Flaviar Review: This Quarterly Whiskey Subscription Expands My Spirits Palate

Updated: May 06, 2024

I tested Flaviar's quarterly whiskey subscription, which contains one full-size bottle and a few sample vials of a variety of spirits.

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I loved the Flaviar whiskey advent calendar so much that I had to try their quarterly whiskey subscription. As a whiskey connoisseur, I wanted a way to expand my palate on a budget and sample new types of whiskey. For those new to the spirits world, it can be overwhelming. Flaviar takes the stress out of diversifying your palate.

Through Flaviar’s whiskey subscription, I’ve sampled new spirits from around the globe that I wouldn’t have tried on my own.  Every three months, I look forward to tasting three new whiskeys and a full-sized bottle to share with friends.

What Is the Flaviar Whiskey Subscription? 

Flaviar is a spirits subscription that advances the opportunity to experience top-shelf whiskeys from around the world. Members can select from tasting boxes or full-size bottles.

Every quarter (every three months), spirits specialists skillfully curate a sampling box of liquor and deliver it to your doorstep, along with informational guides and tasting notes. The selection includes a mixture of customer favorites and rare, hard-to-find bottles. It’s easy to try new whiskey and other spirits from the comfort of your own home.

Flaviar’s signature offering includes a whiskey subscription delivered each quarter. Every three months on the “pay-as-you-go plan,” pay $100 per delivery ($400 a year) for one full-size 750 ml bottle and one themed three-vial tasting box. Prepay $320 for a year subscription and save $80 annually (each delivery costs $80 instead of $100).

If you’re solely looking for insider access as a spirits enthusiast, Flaviar Black is a new entry-level membership. For $40, you’ll receive first access to The Vault’s rare bottles, limited releases, deeper discounts on tasing boxes and bottles and free shipping on select items. This is ideal if you’re not seeking a recurring quarterly delivery.

A Flaviar Black membership is automatically included for one year if you purchase the signature whiskey subscription. Thus, Flaviar Black perks are extended beyond the “pay-as-you-go” subscription period. Flaviar also offers whiskey gift subscriptions.

Flaviar makes exploring a range of rare, hard-to-find whiskies a breeze—without leaving your living room.

Flaviar Whiskey SubscriptionFLAVIAR.COM, GETTY IMAGES FLAVIAR.COM, GETTY IMAGES

We Tried It

Flaviar Whiskey Subscription

Flaviar offers a quarterly whiskey subscription that brings rare liquors from around the globe to your doorstep. Pick from three membership options and hundreds of spirits.

Flaviar Whiskey Subscription Features 

Flaviar Whiskey Subscription Features Daria Smith/Taste of Home

In addition to a quarterly whiskey subscription, your Flaviar membership includes so much more. Member perks include free shipping on any order over $60, discounts in the online liquor store, priority access to Flaviar original bottlings, free events, monthly access to The Vault, a community of spirits lovers, educational online resources, reviews, product and distillery outlines, cocktail recipes and distillery tours.

Flaviar’s online store sells over 15,000 spirits, including bourbon, Scotch, Irish whiskey and Japanese whisky. Other liquors include gin, rum and mezcal. The Vault offers members a private selection of exclusive bottles, original releases and rare, hard-to-find gems.

Whether you’re a spirit newbie, a seasoned aficionado or a casual sipper, Flaviar offers something for every drinker. Curated spirit samplers allow you to discover new favorites and expand your palate at an affordable price. Understand the nuances between each spirit and flavor with detailed tasting notes.

While Flaviar doesn’t offer a subscription option with only bourbon, it’s a stellar whiskey subscription. If you’re open to sampling varying kinds of whiskey alongside bourbon, it’s perfect. Note that Flaviar only offers a quarterly whiskey subscription at this time and has yet to expand to other spirits. However, their online store has rare full-sized bottles of various spirits.

Bourbon, whiskey and all spirits have an abundant history and specific lingo. Flaviar’s website is chock-full of dedicated articles and educational videos. Flaviar provides a community to connect with fellow spirits enthusiasts via forums and in-person and online events.

How We Tested It 

How We Tested ItDaria Smith/Taste of Home

Three weeks after placing my order, a black and gold Flaviar branded cylindrical box containing five glass 50ml vials arrived at my door. With the tasting box, you can perform blind taste tests or preview tasting notes before sampling. Five circular cards detail each spirit’s composition. Note that the standard quarterly tasting box includes three glass 50ml vials. However, I selected the Flaviar Awards 2023 Tasting Box, containing five vials of the most frequently gifted spirits across Flaviar’s website in 2023.

Flaviar surprised me with a tasting box and a bottle of Penelope Bourbon’s rosé cask finish whiskey. Unlike typical whiskey, this spirit is finished in French rosé wine barrels, giving it a hint of sweetness. Only 2,400 bottles were produced. While I never would’ve picked this whiskey finished in rosé casks for myself, I was pleasantly surprised.

I like to know what I’m sampling before I sip. I appreciate each spirit’s story, including the whiskey name, proof and region.

Twist the cap of each vial to break the safety tape seal, and pour up.

Before tasting, open your mouth and gently inhale. Make a mental note of what you taste. First on deck, vial “A” contained a pale gold Kyrö rye whiskey from Finland, emitting notes of toasted rye bread, honey and wild berries at 94 proof. Aromas of vanilla, caramel, dried fruit, stone fruit and a rye earthiness filled the room. The finish is spicy with pepper, as notes of coffee and caramel linger. The full-sized bottle retails for $61.99 on Flaviar’s website.

