A drinker’s guide to the best boozy advent calendars

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Cask Cartel Advent Calendar Bourbon

For those of us who received the standard chocolate-filled grocery store advent calendars when we were kids, it was always an odd combination of excitement (when Dec 1 finally rolled around) and boredom (there’s only so many stale bits of shaped milk chocolate one can realistically look forward to). Fortunately, as adults, we have a different option: advent calendars packed with mini bottles of beer, wine, whiskey, cocktails or something of your own choosing. Each day (or evening, if you’re more traditional) brings a new flavor experience and a little buzz.

The trick with advent calendars is, you gotta get them in advance. The best boozy options sell out quickly and of course you want them to arrive well before the winter holidays. Below, the newest batch of daily treasure chests. We’ve even thrown in a couple of coffee options for those who might be abstaining, or want to start each new day the way we did when we were kids: discovering the surprise while still in our pajamas.

Boozy Advent Calendars

Flaviar 2023 The Lost Art of Distillation: The Amber Kingdom

Flaviar Advent Calendar

The holy grail of boozy advent calendars, this one gets snapped up quickly, so order as soon as you’re able. Flaviar is a member-driven tasting kit program where coded samples of whiskey and more are sent in themed boxes, so fans can blind taste and explore expressions from around the world. The company also partners with whiskey labels in the U.S., Scotland and elsewhere to craft exclusive bottlings for members.

But you don’t need to be a member to pick up or gift this fantastic collection of 24 50ml top shelf whiskey samples (in fact, there’s a QR code for a 1-year base membership included). The calendar features samples of whiskies from eight countries, and a deep dive into American whiskeys (bourbon, rye, single malt) with some full bottles going for $150 or more each. There are no repeats and one bottle contains a sneak peek of a 2024 release. Enjoy each day’s offering in a pair of enclosed Glencairn glasses, track everything in your tasting journal, and learn more about each coded whiskey in the enclosed booklet. There is a discount when ordering multiple calendars, and a unique version of the calendar are available at select brick-and-mortar retailers around the U.S.

Can’t snag the advent calendar? Consider Flaviar’s 10-bottle “Grilled and Distilled” kit ($200) as a solid, if abbreviated, substitute.

Vinebox Advent Calendar 2023

Vinebox 12 / 24 Nights of Wine

Returning this year with a fully revamped 2023 look and calendar, Vinebox offers 12-and 24-pack decorative boxes. The gift-sized calendar comes in red and gold for Christmas vibes, blue and white for Hanukkah, but either can be enjoyed by oenophiles of any holiday persuasion. 100ml samples feature curated selections from California, France, Italy, and Spain and a cozy selection of reds, whites, and rosés. Each night’s vial will give you enough for two glasses to share or savor on your own by a cozy fire or streaming holiday flick.

$129 (12 Nights) / $199 (24 Nights)

Heritage Distilling Advent Calendar

Heritage Spirits Advent Calendar

A Washington State-based distillery that takes a lighthearted approach to spirits (they created BSB Brown Sugar Bourbon that actor Jaimie Foxx now has a major stake in), their annual advent calendar is one of the only U.S. craft distillery produced calendars. Enclosed in a festive display box, each cubby holds one 50ml bottle of the brand’s range, including a coffee flavored vodka (Espresso Martinis https://www.alcoholprofessor.com/blog-posts/espresso-martini for breakfast!), Elk Rider Bourbon, a vanilla-finished rye and much more. You get two samples of each throughout the month, so you can return to favorites or share those that maybe you’re filled up on.

Woodford Reserve Advent Calendar 2023

Woodford Reserve 8 Days of Spirit Advent Calendar

Whether you’re celebrating Eight Crazy Nights, or want to pace your December, this annual collaboration between Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Williams Sonoma is a tasty way to stay warm all winter. It doesn’t come with the whiskey, but you get mixers to play with each night or in combination, including ingredients to make an Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Spiced Apple cocktail and more. Pick up the 1 liter 2023 Woodford Reserve holiday bottle at ReserveBar for $50 (not available in every state, use code WOODFORD for free shipping) as the perfect complement.


