After receiving numerous customer complaints about “off” flavors in a recent batch of the Kirkland Signature American Vodka, Costco will issue refunds to patrons who purchased the impacted bottles. In an August 15 e-mail, Costco notified all members who purchased bottles with specific lot numbers between June 12th and August 10th, 2023 that they would be eligible for a refund. While Costco acknowledged that this product did not meet the Kirkland brand’s quality standards, the statement specified that these bottles were not affected by a food safety issue.
In a Reddit thread on the subject, posters complained that their vodka had a foul and off-putting chemical odor and flavor, with tasting notes like “diesel fuel” and “bathroom urinal puck.” And while some are frustrated with the low-quality product from the brand, others applauded the company for rectifying the situation. “It’s crazy that Redditors pointed this out and Costco verified that the quality issue is true,” stated user rdldr1. “Costco did not have to issue a recall because it’s not a safety issue however they did. Because Costco is awesome.”
There are a few theories circulating Reddit about the cause of the vodka’s taste and smell, one of which suggests batches were held in vats that were not cleaned after being used for rum, leading to an odd cross-contamination. These speculations have not been verified, though, and Costco did not comment on the cause of the vodka’s poor quality.
This issue might come as a surprise to many, as Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand is known for providing solid liquor at a great value. There’s even an ongoing rumor that Kirkland Vodka is made by Grey Goose, even though that myth has been repeatedly busted. Costco provided the number of the Levecke Corporation in its statement for people to reach out to with questions concerning the vodka, confirming that Levecke is actually the company behind Kirkland’s vodka.
Costco did not mention what actions it might take to restore the vodka’s quality, but thus far, it appears that lots sold after August 10th were not affected by the contamination.