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Best whisky subscriptions

6 Best Whisky Clubs and Subscriptions in Australia

If you love whisky and keep a healthy rotation of bottles in your liquor cabinet, then you more or less already belong to a whisky club. You might be the sole member and curator of that particular subscription, but you’re trying new expressions every month which is the basic idea behind the entire concept. Some of the best whisky subscription services in Australia that we’ve tried and tested below offer that same experience with a little more expertise at the helm and far fewer trips to the liquor store. Others bring a tasting event directly into your living room by sending you samples. Let’s check out our favourites!

Best Whisky Clubs and Subscriptions at a Glance

Our list includes the following highlights:

Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATED: If you want our recommendations, check out our list of the best Scotch whiskies.

The whisky club
The Whisky Club | Image: Supplied

1. The Whisky Club

Price: from AU$120-150/ month plus $15 postage Australia-wide.

  • Pros: You’re getting an exclusive, limited, and never-to-be-repeated bottle of whisky for between $120-150 per month which makes it a fantastic deal for people who are starting or continuing their whisky journey. You can opt-in or opt-out easily through your account to avoid any unwanted bottles.
  • Cons: If you choose to subscribe every month you end up with a lot of whisky bottles collecting dust (even though they’re collectable). As such, we recommend choosing only those bottles that you truly desire to avoid stockpiles.

How it works: There are hundreds of exceptional, critically acclaimed whiskies from around the world that we often miss out on because of our geographical location. The Whisky Club exists to solve that problem, collaborating with a select distillery every month to create a one-off bottle that they send to you for a flat fee of between $120-150 plus postage. It’s that simple.

They tell you what the whisky is on the first Friday of the month (opt-out available three days within 3-days) but you can grab a little sneak peek in advance if you follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Why you should join: Aside from their character, rarity and exclusivity, each whisky is selected because it’s delicious. There’s also a value-for-money proposition at play here because the company is often sending you a bottle of whisky for a fraction of the price it’s truly worth. The brand notes that some bottles have even fetched upwards of $2,000 at overseas auctions because of their rarity and taste!

With the opt-out system being so flexible, you only pay for what you drink and can stay for as few or as many bottles as you like. They also provide a full education on each dram, with tasting notes and more information on the distillery and the expression given with each delivery.

Similar to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, you can save money in venues and through bottle shops – 20% off drams at their associated clubhouses and 10% at clubhouse cellar doors.

The Whisky Club is for dram lovers at all stages of their boozy journey. Whether you’re curious to learn more about whisky or you’re a seasoned traveller looking to venture into otherwise unchartered whisky territory we recommend it for all. Keep an eye out for their small group member ‘field trips’ and events to complete your full whisky experience.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society | Image: Supplied

2. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Price: from AU$120/ year

  • Pros: The most exclusive whisky club for high-brow Scotch whisky drinkers who want all the perks and benefits. Discounts on drams at specified venues, event invitations, and rare bottlings are all included perks and you can scale up your subscription to get a bottle of whisky per month.
  • Cons: If you want a bottle of whisky sent to your door you’re paying $229 per month which makes it considerably more expensive than The Whisky Club. That being said, the bottles are generally rarer, more exclusive, and produced in smaller batches so they become highly collectable in some cases.

How it works: Different to ‘The Whisky Club’ in key areas, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society charges a $120 per year fee to grant access to exclusive drams, events, and a subscription to the award-winning Unfiltered Magazine and monthly Outturn. Most importantly, this grants you access to SMSW Members’ Rooms and Partner Bars around the world, saving you money on exclusive drams, including preferential pricing for events.

Higher membership tiers are available ($229 per month) that get you one bottle of whisky every month which equals or exceeds the price. Once per year, one of the twelve bottles will be a premium livery selection that’s valued above $399. Be warned though, there’s a minimum commitment of 12 months.

Why you should join: This is best suited to experienced whisky drinkers looking for a premium offering with exclusive membership benefits. Paying the basic $129 per year subscription gets you access to exclusive events and the ability to purchase and taste rare whiskies, but it’s the $229 per month subscription that catches our eye as you get a rare and unique bottle to savour or sip.

Whisky loot feature
Whisky Loot | Image: Supplied

3. Whisky Loot

Price: from AU$64/ month (free shipping)

  • Pros: This is a great way to build your whisky palate with 3x 60ml bottles shipped to your door for $64 per month. Step things up to the Advanced Whisky Membership ($99 per month) and you’ll get single casks, rare and premium age-statement whiskies. You can even save on drams that you like with 7.5% off every bottle order on the website.
  • Cons: It’s not a great way to build a collection as you’ll have to find and purchase the bottles you enjoyed after tasting. Sometimes, these bottles are well over $200.

How it works: This whisky subscription lets you develop your palate every month with 3x top-shelf drams packaged into neat 60ml tasting bottles with tasking notes. There’s a variety of subscription packages, including a $649 per year Explorer membership that saves you a good chunk of change and a one-off $79 fee to try it once.

We’ve always been partial to the Advanced Whisky Membership ($99 per month) that levels things up with exclusive drams. Think single casks, rare and premium age-statement whiskies.

