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Advent is a Christian celebration heralding the "arrival" of Jesus that begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on the holiday’s eve. This year, the Advent season technically starts on November 28, although traditionally, whiskey and other similar Advent calendars actually start on December 1. For those who want to observe with a tipple, a boozy Advent calendar can be a fun way to prepare and get into the spirit of the Nativity. For the non-observant, a collection of 24 small whisk(e)y bottles is a great excuse to try awesome new drams of Scotch, bourbon, or rye. A tidy package loaded up with hooch also makes an excellent gift for any whiskey lover. 'Tis the season!
No matter how you want to celebrate, here are the best whiskey Advent calendars to add a little extra yuletide cheer.
Tobins Woodworking Mini Shooter Advent Calendar
If you’re giving a whisky Advent calendar as a gift and want to personalize it yourself, this DIY version is perfect. Shaped like a fir tree from Baltic birch plywood and sanded smooth, it stands 14 inches tall, and you can select a clear coat or a charred finish. The maker also offers an unfinished option so you can paint or stain it to your taste. Plus, you get to curate a selection of 24 nips to the tastes of your loved one.
What’s Included: Calendar with 24 spaces for mini bottles; no actual whiskey is provided
The Really Good Whiskey Company Whisky Advent Calendar
For the Scotch lover who wants to splurge a bit, The Really Good Whisky Company Premium Advent Calendar offers drinkers 25 (a bonus over the usual 24) stellar whiskies to get into the spirit of the season. With some of our favorites like Benriach 21 Year Old Single Malt, Bowmore 18 and Benriach 2005, 13 Year Old PX Puncheon Speyside Single Malt included, this is a hard calendar to pass up.
Plus, on every day of Advent, the folks at the Really Good Whisky Company will host a live video with a tasting and discussion. The session happens at 5 pm UK time but is recorded for those who can’t make it.
What’s Included: A selection of 25 30-milliliter samples of premium Scotch whiskies
Drinks By The Dram Whisky Advent Calendar
You can count down to Christmas in an especially merry way with the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar. It contains 24 handmade drams featuring whiskies from all around the world, including wares from famous distilleries. Each 30-milliliter dram is wax-sealed just waiting to be opened, and you're sure to enjoy sipping on the spirits each night in December.
A few of the drams you can expect in this calendar include a Talisker Port Ruighe, a Brenne Cuvée Spéciale French Single Malt Whisky, Mortlach 16 Year Old, Stauning Rye, and more. The contents are subject to change if the company runs out, but drams will be replaced with whisky of equal or better quality.
What’s Included: 24 different, handmade 30-milliliter wax-sealed drams of whiskeys from around the world
Drinks by the Dram Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Some of the best whisky comes from Scotland, and if you want to discover all this country has to offer, you should definitely get the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. This cute holiday calendar features 24 handmade drams that contain 30-milliliters of whisky, including everything from complex single malts to rare editions. You'll be able to experience products from some of Scotland's finest distilleries, including Bowmore 15 Year Old, Glenfarclas 105, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, and more.
What’s Included: 24 different, handmade 30-milliliter wax-sealed drams of single malt and blended Scotch whiskies
Drinks by the Dram Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar
With a massive explosion in demand from fans around the world, many Japanese whiskies have become nearly impossible to find. However, this collection offers aficionados an easy route to celebrate the season with some rare expressions. Featuring Miyagikyo Single Malt, Hakushu 12 Year Old, and both Yamazaki 12 and 18 Year Old this is the Advent calendar for anyone who digs Japanese whisky.
What’s Included: 24 different, handmade 30-milliliter wax-sealed drams of Japanese whiskies
What to look for in a Whiskey Advent Calendar
Choosing a whiskey Advent calendar comes down to personal preference. If you’re a drinker who likes to experiment and is looking for a bit of mystery, pick one with surprises. If you have a palate that prefers a specific style, stay close to home and choose one that reflects your tastes.
Whiskey Advent calendars have become extremely popular and often sell out so sometimes your decision comes down to what you can find. We suggest ordering or pre-ordering early to get what you really want. Keep in mind that if you wait to long, a good alternative is a DIY variety where you choose (and purchase) the whiskies you'll drink each day.
Whiskey Advent calendars aren't cheap, but nice whiskeys aren't either, so consider how much premium whiskey you are getting with your package. If the selection includes whiskies you've never tried or are hard to find, then that price tag might be worth it. These make great (albeit expensive gifts), but again, a DIY version might be another option if you want to save and use the calendar itself year after year (and just restock the mini whiskey bottles).
What is an Advent calendar?
An Advent calendar is used in some Christian traditions to count down the days until Christmas, but has become more popular and can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to celebrate the holiday season. Traditional Advent calendars, which are often filled with chocolate, begin the first of December and lead up to Christmas Day, December 25. In addition to whiskey Advent calendars, you'll find wine Advent calendars, beer Advent calendars, coffee Advent calendars, and more.
How many days are in an Advent calendar and when do you start opening it?
Advent (from the Latin Adventus, meaning coming, in reference to the birth of Jesus) actually begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, this year on November 28. However, typically, Advent calendars only represent the days in December. So if you are celebrating the season with an Advent calendar, you would open the first panel on the first day of the month and reveal one more each day through Christmas Eve.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Nicholas McClelland is a passionate whisk(e)y drinker who has written about spirits for Men’s Journal, Fatherly, and Inside Hook. His bar is deep with rare single malts, hard-to-find bourbons, and ryes, but he doesn't believe there's anything too precious to share with friends.