Updated: Jun 21, 2019
Flaviar’s Club for Spirits Enthusiasts
Throughout 2018, we kept receiving emails/ads from a site called Flaviar. Having never heard of the company, we decided to look into it to see what it was about. Flaviar promotes itself as a club for spirits enthusiasts, and the “go-to place to discover and taste fine spirits.” With a unique aesthetic, including kitschy drawings of human bodies with animal heads dressed in 19th century formal wear and a colorfully illustrated Flavour Spiral™, the club initially drew us in. The website promised a lot, yet the look and humorous tone suggested that the people at Flaviar did not take themselves too seriously.
With a reported database of of 15,000 spirits (including whisk(e)y, rum, gin, brandy & cognac, tequila & mezcal, among others), Flaviar offers both full bottles and tasting boxes for purchase. The tasting boxes typically include three 50ml bottles vials - about 2 drams per vial - filled with a different spirit which typically follows a theme for the box (“The Secret Flavors of Japan”, “Whiskey Gangs of New York”). Intrigued by the tasting boxes and the complementary box per quarter included in a membership, we decided to sign up for a year to see if anything caught our eye. In addition to access to the tasting boxes included in the membership, members are able to purchase tasting boxes and full bottles from the database. The database includes the “Vault,” which features rare bottles at some impressively high prices.
Upon signing up, we received the Flaviar Welcome Box containing Breckenridge Bourbon, Few Rye, and Wolfburn Aurora in addition to a full bottle of Mitcher’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon. (Read our review on the Mitcher’s here). We were impressed by the packaging: a cylindrical, foam lined case, and a ceramic coaster insert in the lid that keeps a variety of round tasting note cards in place.
Flaviar Welcome Box
Founded in 2008, Breckenridge produces a number of bourbon and different cask finished whiskeys.
Eyes: Pure golden amber color - more gold than red or yellow; rich texture in the glass with long legs
Nose: Initial aromas of dry oak resembling like a hobby store, or the scent of a library’s musty pages; Later, we picked up notes of stone fruit, particularly peach
Taste: The flavor evokes stone fruit as well, tart & sweet like peach preserves.
Finish: Dry tannic oak flavor with some minerality to it. A finish like a reisling.
The nose resembled the taste quite closely with this bourbon.
Few Rye Whiskey
Few hails from nearby Evanston, IL, and has been producing a variety of spirits using small batch production techniques.
Eyes: The rye has a bright copper color - almost like a brand new shiny penny with a rich texture in the glass.
Nose: The nose had aromas of fresh ground black pepper, coriander and a bit of tree bark.
Taste: The flavor was warming, with notes of cinnamon and cloves mixed with fresh, hearty wheat bread.
Finish: Buttery sour finish with a bit of pepper on the end.
Wolfburn Aurora Single Malt
Wolfburn claims to be the northernmost distillery located in the Scottish mainland. The Aurora variety is a Highland single malt finished in a combination of ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks.
Eyes: Pale gold, like the color of a witbier with a lighter texture in the glass.
Nose: The aroma was sour and yeasty, like freshly poured beer or sourdough bread dough.
Taste: The flavor was also slightly sour and quite oily, with a texture like thin olive oil. Mid palate we tasted dried apricots
Finish: The finish was salty with some maritime influence, a little bit like fresh oysters and lemon.
Overall, we enjoyed our first Flaviar tasting box. The packaging and portions were both useful, and we had more than enough to share the 3 different whiskies. Our tasting notes were different than the ones in provided by Flaviar, but there was enough overlap that we remained in same ballpark. Of the three, we enjoyed the Breckenridge bourbon the most, primarily because the taste was a departure from the classic bourbon flavor profile. While we had tried the Aurora in a past advent calendar, the single malt is a bit harder to find and we were happy to get a second taste. Since we purchased the membership, you can look forward to reading about a few tasting boxes in the future.