Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Master Of Malt - Try before you buy...

I recently encountered this website Master of Malt in my search for a respectable whisky sample delivery company that could supply to Australia. As you all know what we actually have available in Australia through chain bottle shops vs what even the specialist can supply leaves us with little choice. Pay less and buy through a chain or pay exuberant amounts and buy through a specialist whom even then can only hold so much. Really whom wants to buy a whisky that has been sitting in a shelf for 5 years not know what conditions it has been stored in?

So in saying all that I must say Master of Malt is in fact the best I have found so far. If you ignore the confusing layout (it's pretty full on) on the opening page and precede to actually explore your options you are going to be very please with what you find. A wide range of try before you buy samples and of course full bottle options.

Structure of the site is quite respectable and easy to navigate. The checkout process is quite fluid apart from the fact the delivery page does not refresh properly in Safari and will not show you the correct delivery prices once you have selected the region. This info is actually quite important as you can proceed to the credit card area not know the full price and the purchase price is not shown when you are at this screen.

Yes they do deliver to Australia but the company has no assurance you will not have to pay any import duties once the bottle hits our shores. As they have not to been more specific it throws into doubt if you really want to follow through with a purchase.

Prices, especially with the Australian dollar against the Pound, Euro and US Dollar makes for a handsome saving but don't fall into the trap of not checking the delivery price first. Again a failing of the site is not to actually tell you any of these details until you have passed through the delivery process. As you will see from the snapshot to purchase even the cheapest bottle of whiskey will still cost you at least £28.95 (pounds) just for delivery. That is way over the top for not being given a ounce of information on how the bottle is packaged and handled. This delivery price also accounts for the delivery of 1 single sample (at the value of £4.45). Buy 3 bottles and as you will see and the price for delivery gets marginally better at £42.95 (pounds) for 3 bottles.

I have not purchased anything yet which is a bit premature to be writing to much but I really wanted to pass this onto the club members as it might be worth combining a pool and getting a bunch of samples and bottles delivered at some stage.

Overall the Master of Malt website is well structured which makes it somewhat well trusted. Clearly it is geared for delivery within the UK and the international as secondary which is to be expected.

If you end up purchasing please let the rest of us know what your experience is.

The Baron