The festive season is almost upon us, and what better way to count down to Christmas than by sampling some high-quality whiskies in the run-up to Christmas Eve?
Given the growing popularity of whisky advent calendars, there is a wide variety available on the market to suit all budgets.
So, let’s run down the best whisky advent calendars on the market in 2023, and take a look at how this tradition has been adapted for all different types of consumers.
Advent Calendars In Different Forms
As a result of the worldwide popularity of Advent calendars, various industries have put their own spin on the tradition, with a different product behind each door of the calendar.
You can buy candle Advent calendars, jewellery Advent calendars, skincare Advent calendars and, of course, whisky Advent Calendars. The growing market for unique Advent calendars sees new iterations pop up each year.
The Best Whisky Advent Calendars In 2023
In the interest of helping you find the best whisky Advent calendar for your budget, the calendars will be organised by price, starting with the lowest prices first.
Whisky Advent Calendars For Less Than £200
This whisky Advent calendar is from Drinks by the Dram and sold via Master of Malt. There are only 12 doors as opposed to the traditional 24 doors, perhaps good if you aren’t inclined towards a dram per day. Behind each door is a 30ml dram of whisky. This particular calendar contains single malt Scotch, Canadian whisky, bourbon, rye, and Irish whiskey.
Some of the whisky highlights in this set include a Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old, a Bushmills 21 Year Old, and a Lot 40 Rye.
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This whisky Advent calendar is from Cask Explorers and The Really Good Whisky Company. This Advent calendar has 25 doors, meaning you can enjoy a dram of whisky on Christmas day as well as counting down the days to Christmas.
Behind each door is a dram of single malt Scotch whisky, and a scannable QR code that will take you to exclusive tasting note videos. These videos will be available from December 1st 2023.
If you are interested in the full list of drams you can find out what to expect from this whisky advent calendar on The Really Good Whisky Company’s website.
Some of the highlights in this curated collection include an Aberfelfy 16 Year Old, a Speyburn 18 Year Old, and a Auchroisk 7 Year Old Madeira Cask.
Like the above, this calendar from The Whisky Exchange has 25 doors, each hiding a 3cl dram of a world whisky. Again, this calendar holds a variety of whiskies including Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, bourbon, and rye, giving you a chance to sample whiskies from across the globe from the comfort of your own home.
You can find a detailed list of the content on The Whisky Exchange’s website, where you can purchase the calendar for £145.
Some of the whiskies in this calendar include a Compass Box Hedonism, a Port Charlotte 10 Year Old, an Amrut Indian single malt, and a Hazotaki Pure Malt.
This whisky Advent Calendar is beautifully presented in a handmade and engraved wooden cabinet and contains 24 different 50ml samples from 24 different Scottish distilleries and brands. Both single malt and blended whiskies are included in the set. Also included are two nosing glasses, and an illustrated brochure on the history of the whiskies and the whisky regions of Scotland. If you are a lover of Scotch whisky, this Advent calendar will take you on a whistle-stop tour.
There is no extensive list available of the whiskies in this set, though all are single malt or blended Scotch, ranging from 46% ABV-53% ABV.
Whisky Advent Calendars For Less Than £500
Another whisky Advent calendar put together by Drinks by the Dram is an exploration of Japanese whisky. The Japanese art of Kintsugi refers to repairing broken pottery. However, from a philosophical point of view, Kintsugi is the celebration of imperfections.
There are 24 doors in this calendar, and each one hides a 30ml dram of Japanese whisky. Included are drams from Nikka and Suntory as well as some smaller Japanese blenders. This is the perfect whisky Advent calendar for Japanese whisky lovers.
There is no content list on The Whisky Exchange’s website, but you are welcome to message them if you wish to know what is included in the set.
If you are a lover of single cask whiskies, look no further than this single cask whisky Advent calendar from Master of Malt. Each whisky in this 24-dram collection has a vintage and an age statement, and was drawn from a single cask. The whiskies hail from a wide variety of Scottish distilleries and hidden away inside are some whiskies with very impressive age statements.
Single cask whisky fans will love the Macallan 1993 24 Year Old, the Port Ellen 1983 35 Year Old, and the Caledonian 1974 48 Year Old.
Whisky Advent Calendars Over £500
Behind each one of the 24 doors in this calendar is a wax-sealed 30ml dram of rare whisky. Each whisky hails from Scotland, and there is a wide variety of age statements to be sampled, as well as a Glencairn crystal tasting glass.
Some of the whisky highlights in this calendar include a Dalmore Quintessence, a Talisker 25 Year Old, a Glenfarclas 25 Year Old, and a Glenfiddich 30 Year Old.
Last but not least, we have the super-premium Very Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (2023 Edition) from Drinks by the Dram. This calendar contains 24 wax-sealed drams from a wide range of distilleries in Scotland and Japan.
There are some incredible old vintage, high age statement whiskies in here that would set you back thousands if you were to purchase the full bottles. This luxury calendar gives you the chance to sample some of the rarest whiskies in the world.
You can find a detailed content list here, but some of the standouts in this calendar are the Macallan No.6 Lalique, a Glenfarclas 60 Year Old, a Karuizawa 1976 32 Year Old, and a Highland Park 40 Year Old.
Whisky Advent Calendars To Suit All Tastes (And Budgets)
So, there you have it: some of the best whisky Advent calendars on the market in 2023. You can also browse whisky Advent calendar selections on The Whisky Exchange, The Really Good Whisky Company, and Master of Malt as well as other whisky retailers.
Whichever whiskies you choose to sample, we hope you enjoy sipping these drams in the run up to the festive holidays. At the risk of being far too early…Merry Christmas!
A Brief History of Advent Calendars
Advent calendars are used to mark the passing of Advent; the period of expectancy and preparation before Christmas. The season of Advent is observed by many Christian denominations such as Anglicans and Methodists and traditionally leads up to the celebration of the Nativity, and the Second Coming.
Much like the Christmas tree, the tradition of Advent calendars began in Germany in the 1800s. Early Advent practices included lighting a candle each day or marking the passing of the days in chalk. Wooden Advent calendars became popular in the mid-19th century.
In the early-20th century, printed calendars came into production, and the ‘doors’ on the calendars were developed by Gerhard Lang in the 1920s. Following World War II, a company named Sellmer Verlag began selling cardboard Advent calendars. In the 1950s, chocolates began to appear behind the Advent doors. Today, Advent calendars are widely used by both religious and non-religious people in the Western world.
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