It makes sense, doesn’t it – sending an advent calendar to an atheist who has a famously shady grip on time…

But if there’s one way to ensure that THIS little black duck knows exactly what day it is during the month of December then Drinks By The Dram have come up with the perfect tool – the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar (2015 version)! They sent me one for having been a particularly good boy this year (I assume that’s the reason…), and since it arrived the main challenge has been not breaking into it already.

Friends of mine have gotten this year’s calendar already and being mad whisky nuts they’ve already pitched into it to sample/review the lovely drams (DVDBloke Jon has plumped for the Armagnac version, in his typically contrarian way)- however I’ve had to manfully restrain myself in the spirit of doing the advent thing “properly” this year. Although I won’t pretend that curiosity hasn’t tried to get the better of me.

We know from the published information that this year’s calendar contains, among other things, a dram of The World’s Best Blended Whisky (decided at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards), “an award-winning Japanese whisky”, and a 50 year old whisky from an unnamed distillery. But do you tear through and liberate all 24 drams at once, or enjoy the surprise day by day? Or, try to use gnarly brain magic to try to foresee what’s in there?

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In a sense it’s a bit like having a tiny Christmas surprise each day – except that there’s no risk of getting a pair of socks or a new tie, because you know it’s gonna be WHISKY! Unless of course you’re not a whisky fan – in which case you can punt for one of the other MANY varieties of calendar that those geniuses at Maverick Drinks have put together… there’s also a gin one, a vodka one, rum, cognac, armagnac, mezcal, bourbon, absinthe, and if the standard whisky version isn’t promising enough but whisky’s definitely your thing there’s also the Premium Whisky Calendar, and for those who REALLY deserve a treat every day for a month (and have £999 to spare) there’s the Old and Rare calendar.

And for absolute total perverts they’ve also got a Naga Chili Vodka Escalation Calendar.  As if weaning yourself daily upwards in 10,000 Scoville increments on insanely hot vodka was some sort of festive treat.

One beautiful aspect of this calendar though is that it doesn’t have to be used at Christmas – you could spraypaint the whole thing black and save it til January!

Or put it in a lead-lined box so that people definitely absolutely couldn’t cheat a sneaky peak at upcoming whiskies by using x-ray vision.  Just sayin’.

dbtd_ac2There’s 13 varieties of these things, so the absolute grandslam surprise gift for the person in your life who loves flavour experiences would be to buy one of each of these awesome calendars and spread them out across the whole year to give a consistent source of tasting joy.  Plus one real arsehole of a month where they had to drink Naga Chili Vodka.

Anyway – it’s such a groovy, benevolent, thoughtful and awesome gift that it seemed silly not to tell everyone about it.

Edit: Argh! This is what happens when you publish a post at 2am!  I forgot one of the coolest things…  Supposing you knew someone you loved SO much you wanted to give them a calendar filled only with samples of Speyburn and Fettercairn* (a kind of Good versus Evil theme), then YOU CAN DO THAT TOO BY DESIGNING YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR!

  • full disclosure: when I tried doing this to prove it could be done my list only could have 6 Speyburns and 17 Fettercairns, so it’s not the totally balanced fight of Good & Evil that I make it out to be. Plus there’s one space left over so you could pop a 250,000 Scovile Naga Chilli Vodka dram in there to REALLY piss them off.