For newbies to the world of single malt whiskies, learning the differences between drams and finding out what you like is a daunting proposition. Even for more well-acquainted whisky drinkers, seeking out new bottles can be fun but also a massive time suck. And worse, it can get very pricey, very quickly. The owners of London whisky bar Black Rock get that, so they created Whisky Me—a subscription service that mails out a different whisky every month, so you can try new and rare bottlings one drink at a time.
It’s part of Black Rock owners Tristan Stephenson and Thomas Aske’s plan to simplify the whole whisky experience. At the bar, for example, they organize their whiskies both by price and by flavor profile, so even whisky novices can look at the shelf and know exactly what they’re getting. With Whisky Me, they mail out drams in plastic pouches—similar to a disposable flask or boozy Capri Sun, minus the straw—and provide drinkers with “simple, useful explanations of what [they’re] drinking.” The pouches are thin enough to be popped right through a mail slot, so they can be delivered with no signature necessary.
According to Scotch Whisky magazine, the contents of the pouches will change every month and include samples from distilleries like The Macallan, Aberfeldy and Royal Lochnagar. An annual subscription gets you one pouch (about 1.6 fluid ounces) a month and costs 84 pounds a year, which comes out to a little more than $9 a month. The one downside: The service is only available in the U.K. But as the Whisky Me site says, hopefully that will just be a temporary thing. While you’re waiting for whisky pouches to become available in your locale, you can always pass the time by stocking up on full bottles. We’d recommend these single malts to get started.