Flaviar runs an interesting operation. $20 a month gets you membership, which gives you access to their library of 15,000 spirits and, importantly, a bunch of 1.5 ounce spirit samples.
They’ve also begun rolling out their own private label spirits, based on how members have responded to sample boxes. One such effort was their recent tasting box dubbed Frérot: the Chosen One, which asked members to help Flaviar develop its private label cognac by tasting three different cognac samples—dubbed A, B, and C—and supplying feedback online. I am not a Flaviar member myself, but received a box for review.
The packaging is wonderful, consisting of a cylindrical box filled with three long vials containing cognac. Each sample was 43% ABV, and contained no information on age, region, or other factors that would lead to pre-taste bias. So with a clear mind and palate, I sampled all three.
Cognac A was light and mild on the tongue with notes of vanilla and raisin, but had a rich, maple syrup-like finish that gave it the feeling of a dessert cognac without too much body or sweetness. Cognac B’s palate was dominated by light cream and almond, which fizzled into a slightly too sweet finish lacking body. Cognac C was deeper and darker with notes of almond and maple syrup, and ended with a pleasant though short lived burst of spice.
Cognac A was my clear favorite, and something I’d reach for on the shelf. While Cognac B and C weren’t spirits I’d find myself craving, they were perfectly fine, and I give Flaviar credit for sourcing a diverse selection.
If I had any real bone to pick with the Frérot: the Chosen One box it would be in Flaviar’s occasionally off-putting branding. The reverse of a notecard attached to its coaster provides tips on how to organize a tasting “Like a Bro,” complete with inexplicable gothic font. Likewise, tiny print on the side of the vial itself advised “Cherrish [sic] this moment, grab it by its balls and cherrish [sic] its majesty.” I enjoyed the moment without ever feeling the need to reach for its symbolic nether region.