Is It Possible To Return Alcohol From Costco?

Among the wide range of products available at Costco, a number of its locations also sell alcohol. Many Costco locations feature a wide selection of beer, wine, and liquor under the chain's Kirkland Signature private label. These selections are no doubt affordable, like the other goods included in Costco's private brand, but they certainly don't skimp on quality. In fact, it's rumored that some major alcohol manufacturers are actually behind Kirkland's boozy products.

Still, it's possible that you might not be a fan of whatever bottle you snag from Costco, whether it's Kirkland Signature or a name-brand. It's also possible that you might pick up the wrong item after a long and hectic day (work-induced brain fog, anyone?). In this case, you're probably wondering whether you can return an unopened bottle of booze in exchange for something different. 

While Costco does have a highly flexible return policy, your mileage may vary when it comes to alcohol. As its return policy states, Costco doesn't accept alcohol returns "where prohibited by law."

It all depends on the liquor laws where you live

One of the biggest perks of being a Costco member is the store's flexible return policy. To ensure shoppers remain 100% satisfied with their experience, the chain allows the return of many items with a full refund. Additionally, it's not always necessary to have the receipt or original packaging to return an item.

While most items don't have a time limit on when they can be returned, some exceptions do apply. For example, electronics like TVs and computers must be returned within 90 days of purchase. As for alcohol, the answer is a bit more complicated. Every state has different rules regarding alcohol returns, and these rules dictate how Costco handles certain products. 

For instance, it's possible to return alcohol in Maine, provided the return is made within 10 days and is accompanied by a receipt. However, residents of California are only permitted to return alcohol if there's an issue with it, such as spoilage.

The best (and worst) Kirkland Signature liquors

When it comes to Costco's private-label liquor selections, three products are consistently lauded for their quality. The store's blended scotch meshes beautifully with mixers, such as soda water, while also offering undercurrents of smoky oak and toffee flavors. Kirkland bourbon is another wise choice if you're seeking a well liquor to concoct your favorite mixed drinks. Vodka enthusiasts can also take heart, as Costco's French vodka is considered comparable to top-shelf varieties. In fact, the vodka has even been praised for being more drinkable than Grey Goose.

Of course, not all Costco products can achieve the lofty heights of these quality selections. The Kirkland Signature añejo tequila is one liquor that falls short, as it's often described as lacking a distinct flavor of tequila, despite the addition of a coloring agent in an attempt to replicate that barrel-aged look. The chain's rum is also pretty lackluster, often described as being sweeter than necessary and having the disastrous effect of exacerbating hangovers the following day. 

While liquor preferences vary greatly according to personal tastes, this information can help hone your selection the next time you're on a Costco booze run.