Importantly, the account dashboard on the website lets you modify, skip or cancel your order in advance so there are no surprises.

Why you should join: This is one of the best ways to try a selection of whiskies you probably otherwise wouldn’t be able to without attending physical tastings. It’s the best way to broaden your palate with a different expression, tailored to your tastes. There are weekly giveaways, exclusive content, and as an added bonus, you save 7.5% on bottles on their website.

Barrel lane whisky club image by man of many
We received a bottle of Callington Mill from Barrel Lane | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

4. Barrel Lane Whisky Club

Price: from AU$135/ month (or every two months) with free shipping

  • Pros: This is the best option for those who want to get their hands on exclusive releases of Australian whisky. Similar to The Whisky Club, but with a focus on our home-grown heroes and those little-known distilleries that are winning on the world stage. Well-priced, free shipping and easy opt-out make this a top-shelf choice.
  • Cons: Limited to Australia whiskies. If you prefer a Scotch or Bourbon then take a look at our other recommendations.

How it works: Barrel Lane Whisky Club works in a similar way to The Whisky Club, but they limit their exclusive bottles to small-batch Australian craft whisky distilleries.

You pay $135 per month (or every second month) with free shipping to get an exclusive release sent to your door. Importantly, they send you the information about the release 2 days before the charge date (30th of each month) allowing you time to review the selection and skip if it’s not to your taste. You can also cancel at any time.

Each package comes with the brand’s tasting and distillery guide to give you more information about your dram.

Why you should join: The best way to get your hands on a bottle of exclusive limited-release Australian single-malt whisky every month at an affordable price.

Bourbon brothers
Bourbon Brothers | Image: Supplied

5. Bourbon Brothers

Price: from AU$79

  • Pros: The best subscription for bourbon lovers with a fair price point, the chance to upgrade to full bottles, and easy opt-out before the 6th of every month. They also offer 100ml tastings vs. the smaller 60ml tastings from other clubs on our list.
  • Cons: You have to love your bourbon because you’re going to end up with a whole lot of it.

How it works: When a small group of bourbon-loving friends got together to launch Australia’s only bourbon-only whiskey subscription it proved that anything is possible when drams are involved. These lads want to put great bourbon in the hands of as many Australians as possible. They know how hard it is to get your hands on tasters of premium bourbon, so they’ve done the hard work for us.

For $79 per month, they’ll send you 3 x 100ml bottles of great bourbon with free shipping. There’s an ability to opt-out (at no cost) until the 6th day of each month and the option to upgrade to a full bottle of your choice.

If you like one of the selections you get 5% off full bottles (excludes break-even samples) and 10%
off products from their ‘gifts’ range.

Why you should join: This is the clear choice for bourbon drinkers and those who are curious about American whiskey. It’s also an affordable option with great opt-out features and deals on exclusive bottles. That being said, if you’re more of a Scotch lover, this isn’t the one for you.

Single malt whisky club
Single Malt Whisky Club | Image: Supplied

6. Single Malt Whisky Club

Price: from AU$120-160 with $18.50 fixed price shipping

  • Pros: Free to join, the Single Malt Whisky Club operates more like a newsletter than a traditional subscription. It sends a curated ‘Malt of the Month’ with whisky details, tasting notes, history and pricing to your inbox with a link to buy it on the 14th of each month.
  • Cons: While it’s a curated selection, it’s not an exclusive bottling like those available from The Whisky Club or Barrel Lane Whisky Club.

How it works: This subscription service operates more like a newsletter than a typical whisky club. You sign up for their newsletter for FREE and they send you an email on the 14th of each month with a link to buy a unique whisky chosen by their in-house team of experts.

You receive whisky details, tasting notes, history, and pricing, and there’s the option to add extra bottles from their ‘Malt of the Month’ to your order.

Why you should join: If you’re after a free-to-join subscription that offers a curated selection of rare and sought-after bottlings each month this is our top pick.

Your FAQs Answered

Are whisky clubs worth it?

Whisky clubs are a great way to build your palate and taste several different whiskies every month. Subscription services such as Whisky Loot send you multiple samples every month, however, clubs like The Whisky Club go one step further with exclusive bottlings. No matter which avenue you go down, these clubs are perfect for learners and experienced enthusiasts who like trying different expressions.

What’s the best whisky club in Australia?

The best whisky club in Australia is aptly named ‘The Whisky Club’. After testing memberships from all the leading options on the market, we preferred this option for its access to limited-edition whiskies that are bottled exclusively for the club. Once these bottles disappear you’ll never see or taste them again which makes it extra special. If you prefer to try several different whiskies every month, Whisky Loot is the better option. They send you 3x 60ml samples each month to give you plenty of choice, but we found sourcing bottles we liked rather annoying.

How does a whisky subscription work?

Whisky subscriptions such as Whisky Loot send you a small box of samples to try every month alongside an exclusive discount to be redeemed on a full bottle. More recently, whisky clubs such as The Whisky Club and Barrel Lane Whisky Club have worked closely with distilleries to offer exclusive one-off bottles for their subscribers. For around $120 per month, they’ll send a bottle straight to your door.

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