I’m sure you’re either here because you like gin, or you’re trying to find a gift for someone who loves gin. You probably want to buy the best gin tasting subscription.
Whatever the reason, we’re all fans of gin here. That’s why a tasting service like Gintonica is so intriguing.
Despite my cupboards literally overflowing with Gin (I wish I was joking), I bought myself a monthly subscription to Gintonica to see if their experience is worth it.
Promising monthly deliveries of 4 tasting gins, I’m excited to share my thoughts on Gintonica. Are they the best gin subscription in Australia?
Gintonica Gin Tasting Subscription Review
Gintonica - Review Summary
A no-frills Australian gin discovery subscription delivering exciting new gins every month. Just the gin, none of the added extras.
Ordering - Website - 6.5/10
Products - Quality & Experience - 7/10
Ordering - Delivery - 9/10
Value For Money - 8.5/10
- Get 4 different gins to try every month.
- Exclusively from Australian distilleries.
- Delivery costs included in price.
- Lacks useful tasting notes or serving suggestions.
- Packaging isn’t very exciting.
- Repeats some bottles every ~18 months.
Gintonica will deliver to anywhere in Australia via Australia Post, so there aren’t any restrictions on who can get in on the Gintonica action. Awesome.
Who are Gintonica?
With an incredibly apt name, Gintonica was founded by David Box in 2017. He brought a wealth of experience from the wine industry to the world of gin exploration.
Since then, Gintonica has grown into one of the most popular gin tasting services and David has also started WhiskyRocks which provides a similar tasting service for whisky.
Based in Melbourne, this is an all-Australian company and that shows with a specialisation in local Australian gins.
What do Gintonica offer?
The most exciting Gintonica offering is their “gin-a-month” subscription that promises 4 x 50ml samplers of Australian gin every month.
It’s really that simple. No bells and whistles.
I love the clear focus on sampling 100% local Australian gin producers. Discovering smaller distilleries can be challenging, so this is a great way to find otherwise hidden gems.
You’re able to subscribe on a monthly basis (no long-term commitment), or you can save yourself a bit of money with a 3, 6, or 12 month upfront subscription.
Notably, a Gintonica subscription doesn’t provide any tonics or garnishes as part of their service. With each box, you’ll need to make sure you stock up separately on these.
Fortunately, this means Gintonica can keep their prices low.
My Gintonica Review Box
The process of ordering Gintonica is very straightforward. Select your subscription length, submit payment, then your first box will be on its way to you. The whole website experience is more functional than exciting.
The monthly boxes are then delivered with little fanfare, in a plain grey parcel bag with only a Gintonica sticker revealing the contents inside.
Most alcohol subscriptions are delivered in structured cardboard boxes, so I was initially concerned with potential shipping damage.
Thankfully, the serious amount of bubble wrap put those fears to bed. The gin bottles are well protected.
Once I’d made my way through the bubble wrap, the Gintonica packaging is neatly designed and I found a couple of pleasant surprises.
Eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted that this subscription box contained two added extras.
- An extra 50ml bottle of gin, which was the Capricorn Summer Gin.
- Some dried orange garnishes.
With no guarantee these additions will be repeated, I wouldn’t recommend making any purchasing decisions based on getting 5 gins instead of 4.
Each gin bottle comes with its own custom label printed by Gintonica so you know exactly which bottle is which.
You also get a small, folded piece of paper that explains some details about the gins you’re receiving. I felt this was a little light on useful information, missing basic things like pairing recommendations.
How were the gins?
I’m no gin expert, so all I’m looking for is a good variety of flavours to explore.
I really appreciated the addition of a Kaffir Leaf Gin from Fossey’s Distillery that provided a unique floral taste I hadn’t experience in gin before.
Both South Melbourne Market gins were unique with interesting tasting notes to explore, pairing well with a premium tonic and one of the provided orange slices.
If you haven’t heard of South Melbourne Market gin before, that’s because it’s a Gintonica collaboration only otherwise available purchased locally at South Melbourne Market. Realistically, the subscription box was the only way I would ever have tried these.
I was impressed by the variety on offer, although the one disappointment for me was the Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin. It’s probably one of the top-selling gins of all time in Australia, so I’m not sure it belongs in a tasting subscription box.