Cask Cartel

Cask Cartel Advent Calendar Gin

You’ll find an advent calendar for every sort of spirits fan on your gift list at Caskers, an online store that specializes in higher end and hard-to-find bottles (along with the regular stuff). Calendars are focused on specific booze categories, including Scotch, bourbon, Japanese whisky, gin, rum, and more, in a variety of decorative display boxes. Each kit contains 24 30ml bottles (all different) spanning the flavor profiles, brand names and characteristics of each category. Sip your way through December in style. Want to be even more stylish? Consider the “Old and Rare” ($1,500) or “Very Old and Rare” ($15,000) calendars which allow you to sample one-offs, unicorns, “ghosts,” and limited editions without (completely) breaking the bank. There are a whopping 27 calendars, so keep swiping right!

$229.99 – $1499.99

Four Roses Tasting Kit

Four Roses Tasting Kit

It’s not an advent calendar per se, but if you’ve got a bourbon fan on the list, it’ll work nicely. Four Roses has become known for its variety of ten unique bourbon recipes created from mixing and matching two mash bills and five yeast strains. Blending the component recipes creates a variety of different products for Four Roses, and adds complexity to their core expressions. Try one of the ten bottles each day, starting on December 14, and you’ll be well-versed in all things Four Roses. Buy two and you’ll have most of the month covered. The limited-edition kit launched this summer and is available the brand’s visitor centers in Kentucky and online.


Give Them Beer Advent Calendar

Give Them Beer Advent Calendar

It’s likely there are folks on your guest list who’d rather sit down with a nice IPA or lager instead of a belt of whiskey. Florida-based Give Them Beer has got you covered with this 12-count variety pack. Each day provides a new journey into hoppy, sudsy goodness that would make Homer and Santa’s Little Helper proud. Look for crafty brands like Lagunitas, Funky Budhha and more. Though this collection is the fan favorite, according to the company, the site has a wide variety of advent and (God help us all) “Manvent” calendars for the whiskey, tequila, wine, and beer fan on your list and more – sooo many calendar options!


Cocktail Advent Calendar

Cocktail Advent Calendar

If a premixed cocktail a day seems like the best way to get through the holidays this calendar is for you. Each day offers a different mixed drink, so all you need is glassware and ice! It can be personalized and allows for a gift message during shipping. Drinks include classics like the margarita, martini and cosmo as well as modern interpretations like the matcha mojito and Christmas negroni and are packaged in individual servings, in bottles and cans. While we haven’t tried the cocktails personally, we approve of the concept.


Bonus for Coffee Fiends or DIY Enthusiasts

Bean Box 12 Mornings of Coffee

Bean Box 12 Mornings of Coffee Advent Calendar

Man (and woman) cannot survive on grain spirits alone. Perk up chilly mornings with this collection of 12 tasting bags (each brews about four to six mugs of java). The holiday coffees hail from among the best specialty coffee roasters in the U.S., and were specially packaged for this gift set. It all arrives in a seasonally themed “treasure trunk.” As an added bonus, five lucky coffee drinkers will find their 12th bag contains a “golden bag,” which contains a free one-year subscription to Bean Box (a $244 value).


MacKenzie-Childs Advent Calendar

MacKenzie-Childs DIY Advent Calendars

Can’t find the exact advent calendar for yourself or your giftee? The opulent home goods shop MacKenzie-Childs has two DIY options: The Patient Brewster Dash Away Calendar and a Holiday Farmhouse. The MDF wood boxes can be used again and again. Each cubby, rather than bearing a door to tear open, features a small numbered box. Turn over the box, find a treat (we don’t know if 24 Fireball minis will fit, but we’re sure you’ll find a solution), and build the completed picture, one day at a time.


This article originally appeared on AlcoholProfessor and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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