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The Ultimate Advent Calendars

Picture the scene: you wake up each cold, frosty morning, run downstairs in your fleecey onesie to the mantlepiece over the fire to grab your advent calendar and find then next window...

You carefully peel back the cardboard flap to reveal your next alcohol based treat. Simultaneously celebrating the countdown to festivities and your favourite choice of adult beverage!

Whether for a loved one or colleague, friend or enemy (in the case of the Naga Chilli Calendar), there's no better way to roll in the festivities this yule-tide season. Being WinesDirect, we’ve been lucky enough to sample a few for style, taste and value, and here’s what we like:

The Whisky Advent Calendar

From: Drinks by the Dram£149.95
Whisky Advent Calendar

Have you ever walked into a nice bar or restaurant and wondered what the whiskeys at £20 + a glass taste like?? Well now’s your chance to find out. This advent calendar is an absolute bargain if you’d like to taste a 3cl shot of “The Half Century Blend”. Priced at £600 a bottle is a blend of 50-year-old (minimum age) whiskies. Or perhaps a “Lost distilleries blend” (£350 a bottle) of 25-year-old single malt (£130 a bottle). You can find them all in this uber desirable advent calendar. It’s not just about tasting the expensive ones, it’s also about building your knowledge of Speyside, Isle, Lowland or Highland whisky, or experimenting with delightful multi award winning (and IWSC trophy winner) Kavalan whiskey from Taiwan. There’s a South African and Swedish whiskey and a few Bourbon’s from the US. A fab way to warm up on those chilly December evenings.

Wine Advent Calendar

From: Laithwaite’s Wine£69.99 (just £2.92 a bottle)
Laithwaites Wine Advent Calendar

This is a seriously good deal for 24 delicious bottles of wine (187ml – 250ml). These Laithwaite’s favourites are crammed into an advent calendar – and all for under £70, a rare seasonal bargain. If you like Laithwaite’s wine selection – they have one of the best selections of any online of offline wine merchant – then you will love this calendar as it’s full of great wines. A mixture of red, white and sparkling (prosecco!), drink those days away until Christmas without opening a standard bottle of wine, giving you a small glass of wine (assuming you are sharing, a large glass if not!) and enjoy the luxurious flavours so well associated with Laithwaite’s.


From: Gin Foundry£124.95
Ginvent Calendar

The serious process of making Gin is attracting some of the most talented people, due to the growth of the market and relatively short period it takes to distil (compared to say Whiskey). And there are some quite amazing Gin’s being produced in Britain and around the world. The UK is well into its Gin revolution, 10 years ago when the choice was a handful of famous brands, finding your favourite one was relatively easy.

Nowadays, we have literally 100’s of Gin’s to choose from, many pubs and restaurants have their own gin list and some wine and spirits merchants have shelves full of different brands. With all these new, wonderful gins on the market(many over £30 a bottle) how do you know which one to buy? Here are a couple of ways to sample a few of them without having to buy a whole bottle:

  1. Buy a beautifully packaged Ginvent calendar (£124.95) - an opportunity to taste 3cl, of 24 different Gins, mainly British, with the occasional German and Icelandic example in the mix. Different styles such as London Dry, Old Tom, to Navy strength and Fruit infused. The bottle prices are typically £30 - £40 and the abv (whilst normally around 40%) goes up to 57% (with the German produced Elephant gin). There are exquisite Gin’s - many of them multi-award winning - so not just excellent quality, but bottles that cover several different styles – the ultimate Gin experience for this festive period.

  2. CLICK HERE & ENTER OUR COMPETITION by writing 50 words or more on anything to do with Gin (your favourite gin, gin cocktails, gin mixers, per-dinner G+T, with dinner, post dinner etc.) and you could Win one of 6 sets of tickets we have to give away for the Ginvent Winter Wonderland event - we have 2 pairs of tickets for each session on Friday 1st December and Saturday 2nd December.

Pickering’s Christmas Gin Baubles (6x5cl)

From: Laithwaite’s Wine£30.00
Pickerings Gin Baubles

Ok, it’s not an advent calendar but this is another novel idea from Laithwaite’s – 6 Baubles full of gin (well 5cl) to hang high on your tree and impress your guests by pouring their drink “straight from the tree”! Pickering’s Gin, is not any old Gin, it’s a multi award winning Scottish gin. Famous not just for it’s great taste (and it’s a fine example of a Scottish gin) but for being next door to the Royal Dick bar/café – and Pickering’s gin is piped directly from the distillery to the bar – so if you like the baubles, and you like the gin, next time you’re in Edinburgh, if you have a spare half an hour, pop in for to the Royal Dick bar and have a Gin straight from the distillery.

Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Advent Calendar

From: Drinks by the Dram£99.95

Not for everyone this – you’ll need to love Chilli and Vodka, but an amazingly well-designed cover, and an innovative idea of the vodka getting hotter each day up to the 24th!! We’ve just tried 190,000 Scoville’s (hottest is 240,000) and believe you me, this stuff is HOT. Sold by Masters of Malt and coming from the Hot Enough Vodka Company, this devilish blend comes with a warning (that I would heed), so be sure to read them before tasting yourself or giving away to an unsuspected “friend”. Enjoy!!!

by Jon Rebuck, 3rd November 2017
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