What is Flaviar? Why they’re a monthly liquor tasting service, hope that clears it up. Say what now? You want to know more about them? Well I suppose I could do that. They did send me the nifty tasting kit pictured above so we might as well dig in and see what’s in this box labeled Five Flavors of Scotch. It’s the polite thing to do after all.
In a nutshell Flaviar sells 45ml tasting sets that get delivered right to your door for as low as $25 / month, but as much as $50 a month depending on your choices. They also sell a cocktail testing kit that will run you about $70 and speaking of cocktails Scotch isn’t the only adult beverage they sell.
Gin, rum, tequila, bourbon and rye is all available in their tasting packs and comes delivered like in the box above, which is a nicely designed box truth be told, but it gets infinitely more fascinating as you can see from the image below.
The booze inside of Flaviar Tasting Kits are arranged neatly in plastic vials that look a bit like test tubes and fit snugly into holes cut in the cardboard base to keep them from smashing into each other and breaking during transit. The overall quality of both the box and the vials are sturdy and I have no doubt that if I were to subscribe my tasting kits would arrive unscathed each month. They definitely didn’t skimp on the integrity of their packaging.
Each box also comes with a fold out piece of paper that contains info and tasting notes for each whisky inside. Since the focus of these packs is education and exploration having a guide like this, especially if you’re new to the category, is incredibly useful and helps make the liquid in the packs more accessible. Then there’s the website and Flaviar app which have additional info and reviews from other Flaviar members.
On the surface the kits sound pretty awesome, but now we need to get down to brass tacks and talk about value. 45ml is equal to 1.5 ounces which is a standard pour at most bars and looking at the set I was sent I know that each one of these will roughly run between $8 – $20 a pour at the bars I go to. Based on those rough estimates a corresponding bar tab for this pack would cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $85 after tax and tip ($65ish for the booze alone). This pack on Flaviar? $45… and that includes shipping!
So far it all sounds awesome. The pros are that it’s cheaper than the bar, it’s delivered right to your door for “free” and it looks pretty darn snazzy once it arrives. So what are the cons? Well, the contents in this box, and most of the pre-made boxes, aren’t directed at experienced drinkers and contain fairly standard whiskies. So if you’ve been around the block a few times it’s likely that you’ve had everything in these packs before.
That said, as a whiskey writer I’m still interested in a couple of these because while I’ve had all but 2 of the whiskies I see listed on their tasting packs I haven’t reviewed them so for me it’s a great deal because for less than a trip to the bar (by half) I can get myself a bunch of new content for the site. Though if you’re not a whiskey blogger, and just purely looking to expand your palate, you’re still not fully out of luck because their rum, gin, etc. packs would be a good way to expand your booze experience and encounter new aromas and flavors outside of your normal whisky routine.
So what’s the bottom line? Take a look for yourself and see if it fits you and your needs. Only looking to try new whiskies and you’ve been drinking for years? Probably not the best fit. Looking to try new things and / or expand your palate? Might be a good fit. New to whiskey or high quality spirits in general? Well then It’s a fantastic fit. Basically, take a look and see for yourself if it’s a good fit for you and your lifestyle because one thing’s for sure, it’s definitely more economical than tasting them at the bar.