The one company I have been most pleased to come across recently is Flaviar. It is the best place to buy whiskey, not just online, but anywhere.
I enjoy whiskey, but I have had a difficult time expanding my tastes and moving beyond the familiar.
Whiskey offerings are so diverse that it’s difficult to explore new whiskeys without breaking the bank. Whiskey is expensive, so it’s safe to find something you like and stick with it.
That’s what I did, so I ended up buying the Johnny Walker, the Woodford Reserve, the Glenlivet, over and over again.
I found certain brands and types of whiskeys that I enjoyed and never ventured beyond them.
After a while, however, I wanted to see what else was out there.
Then I found Flaviar, the absolute best place to buy whiskey anywhere.
Flaviar allows me to sample a large variety of whiskeys and spirits for a very reasonable price. It also gives me access to whiskeys that I would never encounter at my local liquor store.
In fact, many of my new favorite whiskeys I first tried through Flavair, and I have never even heard of most of them before joining the club. The small-batch whiskeys Flaviar offers are particularly hard to come by anywhere else.
How it Works
It’s pretty straightforward. Every quarter, you choose a tasting box that’s included in the price of your membership. The tasting box usually includes three 50 mL samples of different whiskey or spirits.
You know what samples are in the box before you commit to it. So, this can be an excellent opportunity to try some of the more expensive whiskeys for which you may have been reluctant to pay $200+ per bottle.
The samples are large enough to get an ample glass to try and enjoy something new without having to commit to a whole bottle.
The tasting boxes come with tasting notes and in-depth descriptions of each whiskey you try, allowing you to learn more about what you’re drinking.
As you taste these whiskeys, you can rate them in the Flaviar app, allowing Flaviar to learn what you like and customize recommendations to suit your tastes.
So, if you find a whiskey you particularly like, you can purchase a full bottle to enjoy without taking the risk of spending a lot of money on something you don’t like. Even if you get a sample you don’t like, your feedback improves Flaviar’s understanding of your tasting profile.
As you review your samples, you can share your reviews with the Flaviar community. You, in turn, can read the reviews from other members. These can prove particularly helpful as you are looking to select a new whiskey to sample.
My Tasting Boxes
As I already mentioned, you’ll receive a complimentary tasting box every quarter as part of your membership. You can also purchase additional tasting boxes at discounted membership prices anytime you like.
The first tasting box I selected was the Alexander Murray box, a producer of scotch whiskey of whom I had never heard.
The sample box had some delicious whiskeys. They included:
- Bon Accord ($38.99/bottle): a seven-year Highland Single Malt Scotch.
- Monumental Blend 18 Year Old: ($90.99/bottle): a blended scotch whiskey.
- Laphroaig 12 Year Old ($102.99/bottle): a 12-year-old scotch with a strong peat flavoring.
My second box was called “Flavours of Scotch,” and included:
- Glenkinchie, 12 Year Old ($65.99/bottle)
- Dalwhinnie, 15 Year Old ($55.99/bottle)
- Talisker, Port Ruighe ($61.23/bottle)
As you can see, these sample boxes give you the opportunities to try whiskeys at a significantly discounted rate. You can try before you buy, a valuable proposition when speaking of good whiskey.
For example, I doubt that I would purchase a $103 bottle of Laphroaig 12-year-old scotch just to try it. So, without Flaviar, I probably would have never tried this whiskey at all.
A Wide Selection
There are a large number of different tasting boxes from which to choose, giving you the freedom to explore a wide range of different whiskeys and spirits.
Below are some boxes currently available on Flaviar, but note that these boxes regularly rotate with new ones appearing and old ones leaving all the time.
- Whiskey Gangs of New York, which includes samples of (a) Iron Smoke Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($50.99/bottle); (b) Widow Jane 10 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($61.99/bottle); and (c) Coppersea Excelsior Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($69.99/bottle).
- New World Single Malt, which includes samples of (a) Westward Whiskey Westward American Single Malt Whiskey ($70.99/bottle); (b) Copper Fox American Single Malt Whiskey ($48.99/bottle); (c) Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey ($63.99/bottle).
- Gin-Ne-Sais-Quoi, which includes samples of (a) Cotswolds Dry Gin ($39.99/bottle); (b) Opihr Oriental Spiced London Dry Gin ($35.99/bottle); (c) Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin ($55.99/bottle).
These are just three more examples among many.
In addition to your quarterly tasting boxes, you will also receive a quarterly $45 credit to use toward the purchase of any full bottle you’d like.
The first bottle I selected was the Glenrothes 12 Year Old scotch, an excellent whiskey for the price.
The second bottle I purchased using my membership credits was Old Elk Bourbon. This was an excellent bourbon that I may not have ever tried had Flaviar not recommended it to me.
In addition, every month, you can purchase whatever you’d like, including additional tasting boxes, at a discount, and with free shipping.
