We’re just a few days away from Christmas and if you’ve not purchased a gift for that whiskey lover in your life, you’re in luck, a Flaviar membership is just a few clicks away. But… is it worth it?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, am I renewing? The answer is no, but it’s not Flaviars fault. Thanks to the State of Massachusetts and its arcane liquor laws I’m unable to renew. If you’re wondering whether I would’ve renewed, had I been able to, well… keep reading.
Flaviar currently has three different memberships. Standard $159; Premium $279 and All-Access $349. My husband gifted me the All-Access membership last Christmas. At the time, Massachusetts was one of the states they shipped to sadly, halfway through the year, Massachusetts was added to their list of states they don’t ship to. To this day I still don’t know the reason. Flaviar did however honor my membership for the remainder of the year. Let’s get started!
Here are Pros and Cons to the membership, starting with the Cons.
- There are about 25 states they don’t ship to: This is obviously not their fault but rather the liquor laws surrounding shipping alcohol to these states. Still, it sucks that only half the country can enjoy having a membership.
- Shipment Tracking: It was hard for me to tell when my quarterly box was arriving. The only time I was able to track was when they shipped via FedEx (this happened once).
- Quarterly Offerings: With your All-Access membership you get quarterly offerings which include a Flaviar sampler and a full whiskey bottle. I felt that every time I went to claim my quarterly box it felt like no new options were added. Don’t get me wrong, they had plenty of options I just wish they would circulate the options and offer new things for those coming back on a quarterly basis.
- Vault: Ever so often Flaviar will open their vaults and let you purchase hard to find whisky. This is great with the exception that if you think they are going to be sold at their MSRP, you’d be wrong. The vault whiskies are sold at near secondary level pricing.
- Vault: If you’re hunting for an allocated bottle of bourbon or whiskey you will be able to find it through Flaviar for the most part. However, it’s going to cost you. Nothing is offered at MSRP.
- Customer Service: The minute I realized MA was no longer on the list I reached out to them, and their customer service was amazing. They were quick to respond and assured me that my membership would be honor. Not only that, but they also made it possible for me to purchase their Advent Calendar with a guarantee that it would be delivered to MA.
- Tasting Notes: They make whisky tasting easy! They provide tasting notes, all the whisky information you might need, and you get to read reviews.
- Quarterly Notifications: If you’re worried about missing a quarterly box, fear not, they remind you when the time comes to get your selections in.
- Advent Calendar: Let me honest this was my favorite part of the membership. This calendar is fun! I looked forward to opening every little window during December. They provide you with a Glencairn glass, a coaster, and a cool little book with the whisky information. I felt the options in this year’s calendar were great. It gave me the chance to explore whiskies I had not tasted before. They give members early access and a small discount to purchase. It usually sells out during the member only access period.
Let me be clear, aside from the cons I mentioned above, I did enjoy my membership. I looked forward to my quarterly boxes and I always found the information they provided on the whiskies extremely helpful.
This is not a gift for everyone. Flaviar would be great for people just getting into whiskies, people who would rather sample a whisky before purchasing, people who love whisky and people like me who write about whisky. Honestly, I would have renewed my membership had shipping been available to my state. It gave me something to look forward to and it allowed me to sample whiskies I would not have tried otherwise. If you are wracking your brain on what to get someone who loves whisky, this is by far a very generous gift I know they will love. The important thing would be to confirm they ship to that person’s state, but fear not, the website won’t allow you to process the order.
If Flaviar seems a bit much then let me recommend my gift guide. Lastly, an idea that we love to do for friends getting into whiskey is to give them samples from our collection. Amazon has 1 oz and 2 oz samplers that you can order and then create your own sample package, if you have a large collection like us. We do this all the time. We create mini tasting samples, and we give them to people when we see them. They are always a hit!
From my family to yours, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.