The world of whisky is a vast one.
While the breadth of variety can be overwhelming at first glance, often it’s the price of whisky that presents the biggest hurdle to keen novices, particularly here in Australia. As many enthusiasts will tell you, the best way to learn the differences between whiskies from different countries or regions is to taste them side by side, so going out to buy a bunch of bottles to make this possible isn’t exactly cheap.
Everyone you speak to will have different opinions on which bottles should be your first (I’d probably suggest a nice Speyside single malt) but unless you’ve got at least a couple of hundred bucks to spare, it’s gonna be tricky to get your hands on a decent spread of flavours.
An Australian subscription service called Whisky Loot is a decent place for beginners to start their journey, offering three 60ml bottles of premium whisky specifically curated to help you learn about the liquor on a monthly basis.
Starting at a cost of $49 per month, the three bottles showcase whiskies from distilleries all around the world. The first box also comes with a tasting journal, which is handy for documenting and understanding your likes and dislikes when it comes to whisky. You’ll also get access to exclusive pricing on full bottles, so if you find something you really like, you can get it at a discounted price.
Tasting videos sent via email will introduce you to the whiskies in your box for the month, their history, terminologies used to describe them and more. As the months go on, you’ll be able to build up an understanding of different regions, tastes, ages and other characteristics that set whiskies apart.
“Over the course of a year, you’ll be introduced to whisky of different regions, terminology, flavour profiles and the history, together with some exclusive hard-to-find bottles,” the website reads. “Each month you’ll receive a new box of three rare and hard-to-find drams, along with a tasting video via email.”
If you’re after a gift for someone or just a one-off purchase for yourself, Whisky Loot also offers those for $79.
And for those curious about the spelling of whisky vs whiskey and what terms like “single malt” mean, you can see a great explainer on all that here.