Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bespoke Post "Aged" Review

I actually received this box a few weeks ago but then life happened and I didn't get around to reviewing it.  I think it's time to get back into the swing of things so, here it is.

Bespoke Post is one of the more expensive subscription services out there ($45 US per month plus tax and an additional $10 - 20 in shipping costs to Canada!) but also one with very well-curated boxes full of quality products.  You also can see what you're getting in each box so it's not a surprise and choose your box from a variety of options - or skip that month if there's nothing that interests you (or if it's not in the budget).  The boxes tend to be geared more towards men with an interest in quality goods although many of them would be appreciated by men and women alike.

I elected to make a one-time box purchase at a $55 cost instead of joining the subscription.  I probably have more subscriptions right now than our budget likes and, while this one is skippable, it is also really pricey and I can't see the three of us needing such fancy items on a regular basis.  With shipping, taxes and exchange, this worked out to $83.80 in Canadian funds which I feel comfortable spending on a Christmas gift.

I chose the "Aged" box which was a restock of an old favourite from last year.  It is not currently available on the Bespoke Post website but they do tend to bring back retired boxes from time to time if you're interested in this one (you can see it in the Box Archive and sign up for email notification in case it becomes available again).  You can also check out the boxes that they do have available at the moment - a lot of variety in these options.

Please excuse the terrible pic - I took this but not one of how everything was packaged within the box.  Ridiculous!  Bespoke Post describes "Aged" as follows:

It’s simple: choose an unaged liquor or a cocktail, pour into the aging kit, wait 10 days, then taste the transformation. The aging process changes the character and flavor, mellowing the taste and letting new flavors shine just like with aged beer, whiskeys, and wines. And unlike traditional barreling techniques, the shape and size of this kit brings the wait down from months. Patience was never our virtue.

The information sheet which came with the box includes instructions and also some cocktail recipes that can be created using this kit.  My dad will love that!

The kit includes the aging kit itself, pictured below:

This kit comes with everything you need to age some alcohol or a premixed cocktail:  A sturdy glass bottle (375ml) with stopper, two wooden barrel staves carved into a honeycomb pattern to increase surface area, and a cheesecloth for straining.  Only one stave needs to be used in each batch and they can be reused 4-6 times according to Bespoke Post - although, personally, I would probably not use this single piece of cheesecloth that many times.  That means this kit could make up to 12 batches of aged alcohol! 

Value:  It is difficult to put a value on this kit since it's such a unique item.  There are many aging kits available online but so many are much larger or include the alcohol or are simply very different from this one.  This one is the closest I can find and it is priced at $12.50 US but I couldn't find any shipping information on the site and the "estimate shipping" feature in their shopping cart wasn't working for me for some reason.  So I'm going to make a random guess at value here and go with about $20-25?

"Aged" also includes two gorgeous Sempli cocktail glasses.  As you can see in the picture, they come nicely packaged in a gift box with an additional info card from the company.  The base of these glasses is really nice - it's more like the bottom of a top than a flat glass so they swirl your drink when you put it down.  They are really nice, fancy glasses that would be perfect for any bar.  

Value:  The Sempli website prices a set of two of these glasses at $50 and shipping them to Canada would add an additional $55!! (Seriously - I put one set of two glasses in the shopping bag, selected my country and the price jumped up to over double! Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I checked shipping to the US - $10.50.  I can drive to the US in about an hour.  Sometimes I am astounded by how much we get ripped off in this country!)  

Overall, I think my parents are going to love opening this up on Christmas Day.  They entertain a lot and my father is a bit of a martini aficionado.  While they do have a lot of cocktail glasses, they don't have any like these - they are really, really nice despite the insanity of the price (even without shipping, I would never spend $25 a glass).  The aging kit itself may not be the highest value item but it is unique and it is what makes this box.  I am hugely impressed with the curation of this box, okay with the value, and was very happy with the shipping (it took a reasonable amount of time and there were no issues).  I would definitely check out Bespoke Post again for gift shopping in the future, although I might consider joining the subscription to save a little cash next time.

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