We live in a beautiful age. Anything you could possibly need, you can probably have shipped to your doorstep. Alcohol is no exception, so we decided to see if a liquor subscription box is worth the price.
After researching a bit, we decided to try the Flaviar Club Membership.
Disclaimer: Since this is our first Flaviar shipment, I want to break down all aspects of the experience, from the sign-up to trying our first Tasting Box. If you just want to learn about the spirits we tried, hop on down to the Unboxing: Up In Smoke Vol. 2 and Powers Three Swallow Irish Whiskey section.
TRY FLAVIAR TODAY!!
what is flaviar
Flaviar is a liquor subscription service that gives members the ability to try new spirits without the expense of buying the whole bottle first. The Flaviar team curates an at-home tasting once every three months and ships it right to your door.
Every quarter, you choose your Tasting Box, which revolves around a theme. Flaviar then sends you three 1.5 ounce sample bottles to try at home. Then, you have the option to choose one.
flaviar subscription costs
Then it was time to choose our membership. There are two subscriptions to choose from pay-as-you-go or annual membership. So how much does a Flaviar subscription cost? ***After looking at the price breakdown, paying for the whole year upfront is definitely the better value. ***
One quarterly subscription box on the pay-as-you-go plan will run you $95. If you pay annually, the subscription is $300, saving you $80. That’s saving enough to buy 2 bottles of Hendrick’s Gin and still have enough to buy tonic water and limes!
what does a flaviar membership include?
When you purchase a Flaviar subscription, you get a quarterly themed Tasting Box with three 1.5 ounce spirit samples. You also get to choose a full-size bottle of their curated and offered spirits. The Tasting Box you receive also includes:
- A cement Flaviar coaster.
- A description of the box’s theme.
- A tasting card for each spirit.
***The membership includes free shipping, and your tasting box is sent to your door. ***
That’s just the physical stuff.
Your Flaviar account access is an added bonus to your subscription. It took a minute to adapt to the user interface of the Flaviar website. Still, once I did, I realized it is a wealth of information.
The MyFlaviar options offer so many materials and references about different liquors and recipes. There is also a space to review the spirits you’ve tried and keep track of the spirits you’ve tasted.
It was definitely worth the time to figure it out.
Now let’s talk about our first Flaviar Quarterly Spirits delivery.
choosing our tasting box and waiting
Carl and I have entirely different palates when it comes to spirits. Carl’s preferred spirit is bourbon, and mine alternates between gin and tequila, depending on the day.
We figured our first tasting box should be something we both could appreciate. So, we looked through the 30+ options and chose the Up in Smoke Vol. 2. With an emphasis on smoky flavors, I would appreciate the whiskeys included, and it came with a mezcal.
For our full-sized bottle, there were several options from which to choose, and a lot of them were in the whiskey family. We chose Power’s Three Swallow Irish Whiskey.
Why? Because out of all of the liquor bottles on our shelves, we didn’t have a single bottle of Irish Whiskey.
We were surprised and delighted when our box was delivered just four days after purchasing our subscription. Then we saw that the order was processed and shipped from the Chicago area, which is only about a four-hour drive from us.
So I wouldn’t count on shipping that quickly all of the time. Flaviar mentions in their support section that ground shipping is used and orders are usually delivered sometime within one to seven business days. Still not bad.
Because we live in Iowa, we can’t have liquor shipped to us. Fortunately, we have a friend in Illinois who let us ship to his place. This was a bit of a hurdle because Flaviar requires a person of legal drinking age to sign for the package.
Fortunately, the carrier was super easy to work with. We were able to make arrangements to sign for the box without any hassle.
unboxing: up in smoke vol. 2 and powers three swallow irish whiskey
Alright! The part we are all waiting for. We have the package in our home. And I started to feel like a kid on Christmas. I feel the same when I get my STITCHFIX BOXES or really any mail that’s not a bill.
the tasting box
I will be the first to admit that I didn’t really pay attention to what, besides the booze, was included with the box when we ordered it. But when we opened the box, the first thing I did was take note of the packaging. The design and presentation of the tasting box are beautiful. The tasting cards are just as appealing.
But that’s not why you’re here, right? What about the alcohol? The Up In Smoke Vol. 2 Tasting Box is exactly what you’d expect: a collection of three spirits that have a heavy smoke flavor profile. So what did we think of them?
whiskey del bac’s mesquite smoked dorado
The first sample we tried was WHISKEY DEL BAC’S MESQUITE SMOKED DORADO; this American single-malt Whiskey is distilled in Tucson, Arizona. Barley is malted and smoked over a velvet mesquite fire to produce a pleasant, smoky whiskey. Carl and I both enjoyed this Whiskey.
There is a distinct ethanol burn, but it’s not unpleasant. Behind the ethanol, there is vanilla and caramel sweetness inside the smoked flavor. It’s a good campfire whiskey that makes you feel all warm and toasty inside. If you can get your hands on a bottle, we’d recommend trying it.
bank note’s 5-year peated reserve
Then we moved on to Bank Note’s 5-year Peated Reserve. Carl’s not a huge fan of Scotch, but I love the peaty smoke flavor in the spirit. I couldn’t find a website for the company, so all I really know about the spirit is what Flaviar offers. That is that the Whiskey hails from Islay. We were not impressed by this spirit at all.
Acetone was the dominant note in the aroma, flavor, and finish. Still, we did catch a little fruit on the nose and a subtle smokiness on the finish. The tasting card Flaviar sent indicated dominant fruit and dark chocolate flavors. You can pick those out if you battle through the overwhelming presence of nail polish remover.
All in all, we wouldn’t recommend this spirit, but it would be interesting to see how it mixes into a cocktail.
MADRE MEZCAL was our final sample. This Oaxacan mezcal was the reason I agreed to this Tasting Box. I love the smoky agave flavor of mezcal, and Madre’s delivered on both.
Both of us smelled salty agave on the nose, which carried through onto the palate. As smoky as the flavor is, the mezcal tastes surprisingly light and fresh, with something herbal in the middle.
Later we looked at the tasting notes and learned the herbal flavor punching through all of the woody smoke is dill. And it’s lovely. The whole time we were sampling this mezcal, we could smell and taste what we could best describe as campfire coals after they had gone out.
If camping is your happy place, or if you just like mezcal, pick up a bottle of Madre Mezcal.
the complimentary bottle
We both know that the “Complimentary” bottle isn’t really complimentary. If you’re paying anywhere from $75 to $90 for a liquor sample subscription, it had probably better come with a full-size bottle.
Otherwise, no one would pay for it, including us. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that.
power’s three swallow irish whiskey
This quarter, Carl and I wanted to pick a spirit we don’t have a lot of experience with. So we chose POWER’S THREE SWALLOW IRISH WHISKEY. It’s single pot stilled and meant to be reminiscent of the original Powers Whiskey’s flavor.
It is fruit, specifically banana and apple, forward and finishes with a little sweet and a little spice. Powers Three Swallow is an enjoyable and easily sippable whiskey that we probably never would have encountered or considered without Flaviar.
Fun Fact Powers claims that they invented the miniature spirits bottle in 1889; they called it the “Baby Power.”
is flaviar a good deal?
This is why you’re really here, isn’t it? You want to know Flaviar is worth the subscription fee. If you can get Flaviar in your area, it absolutely is worth the price.
The prices are reasonable. You get a curated tasting sample AND a full-size bottle of liquor out of the deal.
The materials they send to create a distillery tour tasting experience in your home are informative and well-designed.
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