I’ve been finding that alcohol of the month clubs are a surprisingly fun way to learn more about different spirits and just expand my palate. I started out with beer of the month clubs and am now experimenting with whisky of the month clubs as well like bourbon clubs.
With this post, I’m narrowing that selection down further – to just Scotch of the month clubs. Why Scotch whisky? Well first, there are so many general clubs that lists for individual styles really are needed. Plus, Scotch whisky is increasing in popularity, with many more people trying it out.
The most obvious difference is that Scotch whisky is made in Scotland. It is also spelled as whisky not whiskey and must be aged for at least 3 years in an oak barrel. The whisky is primarily made from malted barley, although some other grains may be used as well.
As with all spirits, the flavor varies based on many factors. The age of the whisky, the manufacturer and the batch all play a role, and there are other aspects as well. But, in general, Scotch whisky very often has a smokiness that persists. That comes from the peat which is used to roast the barley. The smokiness means that Scotch whisky doesn’t mix well but there are some cocktails that use it.
Not all scotches have smokey peat flavor though! Especially with Japanese Whiskys, they tend to not use peat, though they sometimes do filter through charred bamboo which can give it a unique, earthy flavor.
If you want to experiment with different types of Scotches, Flaviar has a great subscription program where you can get “tasters” of different whiskies from around the island (Highland, Lowland, Islay, peated, non-peated, etc), plus you have access to Japanese, Scotch, and American bourbon. It also makes a great gift since you get to try multiple distilleries without committing to a full bottle.
For those who really want to go nuts, the Tasters Club PRO Scotch club is $184/month, and they promise to deliver rarest, fine scotch whiskies. At that price…they’d better! Scotch in general has a much higher “top end” than any other type of spirit, so the price of these clubs really span the spectrum.
The clubs on this list specialize in Scotch whisky, so you’ll receive Scotch every time. I’ve also included some other options, such as gift boxes and baskets. These can also be good ways to get your whisky and could be gifts to someone else or to yourself.
Scotch Of The Month Clubs
***Did you know?*** Flaviar has mini “taster kits” for many types of spirits including scotch, bourbon, tequila, gin, brandy, and more. Get 3 vials of your favorite spirits to try, plus free shipping. Then, get access to exclusive bottles and tastings of hard-to-find spirits at Flaviar.com.
General Scotch of the Month Clubs
Mash & Grape
Mash & Grape offers a Scotch Explorer Club, which starts at $79 per month. Each shipment contains a hand-selected single malt Scotch whisky, along with tasting notes and information about the whisky. The exact whisky you get will vary but the company does focus on independent bottlers and smaller distillers. This should give you access to some more unusual selections.
The club is described as offering bottles that are “sometimes exclusive, sometimes rare, and always exceptional”, which sums it up nicely. Previous shipments have included Balvenie 14 Year Carribean Cask, Highland Park Valkyrie, and Usquaeback 15 Year Old.
The club also offers some other bonuses too. One is first access to new products and the other is a concierge service, which can help you find specific items. Both are useful if you tend to buy high-quality whisky for your collection. Even if you don’t, the club itself is worth trying.
Pour More is a good company if you like having options. Instead of just one Scotch of the Month club, they have three! The clubs each give you a single 750ml bottle of Scotch each month, along with information on the production technique and history of the whisky.
The three options are Intro (starting at $55 per shipment), Explorer (starting at $89 per shipment), and Enthusiast (starting at $149 per shipment). The main difference is the quality of the products, as the higher tiers feature more expensive and rarer bottles of Scotch. These are perfect for people who strongly care about quality and like the style of monthly clubs.
However, Pour More doesn’t provide details about the specific expressions they ship out. This is frustrating, especially as companies vary dramatically in the quality of their choices.
Taster’s Club is another one with multiple Scotch of the Month clubs. The first of these is a basic club, which costs $79.99 per month. It offers a 750ml bottle from one of the famous whisky regions in Scotland. Members are also signed up for a Whisky 101 course, which offers information and insight about whisky.
The second club is their Scotch Pro, which currently costs $184.99 per month. Once again, the club offers more unusual bottles of whisky and ones that are difficult to find. Members of this club become part of Whisky 101 too, although they get more updates.
