A Comparative Study of Whisky Subscription Boxes - The Whiskey Wash

A Comparative Study of Whisky Subscription Boxes

You’re probably already familiar with the concept of subscription boxes: a monthly/bi-monthly selection of products you receive straight to your doorstep, designed around a specific theme. Beauty, food, dog & cat accessories, books and even panties (yes, true story!), there’s something to suit every taste and that shouldn’t come as a surprise: whisky lovers also have their own subscription services! And each of those has its advantages and downsides, let’s have a closer look at three of those malted boxes…

 

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Craft Whisky Club (from $49.50/month) just launched in the USA a few days ago, but has already been operating in the UK for a while. The overall concept of this box is to showcase the work of smaller or more uncommon distillers with an innovative approach. But Craft Whisky Club isn’t only about good whisky, it also includes some foodie treats in every box to match with your dram. Whether it is ginger oatcakes, sea salted chocolate or cheese crackers, Craft Whisky Club stays true to their mission by only selecting craft and/or organic delicacies.

CWC offers two types of subscriptions: one full-size bottle every two months, or two full-size bottles every two months. All their partners are featured on a dedicated Highlight page on their website with more information about the distillery, interviews etc. In my opinion, it’s a really cool way to connect their off-line service to their online activity. Another interesting angle is that all subscribers receive the same series of whiskies from Month one, so no one misses out.

CWC is really what I would call a ‘curated’ experience and seems dedicated to helping customers find their way into craft whiskies. It would then suit all sorts of whisky lovers: beginners, amateurs, connoisseurs, and experts alike.

Rate : 4/5 (just because you don’t receive something every month and it can feel a bit long to wait 2 months between each box 😉

 

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Flaviar (from $20/month) has been around for a while now and seems to be quite successful, although, when browsing their website, the approach seems a bit complicated to me at first sight.

First, there’s a waiting list (hmm…). Once you finally get on the club, you get a free taster box every quarter plus one free shipping credit per quarter on full-size bottle purchases. Cost depends on where you’re based but seems to be around $20 per month.

While Flaviar has access to a great variety of spirits (15,000+) and can therefore offer very interesting, diversified expressions and more uncommon bottlings, it requires a lot of work from the customers who are responsible for choosing their quarterly taster box, and making their own full-size purchases. If you’re willing to enter the Flaviar club, make sure you have enough spare time 😉

Flaviar therefore appears more designed for whisky connoisseurs to me, or at least consumers that already have some solid basics and don’t need much guidance.

Rate : 2/5 (especially for the waiting list… Although I must admit this is fairly well priced)

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Caskers (from $79/month): beside their online shop, Caskers also offers the possibility to subscribe to their club. Looking at the whiskey offering, Caskers’ promise is to deliver a 75cl bottle to your home every month of what they refer to as a “must have” whiskey. There’s no pre-announcement, so the bottle you’ll receive will come as a complete surprise.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to someone who already has a great collection of whiskies (you could easily receive doubles of bottlings you already have) but more to someone really starting their whiskey discovery journey, as it is a great way to build a nice collection of diverse and iconic whiskies that you can’t go wrong with.

Along with your bottle, you’ll also receive some informational whiskey-related content. Again, this content would mostly suit a beginner than a die-hard connoisseur, who would already know a great deal when it comes to whiskey!

Rate 3/5