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Costco Admits to Quality Issues With Popular Drink & Is Now Offering Refunds

The product has been facing major customer complaints in recent weeks.

If you've suspected that something is amiss with a certain Costco alcoholic drink lately, you're not mistaken. The retailer has finally acknowledged a quality issue with the product after a major pileup of customer complaints on social media.

It all started several weeks ago when customers began reporting that the Kirkland Signature American Vodka had suddenly dropped in quality and tasted "off." In Reddit threads that have racked up dozens and even hundreds of comments, customers said that newer bottles of the popular drink tasted like Flintstone vitamins, acetone, and even chemicals.

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"I've been buying it for years. I just opened a new bottle and made vodka sodas. This is the first time in my life I've ever dumped out cocktails. It's bad," a shopper commented on one of the threads.

"It's terrible. Couldn't get past the first sip. I knew it smelled off, but the taste was even worse. Never again," another wrote.

Costco was noticeably silent, at least publicly, amid all the chatter about the problematic alcohol bottles at first. The retailer did not issue any recalls for the product and didn't respond to our queries for comment on the complaints. This week, however, Costco finally acknowledged that something was wrong with newer vodka bottles.

In an August 15 notice sent out to customers who purchased the vodka between June 12 and August 10, the retailer wrote: "It has come to our attention that the taste profile of units marked with certain lot codes may not have met the expected profile normally consistent with this product."

"While not a food safety issue, this does not meet our quality expectations."


Anyone who purchased vodka from the affected lots and isn't satisfied with the product can return it to their local warehouse for a full refund, the notice said.

Customers who recently purchased the vodka should check the lot code on the lower portion of the bottle. If it matches one of the 27 lot codes listed on the notice (i.e. 23-0942 or 23-0944), you may have one of the strange-tasting bottles and can return it for a refund.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused," the notice read.

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Back when customers started complaining about the vodka a few weeks ago, a Redditor who claimed to work at a Costco regional office said that rum might be to blame for the strange taste. The alleged employee explained that the affected vodka batches were transported in a container that wasn't completely cleaned, so the drink took on some of the rum flavors.

However, the Costco notice didn't explain the reason for the strange taste in certain vodka bottles. So Costco customers are still left wondering how and why there was such a downturn in quality for some batches.

The Kirkland Signature vodka isn't the only Costco product racking up major taste complaints this year. In March, customers also complained about a "chemical" flavor in the retailer's famous rotisserie chicken.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe