Flaviar Subscription Box Review – September 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 “Rum of the Caribbean” Tasting Pack.
Flaviar sent me this box at no cost for review. (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 box comes with tasting instructions and notes on each spirit included in the box.
Malteco hails from Guatemala and is a relatively new brand that’s already creating a lot of buzz in the rum world. Malteco Spices and Rum is flavored with herbs and spices that provide depth and dimension. The aroma is chocolaty with hints of vanilla, while the taste is spicy and full-bodied with lots of aromatics. I usually associate rum with summer (and beachy cocktails), but the description of this rum got me thinking that spiced rum might nicely complement pumpkin and the fall baking spices that are everywhere this time of year. I might reserve a little bit of this rum to flavor the whipped cream for my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
This selection is a blend of different rums, some aged up to 20 years in old bourbon barrels. The blended product is then finished in Sauternes wine casks. The resulting product has a gentle, fruity aroma with flavors of “honey, apricot, white peaches and some vanilla.” My husband is a big fan of this rum. He loved the balance of flavors and picked this as his favorite rum in the tasting pack.
Mount Gay is the only rum featured in this tasting pack that I’m familiar with, but Flaviar assures that this bottle is a departure from their more readily available products. It’s a blend of “sassy” 7-15 year old rums that have all been aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. The flavors in this rum are deep and complex, with notes of “molasses, apples, vanilla, toffee, ripe banana, [and] canned & dried fruit.” The aroma is spicy and a little chocolaty.
This rum comes from a master distiller who considers this blend to be the pinnacle of his career. It has a rich, fruity aroma with a touch of oak. The taste is smooth with flavors of toffee and molasses. When tasting these rums, I found myself returning to this one again and again. I love the smooth taste and hints of vanilla. This is a bottle I’ll likely be adding to my collection!
In the 19th century, a Frenchman named Dupre Barbancourt traveled to Haiti and set out to make a fine rum using techniques traditionally used in Cognac production. Since then, Barbancourt has set the bar for Haitian Rum. While many people (myself included) associate rum with cocktails and fruity island drinks, fine rum is complex enough to be appreciated on its own, and Flaviar points out that Babancourt is one of the world’s top sipping rums. I’ve never has rum on it’s own before (I usually order whisky if I’m in the mood for a sipping spirit), but I really enjoyed this rum tasting. Now that I’ve learned a little bit about rum, I might have to start branching out!
Verdict: I had a lot of fun tasting and learning about Caribbean rum 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 $238 to purchase full-sized bottles of the rums in this tasting pack. Obviously, the quantities included in this tasting pack are much smaller, but I think it’s fun that they provide tasting instructions and encourage subscribers to host tasting parties. I’m trying to build my home bar, so I like that Flaviar allows me to sample new (sometimes obscure or expensive) spirits without having to purchase full bottles. This has helped me add bottles to my bar that I truly love. I’ve been impressed with Flaviar’s tasting packs, but it’s important to note that they ship from Slovenia and that shipping times are lengthy (they estimate that boxes can take up to 21 days to reach the US). The boxes have always arrived in good condition, but it can be difficult to predict when they’ll arrive.
Do you like trying spirits from around the world? Have you tried Flaviar?