The Whisky 101 aspect is useful because the information isn’t just about the bottles you’re receiving. Instead, you get other knowledge too. This includes details about whisky styles and production techniques, as well as how to taste and evaluate whisky. This is perfect for beginners and most clubs provide much less information.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Unlike most companies on this list, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a little exclusive. The society itself is an international club that hopes to promote discovery and education among Scotch whisky lovers. Members have various bonuses, including a magazine subscription and the ability to purchase exclusive whiskies. Membership costs $99 for the first year and $70 subsequently.
That cost may sound low – but it’s just for membership, not for their Bottle of the Month club. You need to be a society member to join the monthly club. Once you are a member, you simply pay the price for the bottle each month. This is always somewhere between $90 and $200. Members of the club receive a bottle of ‘Amanda’s Selection’ each month, along with a free bottle after 12 months.
If the society sounds interesting to you, then it may be worth looking into the club. If not, there is no shortage of other options.
Aries Fine Wine & Spirits
The Beginner Scotch Whisky of the Month club from Aries costs $79.99 if you pay month-to-month, which is similar to other clubs. The price per month decreases if you pay for longer periods, like 6 months or a year.
The club offers a tasting glass and tasting journal when you initially sign up (which is cool!). On a monthly basis, you get a full-sized bottle of whisky, along with information about it and tasting notes.
As clubs go, this one isn’t awful and you’re getting a decent amount for your money. Even so, there isn’t all that much detail on the website and it is a fairly basic WordPress site (there are also a few issues with formatting and spelling). With so many clubs out there, why take the risk?
Set Period Clubs
These Scotch of the month clubs have a specific duration. Once that’s finished, you would have to re-subscribe. In most cases, they are designed as gifts, although you could easily buy them for yourself too.
Spirited Gifts offers two main choices if you want a Scotch club. The first is their Scotch Lovers Club, which costs $289 for 3 months. The other is their Scotch Single Malt Club, which costs $399 for 3 months. In both cases, you’re just getting a 750ml bottle of Scotch whisky each month. This means you’re not getting tasting notes or any extra information.
There is no option to extend the membership either. Even so, Spirited Gifts is a reliable company. If you like the style, it’s not a bad one to rely on. The site also has two images showing whisky bottles. You aren’t guaranteed to get those expressions but are likely to receive something of similar quality.
Mel & Rose
Mel & Rose follows a similar style with their 6-month Scotch Lovers Club. In this case, the total price is $650 and you receive gift wrapped bottles. Exactly which bottles you get are a surprise but the company states that they include brands like Johnnie Walker. This suggests that you’re not getting unusual whiskies.
I think this membership would make a powerful gift. It could also be a way to restock your bar. But, it isn’t perfect if you want to broaden your horizons.
1-877 Spirits has a 3-month Scotch Lovers Club that costs $229. This one really is best as a gift – because the company specifies which whiskies you get in the listing. The Scotch for the first month is Johnnie Walker Black Label and you then get Dewar’s 12 Year Old followed by Chivas Regal 12 Year Old.
Crates and Boxes
For alcoholic baskets and boxes – it’s hard to go past Spirited Gifts. Most of their Scotch whisky baskets offer a single full-size bottle of whisky, along with at least 6 snacks. Common snacks include chocolate, nuts, pretzels, and truffles.
The baskets are premade but tend to feature different whiskies. This lets you choose based on which whisky you want to gift. As with most baskets, you’re not getting extremely uncommon brands – but there are still decent ones in the mix.
The Bro Basket
Gifts from The Bro Basket tend to have much more variation and there are some premade Scotch whisky options. With these, you’re often getting more than just snacks.
For example, the Junior Executive box includes whisky stones, a cigar, Ghirardelli chocolate, and Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch. On the other hand, The Scotch Collection has miniature bottles of Scotch, along with bar-style snacks.
The site also lets you build your own or customize other gifts. So, you could pick a different gift and change the alcohol to be Scotch.
Pompeii Gift Baskets
Pompeii Gift Baskets doesn’t have a wide selection of Scotch whisky gifts but they do have some. The option I particularly like is Man Cave Essentials, which is a Scotch and beer gift basket. This would be a fun gift for many people or just for yourself.
