I hadn’t really planned to write a post on this, but I thought maybe I’d expand on what brought me to the decision beyond the odd twitter post the other week. Helpfully, this also leads me into the next Gin I intend to do a tasting on so, useful segue provided!

I’m not going to name any particular providers, this is more of a short general musing. I’ve been a member of a gin subscription club for the last few years now. It’s always nice to get the surprise arriving at the end of the month, looking forward to whatever goodies might be lurking in that cardboard box, full of potential. I think this is the feeling that a lot of these companies trade on, the excitement.

The last few months though, I found the boxes started to lose their shine a little bit. For me, I’m paying for a gin box, so one thing that always annoyed me a little bit was the constant inclusion of crisps, chocolate and snacks, though I appreciate a lot of people probably love these additions.

The thing that really started to lose appeal for me though, is probably one of the biggest selling points, and that’s the surprise of the gin itself. While there have been some stunning gins come through in the past, there have also been a lot that I found quite forgettable and I certainly wouldn’t consider buying again. While I might still enjoy a gin, whether I would actually go out and purchase it again is always the real benchmark. With anything like this, you’re relying on somebody else’s tastes, and not making an informed decision on what you might enjoy yourself. This was made particularly evident when one distillery, who made one of my favourite gins of the last year, mentioned that their gin had been rated by a subscription company tasting panel as not good enough. Mind blown a little bit on that one as the stuff is, in my mind, unquestionably delicious.

This all added up and nudged me towards thinking I’d be better off just spending the money on a gin of my choosing. There are so many new gins coming to the market these days, and many of them from small, super passionate distillers who are fulfilling a bit of a dream, that it makes me want to support them directly and be able to have a little dialogue with the people behind the product. It also means I can actively avoid anything with a distillation process that involves clouds, rainbows and unicorn poop.

It wasn’t until shortly after I’d decided to cancel my subscription, that a few people mentioned, on Twitter, something I was wholly unaware of. Now I want to make it clear that this isn’t true for all, but I learned that some subscription boxes pay the distilleries very little, if anything at all and their reward is the exposure it gives. While I appreciate it is a decent amount of exposure, it just hasn’t sat quite right with me ever since I found this out.

While I think in a lot of ways they’re a great way for people to get to know gins they may have not otherwise come across, the time felt right for me to move on. As I said at the beginning, a bit of musing really, but it lead me into buying my first bottle with a subscription-free bank account directly from a distiller, so, some tasting notes on Mackintosh Gin coming up next!


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