Distillery views: Blair Athol & Dalwhinnie

2016-09-30

Compass Box continues to piss off Official Whisky Bodies

2016-10-04

My 3 Favourite Whisky Subscription Boxes

2016-09-30

You all know this happy feeling when checking your mailbox and see that there’s a package waiting for you, it just feels like Christmas every time, even knowing that you actually paid for it… But who cares? The pleasure of unpacking this surprise parcel is already thrilling (oh come on guys, I’m not the only materialistic one around here, right?)!

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Whisky boxes can also be the perfect way to improve your whisky knowledge by discovering new flavours, expressions or distilleries without breaking the bank and can actually be good fun if you decide, for instance, to organise a blind tasting with friends (don’t have friends? Good for you then, you won’t have to share your liquid present!). Yes, those whisky-straight-to-your-doorstep services have many perks to me.

Anyway, as materialistic & completely addicted to this concept as I may be, I’ve had the occasion to test & approve (or not) many of those malted services – let me then introduce you to my favourite whisky subscription boxes!

 

Craft Whisky Club (26.95£/month)

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Forget the itsi-bitsi-tini-ouini samples, Craft Whisky Club is seeing things bigger and brings a whole full-size bottle to your doorstep every 2 months for only 26.95£ per month (2 bottles for 49.95£). Oh yes, you heard that right! Their aim is also to introduce their subscribers to new distilleries or expressions they may not have heard of before AND all their boxes include foodie delights to pair with your dram. The latest box I received featured While We Wait from R&B Distillers which was pleasantly accompanied with Dark Caramel Salt chocolate from Chocolate Tree and some yummy cheese oatcakes *drooling*

I asked David Nicol, the man behind the box, what was the idea behind CWC:

A couple of years ago I met Alasdair Day, co-founder of R&B Distillers and our conversations reignited my love of the provenance of whisky. Alasdair and I became friends. We had many chats about the trend in craft whisky and that got me thinking. For 25 years now, I have been building startup technology businesses, and as a technologist I am always looking for new and exciting challenges. I am a subscriber to both a small-vineyard wine club and a craft beer club, but what I really want is someone to help me discover this new era of craft whisky.

I  then decided to set up a company and I joined the Scottish Craft Distillers Association. I felt I could use my inquisitive nature, technical skills and love of whisky to help others discover the new craft whisky producers. These whiskies are amazing, and are really competing with the best out there, so they shouldn’t be ignored. I feel that by finding new routes to market we are helping the new producers focus on what they do best, making great whisky using local ingredients, in low volumes and with minimal automation. What I realised early on, is that it is very important for the new craft producers to develop their brand identity, so at all stages through my thinking and development of the Craft Whisky Club platform, I am very conscious of letting those brands do their own talking. 

“We provide full bottles because after all, that’s the real deal.”

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Tasting Collection (34.95€/month)

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Because WIT (Whisky In Tube) can also be cool and because those boxes are just so stylish on my shelves. I particularly enjoy the fact that the selection of whiskies is made by a different whisky personality every month which took a bit of his personal time to write a few lines about each dram they selected and why, creating some sort of connection between you and them with this weird feeling to kind of “know them a bit better”. I actually had the chance to come up with my own selection for the May 2016 Tasting Collection and I really enjoyed the experience!

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Wishky (from 25£/month)

Wishky is probably the latest subscription boxes on the market, trying to make a name for itself in what has recently become a very competitive environment… When I first had the box delivered to me, I was already more than convinced with its crafty-styled packaging & approach.

Wishky is probably the most flexible box at the moment, with offers varying rom 25£ a month for a 3-whisky pack to £372 for a 6-month subscription as a 4-whisky pack “share box”. And this concept of “share box” got me quite intrigued! This sounds like a brilliant idea to me and I really like the way Wishky is encouraging people to get together to enjoy their whisky. “You may like to experience new whiskies with a close friend. We’ve got your back. Select our (We’ll share it) payment option and we’ll simply send you two boxes of the same whiskies each month to one address” – You know me, I think whisky tastes a hundred times better when sipped in good company so I was won over with this idea!