Master of Malt – Tasting Sets
The products from Master of Malt are actually tasting sets. These give you the chance to try small amounts of whiskies that you would never normally buy. One example is their Regions of Scotland Set, which contains whiskies from 10 to 16 years old.
For the amount you get, these tasting kits aren’t cheap. Even so, they’re perfect for experimenting. They’re typically much less expensive than buying even one full bottle of the samples included.
The one catch is that Master of Malt doesn’t currently deliver to the United States.
Mel & Rose
Mel & Rose isn’t all about alcohol, but they do have an extensive selection of gift baskets. Unfortunately, these are just grouped as spirits baskets and there are more than 150 of them to go through. In that mix are some interesting Scotch whisky baskets, such as the Scotch-Lover’s Dream.
What’s The Best High End Scotch Whisky Club?
Taster’s Club is a good choice for high end Scotch whisky, as their Scotch Pro subscription features rare and limited Scotch whisky expressions. It includes expressions that are tough to find any other way.
The subscription from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is appealing as well. This club focuses on premium bottles of whiskey, worth somewhere between $90 and $200.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky vs Blended Scotch
Conversations about Scotch whisky often focus on either single malts or blended Scotch. So, what’s the difference?
Blended Scotch whisky often involves a blend of malt whisky with some grain whisky. The goal is to create an expression that’s consistent from one year to the next. Many blended Scotch whiskies also source their whiskey from distilleries across Scotland.
Single malt whisky is still a blend, but it only relies on malt whisky. There isn’t any grain whisky in there at all. Single malts also come from a single distillery. However, they don’t come from just one barrel or from one harvest.
Delicious Scotch Whisky Cocktails
Sipping Scotch is the best way to enjoy all the nuanced flavors of the spirit, particularly if you’re looking at a peaty product. However, this isn’t your only option. There are plenty of amazing Scotch whisky cocktails that allow the spirit to shine. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Rob Roy is basically a whisky-based martini, with Angostura bitters added for extra flavor. It’s named after the Scottish outlaw Rob Roy, so preparing this with Scotch whiskey is the only way to go.
The cocktail is slightly sweet and distinctly smoky. It’s strongly influenced by the flavor of the Scotch, so a peaty expression will shine through.
The old fashioned is one of the most classic whisky cocktails, partly because it contains few ingredients. The traditional version simply involves muddying a sugar cube with bitters at the bottom of an old fashioned glass, then adding whisky.
Because the cocktail just relies on bitters, sugar, and whisky, the Scotch whisky flavors really stand out. This is also a great option for anyone who finds it difficult to drink whisky neat.
Here’s another famous cocktail. It’s a simple one too, as it just relies on whisky and amaretto – often equal measures of each. You can use any type of whisky, but a blended Scotch is particularly good. This provides a rich and smoky flavor profile.
You can play around with the ratios here. Some people even make a whisky heavy version of the cocktail, which just uses a splash of amaretto for extra complexity.
Scotch And Soda
There’s also this classic. It’s exactly what the name implies – a two-ingredient drink made using Scotch and club soda. The soda is an excellent way to decrease the intensity of Scotch without hiding any of the flavors.
I have to admit if I was paying 100.00 a month and got a bottle of Johnny Walker Black I would be extremely unhappy since I can get it delivered for 40.00. Almost all of these options are 80 to 100 dollars monthly. How many of the bottles are worth that much retail? I can’t imagine many. IT just doesn’t seem reasonable to me since I can go to the guy down the street and get just about any bottle these guys would send me.
What would have been extremely helpful in this article is a sample list of a full year of actual bottles delivered by each company and each tier. Then we could compare value. If the point of these clubs is to pay 80.00 for a monthly disappointment then I pass.
The most obvious difference is that Scotch whisky is made in Scotland. It is also spelled as whisky not whisky and must be aged for at least 3 years in an oak barrel. The whisky is primarily made from malted barley, although some other grains may be used as well.
You mean whisky not whiskey right?
Food For Net
Yes. I’ve fixed that. Thanks Lou!
any recommendation for a high end tasting club? small tastings of different very good to excellent scotch/whiskey?