It’s quite common that craft beer fans are also into whiskey. And if you’re on 52brews.com, chances are you are into a variety – trying a wide range of drinks, frequently, so you can pick your favorites and refine your palate over time. A “whiskey in the mail” subscription is a great way to do this with whiskey as well, just like you may already be doing with beer.
(if you haven’t – check out our recommendations for “beer in the mail” subscriptions).
Similar to beer and wine of the month clubs, the main reasons to join are threefold:
- Wide variety of brands and types
- Access to exclusive bottles
- Convenience: the whiskey gets shipped right to your door.
Below are our recommended clubs:
Top 3 Whiskey of the Month Clubs & Subscription Boxes
#1 Flaviar (Our Favorite)
Fondly called “the Netflix of liquor” by subscribers, Flaviar has recreated the experience of an exclusive speakeasy, but online. There have even been waiting periods of five days before you can even begin the membership process. The experience is akin to waiting for reservations to a hot new restaurant. While some people may find it annoying, the club’s positive reviews confirm that a vast majority of members believe that membership is well worth the wait.
Membership prices vary based on Flaviar’s promotional calendar but often start at $20 per month. We should also note that Flaviar ships to the EU and the US, but in the US, there are 21 states that they don’t ship to, including Illinois and Hawaii. A signature of an adult required upon delivery. But don’t despair; Flaviar is expanding into new territories each month, so if your location is currently excluded, keep checking for updates.
Like many other whiskey of the month clubs, Flaviar delivers tasting boxes quarterly. Each box contains three 45ml bottles of curated whiskeys (about a jigger’s worth each), balancing well-known labels with craft brands that are sure to delight. They also provide members the option to select one full-size bottle each month.
Included in these free quarterly boxes are tasting instructions, a list of tasting notes (study these then impress your friends), and background information about the distillery. Learning even half of all of this over a few months will guarantee you official entry into whiskey fandom.
Another great perk is that the standard monthly membership provides you with access to exclusive bottles that you often won’t find in stores. Often the prices are lower than retail, so your membership could be a significant money saver if you’re a regular whiskey buyer.
By the way, if you’re into more than just whiskey, you’ll also get to peruse their selection of over 20,000 spirits. Like the fans say – it’s “the Netflix of liquor.”
What You Get:
- One full-size bottle each quarter valued at $40 or more
- Quarterly boxes of tasting samples
- Access to live tasting events
- Exclusive access to rare and hard-to-find spirits
- Access to a membership community to learn and share knowledge
Best Suited For:
- If you like whiskey but want to use your membership to explore other types of liquor too.
- If you are the social type, Flaviar really emphasizes the community aspect: join a community of spirit enthusiasts, access reviews written by their experts, and get invitations to exclusive events at distilleries and bars.
Billing is done quarterly or $20-per-month.
#2 Whiskey Lovers (Runner-up)
Whiskey Lovers has introduced blind taste testing to the world of whiskey. Members receive a flight of four generically-labeled 50ml bottles of whiskey each month. brand or age identity is not looked upon while packaging the bottles. To learn what you’ve tasted, you have to go online to “unmask” their identities.
Now comes the fun part. Whiskey Lovers created the “My Whiskey IQ Game” that will reveal the identity of the whiskey when you enter the code that’s on your bottle. However, before this can happen, tasters have to answer nine questions about the whiskey, including providing descriptions of the nose, mouthfeel, and taste. Tasters will receive a score indicating their knowledge of what they’ve sampled. This is a fun way to develop your tasting skills.
Another reason the blind taste testing is so fun is that the taster might sip something they’ve had before without realizing it until later. By tasting blind, Whiskey Lovers takes away all of the preconceived notions about a particular brand of whiskey.
What You Get:
- A flight of four whiskeys each quarter
- Engraved Glencairn nosing and tasting crystal glass
- Discounted tickets to exclusive events
- $25 gift card to use in their online store
- 10% off the whiskeys featured in the flight
Best Suited For:
Adventurers people who want to discover new things will appreciate this club most and won’t be hung up on the superficialities of a brand, price, and age. This is also a fantastic club for someone who wouldn’t usually branch out into unknown territory and needs a gentle push.
Annual membership is for $189 or $75 per quarter. Shipping is free in the US, except to Alaska and Hawaii.
#3 Scotch Malt Whiskey Society (Third Place)
Originally an offline organization founded 35 years ago, the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society has moved to the Internet. The idea came about when a group of friends got together and pooled their money to buy a cask of whiskey. True to their roots, to this day, society only offers single malt, single cask whiskeys, and exclusive for members.
Note that despite the name, the whiskeys come from all corners of the world, not just Scotland.
As a member, if you ever do make the pilgrimage to Europe, you’ll be welcomed at their private Members’ Rooms – there’s one in Edinburgh and one in London. All you have to do is flash the ID card that comes with your membership, and you’ll get the VIP treatment. You also get a subscription to a quarterly magazine called Unfiltered, which is guaranteed to up your bathroom reading game.
What You Get:
At $99, a one-year membership comes with the primary benefit of simply inclusion in their society. Specifically, you receive:
- Access to purchase their exclusive whiskeys
- Membership to Unfiltered magazine
- An ID card that grants you access to Members’ Private Rooms
For $175, you get the above AND:
- A tasting kit (with three 100ml bottles, a lapel pin, and a journal)
A full-size bottle of one of their exclusive, privately bottled whiskeys.
Best Suited For:
The SMWS is meant for whiskey lovers who want to be a part of a more exclusive, VIP-feel club. If you were in a fraternity in college, love secret societies, or enjoy connecting with likeminded people, then this is the club for you. Also, if you will be in Edinburgh or London, visiting their exclusive clubs is a nice treat.
Membership starts at just $99 per year. There is the option to upgrade your membership, and for $175, you receive either a tasting kit or a full-sized bottle of whiskey, each valued at $125. There is also a mid-level upgrade for $145 that includes the basic membership plus a full-size bottle of whiskey valued at $95.