Whisky Loot is a service that provides subscribers with three 60mL samples of whisky a month. Launched just a few years ago, the business has gone on to carve out its own piece in the marketplace. Hospitality magazine spoke to founder Joel Hauer about how Whisky Loot works with distilleries, the story behind the distinct packaging and how the company curates their boxes.

How does your partnership with distilleries work?

We approach local and international distilleries with a unique proposition — introduce your product to an active community of samplers interested in tasting, learning and exploring new drinks.

We primarily see it as an opportunity to taste varieties they wouldn’t usually come across, as well as supporting distilleries’ marketing and research efforts.

Subscribers receive three different whiskies to taste and enjoy each month. First, this promotes consumers to get familiar with the product, the story of the brand and have direct access to full bottles.

Second, each consumer has the option to provide insights after tasting. These real-world reviews provide distilleries with a unique voice from the consumer.

Distilleries can use these ideas for future bottlings or identify how consumers assess their brand’s place in the market when compared to the competition. In addition, they can utilise the platform to introduce new ranges to hundreds of enthusiasts.

Can you discuss the design of the packaging?

We have designed the packaging to work alongside the distilleries’ brands and enhance the experience of tasting and exploring whisky.

We believe the experience of the whisky should be paramount, especially when tasting and comparing different distilleries interpretations of the same taste profile or distillation process.

To ensure we have a fair and unbiased representation of the brands and subsequent interpretation of the tastes, we strip back the brand identify and uniform the representation of the label. Our labels provide relevant information, such as location, alcohol content, distillery name and product name, but remove their logo and colours.

The products are then bottled and matched up with custom tasting notes, which tell the story of the brand while providing insight into the nose, mouth-feel, flavours and finish.

Are any of the whiskies readily available or are most considered unique?

We approach each box with a goal of introducing unique and underappreciated whiskies to consumers. The concept brings consumers a delightful surprise of whiskies they traditionally would find it hard to locate in your average bottle shop.

For instance, this might mean that we’re bringing in something from a highly awarded secret micro-distillery, like our recent Koval inclusion, or a unique and underappreciated bottling from Japan. This also extends to introducing our subscribers to a classic that doesn’t get the love it should.

How do you select the varieties?

Our approach is all about providing consumers with a continued exploration of what the world of whisky has to offer. This might be an exploration of a region or exploration of a production style. The recent Japanese box showed off the diversity and range producers can create within such a small area. Upcoming boxes focus on production styles like smoky and sherried, showing off how different distillers approach each whisky type with such diverse outcomes.

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