Best Whiskey Subscription Service
the pros and cons

“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”
-Raymon Chandler

 

It’s ever whiskey lover’s dream to have quality bourbon, rye, or scotch show up at their door with as little effort as possible- which is why the whiskey subscription industry has been booming. But with so many options out there, it leads to the question, which is the best whiskey subscription service? 

Before we get to which is the best whiskey subscription service, it’s important to understand what exactly a whiskey subscription service is. Whiskey subscription services are gaining in popularity, and allow you to sample some amazing spirits from the comfort of your own home.  It’s the perfect way to find your next favorite distillery, and get to know different whiskeys without doing your own research by trusting an ‘expert’.

Related: Neat: The Story of Bourbon Review

But like all things, not all whiskey subscription services are made equal, so we’ve picked three popular services to compare.  In this comparison I’ll give you my thoughts on each and which one is my favorite in the hopes of helping you determine which is the best whiskey subscription service for you

FLAVIAR Whiskey Club

Cost:  $300/yr, $95/Quarter

Flaviar promises an “authentic distillery tour experience” brought to your doorstep.  Not only will you have access to some hard to find spirits, you’re joining a community of spirit lovers who have tasted and reviewed each bottle. They will even facilitate tasting parties for a group experience.  

How Flaviar Works:

Choose which type of spirit you would like to receive.  They have it all:  Vodka, Rum, Gin, Bourbon & Rye, Brandy & Cognac, Whisk(e)y.   From there, pick which brands and flavors you already know that you like.  Flaviar will guide you towards flavor notes, such as caramel and spice, which it recognizes in your picks.

Every three months you will receive a tasting box, with three 1.5-ounce sample vials, enough for two people to taste.  Each taster comes with a cheat-sheet 

Pros of flavior:

Flaviar is an excellent way to try new whiskey, without having to purchase an entire bottle.  It’s cheaper than purchasing the shots at a bar, and you can sample from your own house with friends.  You can mix and match, if you want to try bourbon along with a scotch, or switch your subscription to a different spirit entirely.  With 20,000 spirits to choose from, many from smaller distilleries, you won’t be bored with the selection any time soon.

After you’ve found your favorite, the full bottle per quarter is an excellent way to stock your bar cart.  With Flaviar, you have access to limited releases, and hard to find bottles.

Having a flavor profile and a whole community of 850,000 users tasting with you offers a much deeper look at the whiskey you are sampling.  

Other perks include unlimited free shipping, referral bonuses, and access to live and virtual tasting events.

Cons of flaviar:

While Flaviar is a wonderful service for whiskey drinkers who are just starting out, it’s a little on the pricey side for what you get.  Tasting bottles are a great way to sample new whiskey, but many people prefer having their own bottle that they can continue to enjoy or share with friends.  Flaviar has access to some hard to find spirits as tasters, but not all of these are available as full bottles.

The tasting box only ships quarterly, not monthly, and you are not allowed to skip a quarter.

Join Flaviar

Rackhouse Whiskey Club

Cost:  $89-$129/two months

Some of the best, hard to find, small batch craft whiskey is available at your fingertips through RackHouse Whiskey Club.  Started by Dannie Strable out his house in Iowa, the subscription service now has members in 39 states.  This subscription service is already hands down the best whiskey subscription service as far as small batch enthusiasts are concerned.  They focus on the story of the distilleries almost as much as they focus on the whiskey itself, giving you a full appreciation of the origins of your dram.  The website is a wealth of information for whiskey aficionados, including documentary style interviews with craft distilleries.

How RAckhouse works

Every two months, RackHouse Whiskey Club subscribers will receive either one ($89) or two ($129) full size bottles of premium craft whiskey.  These bottles are curated by a head distiller, and are generally not available at your local liquor store.  All subscribers receive the same bottles.

Along with your bottles, you will receive some whiskey merchandise from the distilleries.  You may receive a shot glass, or a tasting journal, or another specialty item available only to subscribers.

Follow along with the stories of the featured distilleries, and experience your bottles with the rest of the online community.

Pros of rackhouse

Craft whiskey enthusiasts know how difficult it can be to get their hands on quality bottles, given the small batches and limited quantities available.  RackHouse Whiskey Club guarantees you at least one hard to find bottle every two months + a kickass story to go with it.  Being able to choose either one bottle or two allows subscribers some flexibility, and you can cancel the membership after 60 days.

If you just want a one-off shipment, RackHouse offers a gift box at a reasonable $159.

One of the best parts of this subscription service is the fact that it is veteran owned, and you are supporting American small businesses with your subscription.

Cons of rackhouse 

If you are looking for taster sizes, this subscription service is not for you – they only provide full size bottles.  RackHouse features one distillery every two months, and if you miss out on that round, you cannot order it again.

The RackHouse Whiskey Club is only available in some states, and as of right now they will not ship outside of the United States.

Join RackHouse

Pour More

Cost:  $49-$79/ month

Pour More offers some of the top variety as far as the best whiskey subscription service goes.    The company boasts a huge selection of whiskey, bourbon, tequila, and mescal, and you can focus on one type or go with the Bartender Club for a mixture.

How it works

Choose from 8 different clubs, depending on which spirit you’re interested in, and how often you want to receive bottles. 

Their whiskey packages start at $49, and go up depending on how many bottles you’d prefer, and what kind of whiskey you’re interested in receiving. 

Pros of Pour More

Pour More offers a lot of flexibility in their subscription service.  They offer a ton of different spirits, and you can change the frequency of how often you receive bottles. 

Depending on how much you want to spend, you can select from their “tiers” which will provide you with whiskey at different price points. If you’re interested in whiskey from around the world, you’ll be happy to know that you can get Japanese whiskey, scotch, or American whiskey.  

Cons of Pour More

Pour More does not ship to all states, making it less accessible than the other subscription services on our list.  They also do not allow you to see the types of whiskies that you will be receiving with your subscription, which can be fun, but also a little scary when you’re purchasing bottles with no idea of comparable

And the best whiskey subscription service winner is…

While all the whiskey subscription services on our list are superb in their own unique ways, my personal favorite whiskey subscription service is RackHouse Whiskey Club. 

This service and concept is unique because not only will consistently receive rare and quality whiskey (which should be a given when joining a whiskey subscription service), but you also get the whiskey’s story.  The story about the how the whiskey was made in the first place, the backstory of the distillery itself, and learn about the employees who are making it. If I’m a sucker for anything, it’s a good story, and a glass of whiskey on the rocks- RackHouse provides both.

The human factor and entertainment factor that RackHouse provides is what sets them apart for me.

 

The honorable mention goes to Flaviar, especially for those just starting out with whiskey tasting.  Flaviar allows you to sample some fine whiskey without the commitment of purchasing full bottles.  


Why Use a Whiskey Subscription Service

If you dream of having quality whiskey show up at your door, curated specifically to your interests and tastes, a whiskey subscription service is for you.  It’s the ultimate way to increase your whiskey knowledge while sampling some spirits that you likely would never be able to get your hands on otherwise. 

Give one of the companies on our list a try, and determine the best whiskey subscription service for you.

Stay Gold

Todd

About Todd Smidt

Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, High West, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world, drinking whiskey, and writing about it.

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