Flaviar Subscription Box Review – June 2015
Flaviar introduces subscribers to premium liquors from around the world. They curate and send sample packs that feature 5 x 45 ml vials of spirits, information about the featured bottles, and complete tasting notes. Sample packs contain enough alcohol to host a tasting party for 3 people.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
This is a review of the “Welcome to Flaviar” Tasting Pack, which all subscribers receive as their first shipment.
The Subscription Box: Flaviar
The Cost: $60 per quarter
The Products: Curated tasting packs that contain 5 x 45 ml vials of premium spirits from around the world.
Ships to: EU and US (All states EXCEPT: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah.)
A Note about Shipping: Tasting packs ship from Slovenia. Shipping is free for the tasting packs, but they typically take 10-21 business days to reach US destinations.
The packaging is beautiful.
The box comes with tasting instructions and notes on each spirit included in the box.
My husband and I know a thing or two about Scottish whisky, so we began our tasting with Quinta Ruban from the familiar Glenmorangie Distillery. Glenmorangie is located in the Scottish Highlands and has been making whisky since 1843. Their Quinta Ruban is aged for 10 years in American white oak casks and then transferred into ruby port pipes for the last 2 years of aging. This whisky is “dark and intense,” with aromas and flavors of “dark mint chocolate” and “Seville Oranges.” It finishes with a “long lasting silky aftertaste.” We both greatly enjoyed this whisky and definitely picked up on flavors of orange and spice.
Next, we tried Greenore, a whiskey from the Cooley distillery that’s aged for 8 years in bourbon casks. Unlike single malts (that are made from a single type of malted barley), this single grain whiskey is made from French corn. According to Flariar, the aroma has notes of “corn, banana, pencil shavings, and bourbon” and is followed by flavors of “honey, almonds, corn, vanilla, fresh wood, [and] apples.” The finish is warm and oaky. Greenore definitely reminded me of bourbon, and I thought it was interesting to try an Irish whiskey that tasted like it could have come from Kentucky!
After tasting the spirits from Scotland and Ireland, we moved on to the ones we were less familiar with. Santis Malt is made in Switzerland and was named by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as “European Whisky of the year 2010.” (I didn’t even realize they made whisky in Switzerland!) It’s smoked twice and then stored in old, smoked beer barrels. This process produces a “strong, smoky aroma” and flavor that is different from the smokiness commonly seen in other whiskies. This whisky is so interesting! I’m a fan of peaty, smoky whiskies (like Laphroaig), so this was right up my alley. My husband found it to be a little on the smoky side for his taste, but he was still excited to try whisky aged in beer barrels. We’d never even heard of such a thing before!
This is also my first time trying Indian whisky, though my husband has tried it previously. This whisky is made from barley grown at the feet of the Himalayas, and is “matured in oak barrels in unique tropical conditions, at an altitude of 3000 feet above sea level.” Whisky that evaporates during the maturation process is known as “the angels’ share.” Typically, distillers lose at least 2% during the aging process and whiskies that are aged for longer lose even more. A 20-year-old whisky can lose up to 40% of its volume during aging. Because of Amrut’s unique conditions, however, it can lose almost half of its volume to the “angels.” I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’m a fan of Amrut whisky. I really like its smooth, oaky finish.
Japanese whiskies have been steadily growing in quality and popularity over the past several decades, but I’m not sure I’ve ever tried one before. Even though they’re considered to be some of the best in the world, I suppose I often just stick to the Scottish whiskies I know. Nikka Yoichi 10 year old whisky is aged in “hogshead” barrels (new oak barrels that are made on site at the distillery), and it’s made in the “Highland style.” Interestingly, this meant that we found it to be both new and familiar at the same time. We’re both fans, and, thanks to Flaviar, I think we’ll be making an effort to learn more about Japanese Whisky!
Verdict: I had a lot of fun discovering whiskeys from around the world with my first Flaviar tasting pack! Their packaging is some of the best I’ve seen, and opening the box felt like unwrapping a gift. Even the glass vials are well made. (I’m definitely going to try and re-purpose them for something- spices, maybe.) My only concern with this subscription is that, while I enjoyed tasting whiskeys, I’m not sure I would enjoy tasting other spirits as much. Gin, for example, is a spirit I greatly enjoy in mixed drinks but might not want to drink alone. Though, I suppose I could always take a sip of each vial (just to try it) and then use the rest in a cocktail. In terms of value, Flaviar mentions that it would cost $377 to purchase full-sized bottles of the whiskeys in the “Welcome to Flaviar” Tasting Pack. One of the things I like most about this subscription is that Flaviar offers the opportunity to taste different spirits without investing in full-sized bottles. I’m trying to build my home bar, and, if I continue the subscription, I think I’ll be able to pick bottles that I truly love (instead of relying on the recommendations of others or just winging it).
Are you interested in trying spirits from around the world? If so, will you give Flaviar a try?