I reset my palate to square one with water. On to tube “B,” an earthy 400 Conejos Mezcal from Mexico. It smells fresh and smoky. The taste is soft and smooth with flavors of a smoky agave.

Cleansing my palate again, I move on to “C,” a Frey Ranch bourbon from Nevada. I smell various fruits with mountain cherries, sourdough bread, vanilla, oak and turbinado. While this bottle retails for $47, the Flaviar Black price is $40.

“D” encases a Hercules Mulligan rye whiskey from New York. “E” includes a decade-old Hardy cognac from France, smelling of floral—rose and jasmine—with notes of fig, marzipan and warm humidor. This bottle retails for $142.

The online spirits store features a few of my favorite bourbons, including Blade & Bow and Buffalo Trace. Blade & Bow is 15% off its usual retail price, and Buffalo Trace is 10% off.

Pros 

  • Thorough information about each spirit for club members
  • Admission to comprehensive online spirits community
  • Competitive pricing, and bargain pricing on rare bottles
  • Quarterly or annual subscription payment options
  • Can be gifted

Cons 

  • Only 27 states in the delivery region
  • Shipping fee on orders less than $60

FAQ 

What is the difference between bourbon and whiskey?

All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Whiskey, also spelled whisky, is a blend of fermented grains (commonly corn, barley, rye or wheat)—which are sometimes malted. Whiskey comes in various grades and varieties, classified by grain fermentation, distillation and aging in wooden barrels or casks. Whiskey is distilled around the world, i.e. Scotch or Irish whiskey.

All bourbon is made in the U.S. and consists of 51% corn, but most bourbons are closer to 70% corn. The remaining blend includes wheat or rye. It must be distilled at 160 proof or less and barreled at 125 proof or less. Legally bourbon must be aged for at least two years in a new charred oak barrel. 95% of bourbon is made in Kentucky. Beyond bourbon, there’s also malt whiskey, corn whiskey and blended whiskey.

Does Flaviar have bourbon?

Yes, Flaviar has whiskey made in the U.S. with a 51% minimum blend of corn. These bourbons are distilled at 160 proof or less, barreled at 125 proof or less and aged for at least two years in a new charred oak barrel.

Where does Flaviar ship from?

Flaviar ships from throughout the U.S. with a network of licensed retail partners. Your order ships from the vendor with the best price that is closest to you. Their vendors rely on various third-party courier services.

Flaviar delivers to 27 of 50 U.S. states, except for Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. Note that shipping times vary regionally since most bottles are shipped by third-party vendors.

How much is a Flaviar membership?

For the best bargain, prepay $320 a year ($80 per shipment) for Flaviar’s whiskey subscription. This includes a tasting box and a full-sized bottle mailed to your door every quarter. That’s four shipments a year.

Or, pay $100 every three months ($400 per year) on the pay-as-you-go plan. To nix the whiskey subscription and receive insider access to the community and online store, purchase a Flaviar Black membership for $40.

What other reviewers/experts had to say

Thomas O. has really enjoyed his Flaviar subscription. “They have always sent me very good and interesting liquor. I have been able to try many different types and brands of liquor that in some cases I had never heard of.”

J Jeffery speaks highly of Flaviar’s customer service. “I bought the whiskey subscription as a gift for my husband. When he promptly received his first shipment, we had a question regarding the samples he received. Flaviar quickly responded and provided the answer.”

Wimbreth Carville swears by Flaviar’s advent calendar. “I’ve ordered the whiskey advent calendar three years in a row, and my husband loves it. I also order bottles occasionally.”

Final Verdict 

Final VerdictDaria Smith/Taste of Home

The Flaviar whiskey subscription is ideal for whiskey connoisseurs who like to try new things. Chances are, you’ll discover your new favorite whiskey! It also offers whiskey novices the opportunity to expand their palates. Another benefit, you can sample expensive liquors before purchasing the entire bottle.

Flaviar’s whiskey subscription makes rare whiskey accessible from the comfort of your home. It also makes the perfect gift.

Where to Buy the Flaviar Whiskey Subscription

Flaviar Whiskey SubscriptionFLAVIAR.COM, GETTY IMAGES DARIA SMITH/TASTE OF HOME

We Tried It

Flaviar Whiskey Subscription

Flaviar offers a quarterly whiskey subscription that brings rare liquors from around the globe to your doorstep. Pick from three membership options and hundreds of spirits.

Flaviar whiskey subscriptions can only be purchased via Flaviar’s website. In addition, Flaviar offers some of the best discounts on rare liquor in their online store.

For $100 per delivery ($400 annually), opt for Flaviar’s pay-as-you-go plan for one bottle and one tasting box each quarter. You’re billed $100 every three months before your whiskey subscription box ships. Skip, pause or cancel this plan anytime.

Or, prepay for a year and save $80. Make a one-time payment of $320 ($80 per delivery) to receive one bottle and one tasting box each quarter. I chose this payment option to yield the best deal, saving $80. This plan can’t be paused or canceled. Any whiskey subscription automatically comes with Flaviar Black.

Flaviar Black is $40 a year and offers access to rare and vintage bottles from The Vault, priority access to limited bottle releases, early access to tasting boxes (like the advent calendar), special member pricing on full-sized bottles and tasting boxes and free shipping on select items. This plan is for you if you don’t want a recurring subscription and simply need insider access.

If unsure, I’d recommend starting with the pay-as-you-go plan and paying $100 for your first delivery. If you don’t like it, simply cancel. If you love it, upgrade and pre-pay $320 for the next year of deliveries.