Flaviar Subscription Box Review – October 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 “Asia & Oceania Whisky” 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.
I think it’s so interesting that this tasting pack features whiskies from Asia & Oceania. I’ve tried Japanese whisky before, but I had no idea that there are high-quality whisky producers in other parts of the region. This whisky, for example, is made in Tasmania. It’s aged in rum barrels, which helps mellow the whisky and provides a subtle salted caramel flavor.
Milford is distilled in New Zealand, which has a long history with whisky. Scots settled there in the 1800’s and produced whisky until New Zealand passed regulations in the late 1900’s that basically forced them to stop. Many of the warehouses sat idle for years, and in 2009 someone stumbled upon abandoned barrels full of spirits. And this is one of those spirits! The flavor is “thick, dry and filled with cinnamon orange spice,” and “the spice gently fades into a whiff of peat smoke” at the finish.
Kavalan is a Taiwanese Whisky that was named Best in Class at the 2011 International Wine and Spirit Competition. The aroma is “floral, fruity, pleasant, [with] hints of vanilla,” and the flavor is full-bodied with notes of spices, wood, and fruit.
Most whiskies are made, distilled, and aged by the same producer, but Tougouchi takes a different approach. They buy unaged whisky in bulk and then age it underground in Spanish Sherry casks. This particular blend is about 60% Canadian and 40% Scottish. It’s “sweet at first, then opening up to a blast of oak and dark chocolate.” I really like the mild, oaky flavors in this whisky- it’s very smooth!
Paul John Brilliance is made in India with barley that’s harvested from the foothills of the Himalaya. It’s unpeated and aged for 3-5 years in bourbon barrels. The flavor is very fruity with “tingles of honey and cinnamon.” It has a “long and smooth finish where vanilla intensifies and spices kick in.” This whisky is full of flavor, and I really like the fruity layers.
All of the Flaviar Tasting Packs I’ve received up until this point have contained 5 different spirits, but it looks like Flaviar is changing up their subscription model. Moving forward, I believe the tasting packs will only contain 3 different spirits. The monthly price will also be lowered to reflect this change.
Verdict: I had a lot of fun tasting and learning about Asian and Oceanic Whisky in this Flaviar tasting pack! They have some of the best packaging, and opening the boxes always feels like unwrapping a gift. In terms of value, Flaviar mentions that it would cost $274 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?