You don’t have to wait until your credits hit your account every quarter to buy your favorite whiskeys. You can order at any time, often at discounted membership rates, with free shipping to boot.
I have taken advantage of this offer many times. In addition to the purchases I have made using my quarterly credits, I have also purchased full bottles of:
- Johnnie Walker’s White Walker Edition, a great scotch at an extraordinarily low price ($23.99/bottle). While it clearly wasn’t the Blue Label—still my favorite scotch—it was a much better scotch than the price would suggest.
- Don Papa Small Batch Rum. This is the best rum that I have ever tasted and one of the best spirits I have ever had. I would never have tried it had I not received a sample of it from Flaviar. After trying it, I knew that I had to purchase a full bottle, so I did.
- Devil’s River Small Batch Texas Bourbon. I bought this bottle based on Flaviar’s recommendation, and I didn’t regret it. This is a delicious bourbon to have on hand.
I have sampled many whiskeys and spirits through Flaviar, and very few of them have I ever seen in my local liquor store. Liquor stores tend to stock a handful of the most popular brands, and that’s it. Getting your hands on anything outside these few select bottles can, therefore, be quite tricky.
Flaviar gives you access to hard to find bottles of whiskey from both big brands and smaller craft distilleries.
Flaviar also occasionally offers some exciting special products. For example, as the COVID-19 pandemic began, I purchased a Spirits of the World Calendar for $150.
This was set up like an Advent calendar with twenty-four different small doors to open, behind each of which was a sample of a different spirit.
Since I rarely venture beyond whiskey, this allowed me to sample a large number of different spirits. Most of them I had never tried, and many of them I had never even heard of before.
The calendar included the following samples:
- Larga Vida XO Rum 2019 Edition ($56.00/bottle)
- Hardy Cognac Legend 1863 ($50.99/bottle)
- Dictator 20 Year Old Solera System Rum ($63.99/bottle)
- Guillon Painturaud VSOP Cognac ($66.99/bottle)
- Ming River Sichuan Baijiu ($45.99/bottle)
- Roger Groult Calvados Pays d’Auge 3 Year Old Brandy ($60.99/bottle)
- Château de Léberon Solera 2001 Armagnac ($102.99/bottle)
- Cyril Zangs 00 Cider Eaue de Vie ($91.99/bottle)
- Navazos Palazzi Amontillado Cask Brandy ($74.99)
- Alamo Craft Gin (currently unavailable)
- Don Papa Small Batch Rum ($41.99/bottle)
- Volstead Vodka ($21.99/bottle)
- Alipus San Juan del Rio Mezcal ($51.99/bottle)
- Pau Maui Vodka ($21.99/bottle)
- Stolen Smoked Rum ($26.99/bottle)
- Death Wish Coffee Flavored Vodka ($42.99/bottle)
- Krogstad Aquavit ($30.99/bottle)
- Pisco Logia Acholado Brandy ($42.99/bottle)
- Paul Beau VS Cognac ($39.00/bottle)
- Copper & Kings Brandy Flaviar Single Barrel Selection (currently unavailable)
- Afrohead XO 15 Year Old Rum ($49.99/bottle)
- New Holland Artisan Spirits Knickerbocker Gin ($32.99/bottle)
- Singani 63 Brandy ($27.99/bottle)
- Madre Mezcal ($49.99/bottle)
As you can see, this was a great value, and it was a lot of fun—particularly while locked in my house. I keep my eyes open for unique products like this that Flaviar offers from time to time.
Like many whiskey lovers, I also love cigars. One of the things I love about whiskey and fine spirits is how well they can complement a good cigar.
Flaviar helps me to explore different whiskeys and spirits that I would like to have on hand to enjoy with whatever cigar I happen to be smoking that day.
In fact, I recently purchased the Love of Cigars Tasting Box, designed to provide samples of whiskeys and spirits that go particularly well with cigars. Included in the box were
- Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva ($38.99/bottle);
- Cognac Park Cigar Blend XO Vielle Fine Champagne Cognac ($149.99/bottle)
- The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve ($152.99/bottle).
I paid $38.99 for this sample pack, an exceptional value for the whiskeys included.
These were all delicious options, and I plan to purchase the Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve soon. I was hesitant to buy it before, given its price tag. Now that I have tried it, however, I know it’s a bottle I would like to keep in stock.
For example, once per month, Flaviar offers bottles from its Vault. These include extremely rare and hard to find spirits that are only available to members.
The price tags match the exclusivity, so I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase a bottle yet. Based on the feedback I have seen, however, I plan to keep my eye open for a bottle from the Vault that may be worth the splurge.
Flaviar also offers private bottlings to its members from time to time. The first private bottling, released in December 2015, was Deer, Bear, & Moose, a 20-year old single malt Scotch from Tobermory distillery.
Flaviar releases new such private bottlings regularly but only to members.
