Taster's Club is a subscription that sends a new bottle of “must have” liquor to your door every month.
When you sign up for a subscription, you decide what kind of alcohol you’d like to receive. The following clubs are available: Whisky, Bourbon, Scotch, Scotch Pro, Rum, Tequila, and Tequila Pro. This is a review of the Scotch Club.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Taster's Club
The Cost: $79 per month + shipping for the Scotch Club (Shipping to DC was an additional $15.) Note that the price differs between clubs.
The Products: A different bottle of liquor every month. (My shipments feature Scotch because I joined the “Scotch Club.”)
A note about shipping: Taster's Club does not list the US states to which they ship on their website. Most alcohol subscription companies are unable to ship to all 50 states due to alcohol shipping restrictions, so I’m uncertain whether Taster's Club is able to ship nationwide or not.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!
Taster’s Club shipments are accompanied by supplemental information that’s sent out via email. I usually receive it within a few days of my monthly shipment.
I’m super excited to see that Kilchoman is this month’s featured whisky because I’ve visited this distillery before, and I’m a fan of their mission.
Unlike many of the distilleries on Islay with a long and rich tradition of whisky making, Kilchoman only began production in 2005. I visited the distillery in 2011, and back then they had only two offerings, the “Inaugural Release” and “100% Islay.” Today, they have a much fuller portfolio; however, they’re still not old enough to release 10 and 12-year old bottlings (like many of their competitors do). Instead, they’ve focused on younger malts that are aged in a variety of different casks. The Sanaig is aged predominately in sherry casks, vs. bourbon or Madeira.
One of the things that struck me most about Kilchoman when I visited was that the distillery is actually set on a farm! They use barley grown onsite to make their malts, and they’re the only distillery on Islay to carry out all parts of the whisky making process on the island. They’re also one of the only distilleries that still uses a traditional floor malting process. Here’s a shot of what that process looks like (courtesy of the Kilchoman website):
I think it’s incredibly respectable for a brand new distillery to incorporate traditional techniques like this into their production. It’s a great way to honor the history of their craft and to ensure they have complete control of the whisky-making process from start to finish.
Now, on to the tasting! This whisky is solidly peaty (a signature of Islay whiskies), and the sherry cask aging provides the malt with a rich color and a deep flavor.
The predominant flavors for me are earthy peat and dried fruit. Even though I know this is a young whisky, the taste is surprisingly refined.
Verdict: I’m absolutely thrilled to see a Kilchoman whisky featured in this month’s Taster's Club! I’m a big fan of Islay single malts and something of a Kilchoman fangirl, so this pick just tickled my feathers. That said, I have to point out that this is yet another month where the value comes in pretty significantly below the cost of the subscription. I haven’t been subscribing long enough to see whether or not the value will balance out over time, but so far it’s looking like this is not a high value (or even a break even) subscription.
What do you think of Taster's Club? Have you tried Kilchoman whisky before?