Flaviar Subscription Box Review – August 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 tasting notes. Sample packs contain enough alcohol to host a tasting party for 3 people.
This is a review of the “Scotch & The Islands” Tasting Pack.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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!
…and a little quirky.
The box comes with tasting instructions and notes on each spirit included in the box.
Highland Park 12 Year Old is one of my husband’s favorite whiskies, and we actually have a bottle of it currently in our minibar! Highland Park is located on the Orkney Isles, and it’s the most northerly Scotch distillery. Often, whisky from the Scottish islands can be very peaty, but I think this one has a nice balance of sweetness and smokiness, with a hint of caramel and spice.
Turas Mara is a Scots Gaelic phrase meaning “long journey,” and this whisky honors “the islanders who migrated to North America in the 18th and 19th century.” Adhering to the theme of travel, Turas Mara is aged in a number of different casks sourced from around the world, including bourbon barrels, sherry butts, French oak casks, and port pipes. This variety creates a unique flavor with fruity aromas and flavors of “vanilla, honey, chocolate and yummy things like that.”
Arran is the only distillery located on the Isle of Arran, a popular tourist destination, and holds the honor of being one of the last remaining independent Scottish distilleries. This is my first time trying one of their whiskies, and I’m a fan. Flaviar describes the Lochranza Reserve as having aromas of “lemons, apples, and all that fresh fruit with a hint of malt and salty breeze.” The flavors include “citrus fruits, apples, and vanilla with subtle notes hailing from the vicinity of salty sea.” I love that this whisky has a saltiness that references its seaside home, and the finish is so smooth and pleasant that my tasting glass was empty before I realized it!
Ledaig is a variety of whisky from the Tobermory Distillery, on the island of Mull. I’ve visited Tobermory before (though never the distillery), so I was very excited to see this bottle featured in the tasting pack. Like many island whiskies, Ledaig 10 Year Old has a medicinal peaty smokiness that I, personally, really enjoy. The flavor also has a good amount of spice and oak. I feel it would be appropriate to sip this whisky in a dark library, while sitting on an old leather chair in front of a roaring fire!
Talisker is located on the Isle of Skye. (It’s interesting to me that none of the whiskies featured in this tasting pack are from Islay, the most iconic Scottish whisky-producing island. Perhaps Islay whiskies get their own Flaviar tasting pack?) Flaviar describes Talisker as being an idiosyncratic distillery that produces a style of Island Malt that is very much their own. The 57 North (named for the line of latitude where Skye lies), is peaty, peppery, and has “explosive smoke.” I really like this whisky, but I imagine it will be a bit much for those whisky drinkers who prefer a subtler, milder dram.
Verdict: I had a lot of fun taking a whisky tour of the Scottish Islands with this Flaviar tasting pack! Their packaging is some of the best I’ve seen, and opening the box felt like unwrapping a gift. In terms of value, Flaviar mentions that it would cost $347 to purchase full-sized bottles of the whiskeys in this 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).
I’ve enjoyed the tasting packs I’ve received from Flaviar, but I have a customer service issue I should share. After my last review, my brother decided to purchase a tasting pack for our father for Father’s Day. Mistakenly, he signed up with a shipping address in a state where Flaviar doesn’t ship. They reached out to him about a week and a half later to let him know, and he provided an alternate address. After another two or three weeks (with no sign of the box), he sent them an email to follow up and found out that the box still hadn’t shipped. Flaviar apologized for this oversight and offered him a discount on a future order, which I think is fair. Since Flaviar ships from Slovenia, it took another couple of weeks for the box to arrive after it was finally sent. I understand that hiccups happen from time to time, and I appreciate Flaviar’s response to the situation. Still, my brother was frustrated to order a gift that took over a month to reach the recipient. While others will hopefully not encounter the same delays that my brother did, it’s important to note that subscribers should not ever expect to receive their boxes quickly. Since Flaviar ships from Europe, they estimate it takes 10-21 day for boxes to reach the US.
Do you like trying spirits from around the world? Have you tried Flaviar?