Opening the Advent Calendar is a tradition my wife Patti and I have followed for many years. A fun way to count the days leading up to Christmas, we open one door on the calendar every day in December. In fact we use two calendars, one that follows the Christmas story through bible verses and one more whimsical with a line each day from “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It is a fun tradition for us.
Two years ago, Patti surprised me in late November with a gift of the Bourbon Advent Calendar. Produced by Drinks by the Dram, the calendar or should I say box, comes with 24 numbered doors to be opened on the corresponding day in December. Inside each door is a one ounce sample of bourbon. A different one for every day and each bourbon is unknown to you until you open the door. For a bourbon geek, it is a great way to count down to Christmas.
For the most part, there weren’t a lot of bourbons in my calendar that most bourbon lovers haven’t heard of. There were only a few that I hadn’t tried before. There were a larger number though that I was glad to retry to see if I had changed my mind about them. Most of the samples were common bourbons easily found at a liquor store. My set included Bookers, E H Taylor Small Batch, Knob Creek, Eagle Rare, a Jefferson Aged at Sea and Wild Turkey 101 among others. There were some samples from smaller distilleries as well. (I don't know what bourbons will be in the 2019 Edition.)
One bourbon, in particular, that was interesting was from Roughstock Distillery in Montana. It had a decent taste but I had never heard of this distillery. Unfortunately, some searching indicated that they were no longer in business.
I heightened my calendar experience by borrowing from Bourbon and Banter Senior Contributor Whiskyfellow, Jeff Schwartz’s #30daysofbourbon and posted each day’s sample on Intstagram. It took a little effort to come up with a different Christmas decoration picture each night. The experience was a lot of fun.
As I said before, the Bourbon Advent Calendar is made by Drinks by the Dram. It sells for 149 pounds or about $191 at today’s exchange rate. Shipping is extra. Patti purchased my calendar from Masters of Malt which is a great store. Unfortunately since their sale to InBev they can’t ship to the United States anymore. However, you can purchase your Bourbon Advent Calendar here.
Maybe you aren’t into bourbon, though, or would want a calendar with bourbons and ryes. No problem. Drinks by the Dram produces 21 different Spirits Advent Calendars! Anything from gin, rum, cognac, tequila, scotch, Irish whiskey, and Japanese whisky and more. There are also calendars with old and rare whiskies and very old and rare whiskies. Prices range from about $50 to $257 plus shipping. You can view them and purchase them via this link as well.
The calendars are a little steep in price but if you are looking for an interesting and fun way to step into the holiday “spirits” you may want to give this a try.
Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars. Read Lee's full profile.