Like surprises through the post? That's the spirit!
If you love spirits and enjoy trying new flavours but can't justify splashing out on bottles that you might not even like then Flaviar might be up your street. Each month, or every 3 (depending on the subscription) you get 5 x 45ml sample sized bottles of premium spirit to delivered to your door, along with tasting instructions and information on where the booze has come from.
In our welcome pack we received 5 whiskies; each pack is designed for 3 people to partake in a tasting session and so we did as suggested and had a blind taste test with 3 participants, we kept the names hidden but numbered them and here's how we got on...
Number 1 was dark brown in colour with a very smokey aroma (described as "like kippers" by one of us!) and a bit of musky after-shave too! It tasted pretty strong, rich & heavy-going but importantly smooth and we all thought it was an Islay whisky.
Number 2 was straw coloured and a bit chemical and winey - like a sauvignon blanc, it was light & sweet so like something you'd drink with a dessert
Number 3 was light and straw coloured too but was a bit more fruity and nutty. It was thicker and oilier and even tasted a bit salty - we all agreed so we thought this was another Islay or west-coast Scottish whisky.
Number 4 was darker with a sweet vanilla, caramel and citrus fruit aroma. It tasted smooth and sweet with just a hint of smoke. We thought this might be a west coast whisky in a bourbon cask
Number 5 was red/brown in appearance with sweet toffee/caramel. It was rich and smooth and we thought it might be from a sherry cask.
And then we totted up the results number 4 won and to our surprise our favourite wasn't a Scottish whisky at all but in fact a 10 year Japanese whisky! It was only then that we realised that we had a "whiskies of the world" pack and that it wasn't restricted to Scotland!
And so the results of the 1st Food & Drink Glasgow blind whisky tasting session are in:
1st place: Nikka Yoichi 10 year old
2nd place: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
3rd place: Santis swiss peated*
4th place: Amrut Indian single malt**
5th place: Greenore Irish whisky
*We had no idea there was such a thing as a Swiss whisky though we have tried French and Swedish whisky before!
**Strangely we have actually tried a couple of Amrut Indian whiskies before!
So how did our taste notes compare with those in the pack? Well we didn't differ too much (geography aside of course), the Japanese whisky actually won Whisky magazine's best of the best in 2001 so we felt justified about our choice and we thought the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban had a sherry-like quality but it was from a port cask so we weren't too far off.
Flaviar is a great idea and we had a lot of fun with our tasting session. It's an excellent idea for a get together with friends. I perish the thought of the cost of various types of Whisky, Gin etc bought to try and then find out you don't like it. With this you can try some, have a chat, learn something and find a new tipple.
The quarterly subscription is £29.99 inc. postage and you will receive 1 pack every 3 months, while the monthly subscription is £24.99 and you will of course receive 1 pack every month.