settle in, that is where the difference is. I don't know about the medicinal flavor that others have mentioned, but I do see their point as far as a slight shortcoming in the finish.
My friends felt that same way. All in all, the Costco 19yr is a good buy in my opinion and I would not think twice about buying another bottle.
If you can find some add a bottle to your bar or liquor cabinet, you won't be disappointed.
Happy New Year.