Finally, Flaviar frequently hosts live events. Such events have included Cognac tastings in Paris and a Whiskey Workshop at the Koval distillery in Chicago. Tickets are only available to members.
There are also other cool little things that Flaviar offers. For example, the home bar section of the app and website allows you to keep track of the whiskeys and spirits you currently have in stock.
You can then compare what you have with the types of whiskeys and spirits that Flaviar recommends every good bar maintain.
For example, above is a screenshot from my home bar. Flaviar recommends keeping at least one bottle of
As you can see, I am missing Cognac, Rye, and another bottle of Scotch.
I plan on filling in these gaps soon.
While, of course, you don’t have to follow their recommendation, this tool serves as a useful guide for me. It helps me stay organized to ensure I keep what I need in stock for guests or even just for myself.
Flaviar also allows me to fill in the gaps with the best whiskeys and spirits available anywhere within my price range. This is why Flaviar is the absolute best place to buy whiskey anywhere, online or otherwise.
Learning to Appreciate Whiskey
One of the best parts of being a Flaviar member has been the tools it has provided me to appreciate whiskey better. I am learning a lot about whiskey and spirits and how to understand the skill and effort that goes into creating them.
Every time I receive a new sample box or bottle, my wife and I taste them and try to discern the different flavor notes within them. We then compare what we came up with with the tasting notes Flaviar sends.
We’re starting to get pretty good at it, and it’s incredible the different flavors that come forward if you just learn to pay attention.
This has helped me learn to appreciate whiskey and spirits at a much deeper level than I did before.
Flaviar members also have access to the Flaviar School of Spirits, an online course on fine spirits.
Finally, the Flaviar Times is a regular newsletter that provides educational content to help members learn a little more about whiskeys and spirits every time they read it.
As I have already discussed, Flaviar teaches you how to taste whiskey, how to discern the different flavors within it, and how to figure out what you really like.
In addition, by giving you the ability to rate the different spirits and whiskeys that you try, Flaviar can put together customized recommendations just for you based on the feedback you provide.
So, the more whiskeys you taste and rate, the more accurate the recommendations will be. I have had the opportunity to discover whiskeys and spirits that I have come to love. Many of them I would have never even considered trying were it not for Flaviar’s recommendations.
For example, since being a member, I have really gotten into aged rum, something I never considered worth exploring before. (They go particularly well with cigars.)
Below is a screenshot from my account. As you can see, below the Home Bar section, there’s a heading that says, “Personalized Recommendations for Richard.” (I’m Richard, though I go by Garrett, thus the title of my website.)
Scroll down, and you see the place where you can click to show your personalized recommendations.
Click here, and, as you can see below, Flaviar’s recommendations, personalized just for you, pop up.
You can also narrow down Flaviar’s suggestions by category. So, if you’re looking for a good bottle of gin, for example, you can ask for gin recommendations.
The current recommendation options are:
- Overall recommendations
- Peated (generally Scotch) Whiskey
I love this option, and I have purchased some bottles through the recommendation feature. They have all been great.
I cannot recommend this club enough. I love being a member. So much so, that I am hesitant to move back to my home state of Arkansas when I finish graduate school in Connecticut because Flaviar is not available there.
There are two pricing options available based on the level of commitment you’re willing to make.
You can choose to renew your membership annually or quarterly. If you choose the quarterly option, it costs $31.69 per month, billed quarterly at $95.
If you’re willing to commit to a full year, however, the membership costs only $25 per month billed annually at $300.
So, there’s obviously a significant discount if you’re willing to commit to a full year. You can, however, switch from a quarterly to a yearly membership option at any time. I myself started off as a quarterly member.
Flaviar is currently available in thirty-eight states. Unfortunately, due to differing legal regimes among various states and territories, Flaviar is not yet available everywhere in the United States.
Currently, Flaviar is unavailable in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah.
My home state of Arkansas exemplifies crony capitalism in its alcohol regulations, but hopefully, these restrictions eventually lift.
Flaviar is the best place to buy whiskey, and I don’t want to let it go.
Flaviar started off as three friends getting together to taste fine spirits. This gradually led to the idea of providing tasting boxes to allow people to try small samples without breaking the bank to purchase whole bottles at a time.
That idea grew into the company that exists today.
I absolutely believe that Flaviar is the best place to buy whiskey anywhere. I highly recommend this club. I have loved being a member and the new experiences it has brought me.
I am a Flaviar affiliate, so I may receive a commission if you join Flaviar using one of the links on this page. I did not become an affiliate, however, until I had been a member for more than six months and realized how much I love this service.
If you’re interested in becoming a member, I would greatly appreciate it if you would use my affiliate link to join. If that makes you uncomfortable, however, I still highly recommend the club. Just navigate over to Flaviar’s website yourself to check it out.
Flaviar is the best place to buy whiskey, bar none.