Perhaps it doesn’t help that I live close to the Archie Rose distillery and I’m already very familiar with their entire range.
How much does Gintonica Cost?
Now for the serious questions considering whether Gintonica actually provides good value. Here are the prices (at the time of writing) for each subscription length:
|3 Months||$179 ($59.60 per month)|
|6 Months||$295 ($49.16 per month)|
|12 Months||$590 ($49.16 per month)|
Honestly, it’s hard for me to understand Gintonica’s pricing strategy here. The 3-month commitment is more expensive and less flexible than the ongoing subscription, so I couldn’t recommend that option.
The 6-month and 12-month options have the same price per box, so I would always recommend opting for the 6-month option and just repeating that if you want to keep your subscription going.
This puts the cost of each 50ml bottle of gin between $12.29 – $14.90.
Shipping and delivery costs
In good news, delivery is free with all Gintonica subscriptions. The price of the box is the total cost you’ll pay to have it delivered every month.
Is Gintonica good value?
Free delivery makes a big impact on the value of Gintonica, with delivery often valued at ~$10 on other subscription services.
Compared to purchasing a full 700ml bottle of gin for $75, Gintonica is always going to appear like poor value. You’re paying 2x-3x for the same amount of alcohol.
|Gin||Cost for 700ml||Value of 50ml|
|South Melbourne Market Oyster Gin||$136.50||$9.75|
|South Melbourne Market Backyard Gin||$136.50||$9.75|
|Archie Rose Signature Gin||$79.00||$5.65|
|Fossey’s Distillery Kaffir Leaf Gin||$75.00||$5.35|
|Capricorn Summer Gin||$75.00||$5.35|
Whilst it’s very hard to accurately value the South Melbourne Market gins considering their very limited availability, these calculations suggest that I received around $35 worth of gin.
There’s a premium to be paid for the curation and bottling of gins into 50ml taster bottles, so I still believe this represents reasonable value.
Compared to one of their key competitors, Liquor Loot, you’ll find Gintonica provides more bottles (4 vs 3) and slightly more gin (200ml vs 180ml) for just a couple of dollars more per month.
Other Important Things To Know About Gintonica
Easily manage your subscription
Gintonica provide an easy to use subscriber portal that allows you to manage your payments really easily. Cancelling took just a couple of seconds without any of the annoying questions some service force you to complete.
Earn points on purchases
A neat little bonus is the ability to earn points on every purchase made on the Gintonic store. You get a point for every dollar spent, which translates to $0.01 of credit.
This is equivalent to 1% cashback. Whilst probably not a major consideration for most people, it’s a handy little bonus.
15% off full-sized gins
With every subscription, you’ll also receive a 15% discount voucher to spend at the Gintonica store on any of that month’s gins.
On a $75 bottle of gin, that’ll give you a saving of just over $11. However, availability can be a bit of a challenge sometimes.
Even if you can’t get the gin you want, the Gintonica shop is full of other tasting sets, gin books, glasswares, cocktail packs, and garnishes should you need them.
My Overall Thoughts on Gintonica
Gintonica is a simple, no-fuss gin subscription service. If you’re looking to get monthly deliveries of interesting Australian gins, they deliver on that promise very well.
I was impressed by the variety of gins I received (barring one) and the opportunity to try gins from distilleries that I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise.
This no-frills experience means you’re missing out on the ability to add tonics, or get any useful instructions about flavour pairings. While some other services provide a garnish for every different gin (e.g Box Bar), Gintonica don’t promise any garnishes.
The website and packaging are basic but functional, which makes Gintonica a good gift for gin lovers but lacks the premium edge of a service like Liquor Loot.
Looking back over their tasting bottles over the last few years, it appears that Gintonica repeat gins roughly once every 18 months. This means you can safely purchase a long-term subscription without fear of repeating gins, though I would be cautious extending any further once you see any repeats coming through.
The most similar service available currently would be Liquor Loot. For a couple of dollars less than Gintonica each month, you’ll receive 3 x 60ml tasting bottles of gin in premium packaging with detailed tasting notes and serving recommendations.
You can even get tonic added to your order for an extra $10. I love the style of Liquor Loot and this is what makes them the best gin subscription for gifting.
I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with Gintonica – were they similar to mine? Did you find my Gintonica review useful? Let me know in the comments section below!