The Difference Between Costco's 2 Kirkland Irish Cream Alcohols

Irish cream pouring into glass
Irish cream pouring into glass - Moussa81/Getty Images

One of the best reasons to shop at Costco is to visit its expansive liquor department filled with premium name-brand spirits, popular wines, and bulk-buy beer, as well as its extensive Kirkland Signature liquor offerings. The company's brand is a favorite among lovers of spirits, as it's known for offering quality products at a fraction of the cost of top-shelf competitors. In fact, its flavors are often so similar to those of well-known brands, that taste-testers can't differentiate between some of Costco's bargain products and the premium label. So, does this similarity to the leading brand include Costco's Kirkland version of Irish cream liquor?

Well, Costco actually sells two warehouse brand's Irish cream liqueurs, and yes, one of them is surprisingly similar to globally famous Bailey's Irish Cream, and as you might be able to guess, it's sold for a fraction of the cost. But Costco's two versions of the whisky, vanilla, and cream-flavored liqueur — Kirkland Signature Irish Cream, which retails for around $17, and Irish Country Cream, which retails for around $12 — couldn't be more different from each other.

Read more: 13 Liquors Your Home Bar Should Have

How Are Kirkland's Two Irish Creams Unique?

Two versions of Kirkland Irish Cream
Two versions of Kirkland Irish Cream - Hayley Hamilton Cogill/Tasting Table / CostcoHotFinds/Instagram

Kirkland Signature Irish Cream Liqueur is a product of Ireland. It includes the traditional blend of cream, sugar, and the essential ingredient, Irish whiskey, giving it the authentic taste we expect from Irish cream liqueur. Its alcohol volume (ABV) is 17%, just like Bailey's, and it will add the same creamy sweetness to your next cup of Irish coffee. On the other hand, Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream has an ABV of only 13.9%. The latter's ingredients include dessert wine instead of Irish whiskey, which combines with dairy cream for a made-in-the-U.S.A. product that is sweet, creamy, and rich, perfect for enhancing your next mudslide cocktail.

The reason behind Costco creating two similarly-named products has to do with state liquor sales laws. Depending on where you live in the country, you will likely only be able to find one version at your local Costco. Some states, like California, Hawaii, and Delaware, sell wine, beer, and hard liquor, including the whiskey-based Irish cream liqueur. (You don't even need a membership to buy booze there, either!) Others, like the big box warehouse locations in Virginia, Montana, and Idaho, are only allowed to sell wine, beer, and other alcoholic products with an ABV of less than 14%-16%, making the whiskey-free, wine-based Irish Country Cream the selection of choice, and only option, in these states.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.