Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendars are back for 2018

Hurrah! The countdown to Christmas can officially start!

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It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! That's right - Advent Calendar time! And this year, Drinks by the Dram's official spirited lineup contains new themed packaging, exciting new expressions and plenty of ways to ensure you count down to Christmas in style.

For 2018, some of the classic calendar favourites have taken on a global feel, each featuring the finest liquids from different countries, all wrapped in unique, themed packaging. In the collection there’s the classic Whisky calendar, The Tequila calendar, The Scotch Whisky calendar, The Bourbon calendar, The Rum calendar and The Gin calendar - each containing 24 wax-sealed 30ml drams of fine global spirits.

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Whisky lovers are in for a treat with this year's calendar offering; in the Old & Rare Advent Calendar you'll find truly exceptional expressions, including The Blended Whisky Company's XL Blend - aged for over 40 years and extra large in intense flavours.
The best-selling original Whisky calendar returns this year in festive red packaging, and inside you'll find 24 delicious drams including the highly sought-after Lost Distilleries Blend Batch 8 from The Blended Whisky Company, and the incredible Japanese Nikka Whisky from the Barrel. And, new to the line-up for this year is the World Whisky Advent Calendar, showcasing exceptional whiskies from around the globe - try whiskies from Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, England, India and more. 

For gin enthusiasts, there's a whole host of calendars to tantalise the taste buds, and after the huge success of last year’s calendar, That Boutique-y Gin Company has once again teamed up with Drinks by the Dram to bring you 24 incredible gins to count you down to Christmas. Behind these doors you’ll discover gins with interesting botanicals, incredible flavours and unique concepts. Sample award-winning expressions from boutique producers, and even get into the festive spirit with Yuletide Gin, containing gold, an entire gingerbread house and even Christmas tree needles.

This year the full Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendar range includes Whisky, Premium Whisky, Old & Rare Whisky, Very Old & Rare Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Bourbon, American Whiskey, Japanese Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Single Cask Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Cognac, Tequila, Armagnac, Mezcal and Absinthe.

The Drinks by the Dram 2018 Advent Calendars are available to pre-order from 31 Dover, Beer Hawk and Master of Malt, and will be available from all good drinks retailers shortly. RRPs range from £99.95 to £9,999.95.

Drinks by the Dram Launch Chocolate-Dipped Drams

Drinks by the Dram proudly presents the ultimate booze-and-chocolate pairing experience – Chocolate-Dipped Drams!

UPDATE: Suppose we should come clean - this announcement might have something to do with today's date...

It could be said that the team here at Drinks by the Dram HQ have our minds on one thing and one thing only: getting tasty spirits into small vessels. With Easter upon us, another thought appears – chocolate. We bloomin’ love chocolate. Now, two is a number that is almost twice as complicated as one, and frankly our minds don’t like to deviate from their original objective, so we had to come up with a way to combine these interests.

After much reflection, deliberation, theorisation and experimentation, we’ve done it. We have created Chocolate-Dipped Drams – the ultimate booze-and-chocolate pairing experience! You now have the option for your 30ml drams of whisky, rum, gin and more to be sealed with top-quality chocolate instead of our usual black wax.

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Our popular Regions of Scotland Tasting Set, presented with Chocolate-Dipped Drams!

Working with the Polar Foils Chocolate Co., we have not only sourced chocolate that will offer the same dram-sealing ability of wax (ensuring that your tasty booze cannot escape its 30ml confines), we have also been able to pair all of the spirits available in our drams with a chocolate to complement each other’s flavour profile. We’re particularly fond of the subtly-nutty dark chocolate we found to pair with Dalmore 15 Year Old, if you’re looking to dive right in to the world of Chocolate-Dipped Drams....

This has also opened up new avenues for our Advent Calendars. For years we have rightly claimed that our booze-filled Advent Calendars are much more delicious than chocolate-filled Advent Calendars. Why not treat yourself to the best of both worlds? Starting this Christmas, we will be offering Advent Calendars filled with Chocolate-Dipped Drams! It’s almost like we hijacked the telepods from The Fly and instead of making some horrific insect-Jeff Goldblum hybrid, we’ve made the yummiest way to count down to Christmas even yummier!

Keep your eyes peeled for Chocolate-Dipped Drams appearing in all places where you can buy our wares soon. Tastiness awaits!

The 2018 World Whiskies Awards and World Gin Awards Tasting Sets!

We've once again created a series of Tasting Sets featuring winners from the World Whiskies Awards and World Gin Awards!

Following the announcement of all the World Whiskies Awards 2018 winners, we're rather excited to show off these terrific Tasting Sets - all filled with award-winning expressions! If juniper-based deliciousness is more your thing, you're in luck, because our World Gin Awards 2018 Overall Winners Tasting Set (packed to the brim with world-class gin) has been launched too. Don't say we don't spoil you.

We're the Drinks Marketing Challenge PR Campaign of the Year Winner!

We shouted about our Advent Calendars expertly enough to win the Drinks Marketing Challenge PR Campaign of the Year award from Drinks International!

Cast your mind back to December... and November... also October... September too... and you might just remember us making quite a heck of a lot of noise about our booze-filled Advent Calendars. It's easily the most exciting and most active time of the year for us, and we have loads of fun getting everyone into the Christmas spirit. Well, as it happens, the folks over at Drinks International were particularly impressed with what we accomplished and have awarded us the Drinks Marketing Challenge PR Campaign of the Year award!

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We're utterly thrilled to have been recognised for our efforts, and frankly we can't wait to do it all again for 2018 - but bigger! However, we do solemnly swear not to mention Christmas again this year until it's absolutely necessary. 

We've set our Sights on Skye with the Talisker Tasting Set!

Presenting a brand new Tasting Set, featuring five different drams from the terrific Talisker distillery on the Isle of Skye!

When writing a blog post about a Tasting Set filled with whiskies from the Isle of Skye, it can either go two ways: factual, or filled to the brim with references to The Island from LOST. Well, the latter option was considered heavily, but then we realised that the former would probably explain the Tasting Set better. 

So, yes. There is a brand new Tasting Set on the block, featuring five different 30ml drams of single malt from the Talisker distillery! This includes the classic 10 Year Old, the Port cask-finished Port Ruighe, the powerful Talisker 57° North, the decadent 18 Year Old and the Talisker Distillers Edition (which is finished in casks that previously held Amoroso). Enjoy, and remember - 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 24

The day has come! It's Christmas Eve! Only ONE MORE SLEEP!!! But there's also a whole load of excitement to enjoy right now. It's bittersweet of course (Advent is drawing to a close after all), but these drams are absolute stunners. Enjoy – and have a very merry Christmas! 

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Half-Century Blend: There is so much life and luxury in this dram made exclusively with whiskies aged for over 50 years that you won’t be able to help being blown away. It’s utterly, utterly gorgeous.

Advent calendar day 24 #masterofmalt #myhusbandthinksimawesome #whiskyforever

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The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch: The Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch does the decent thing and lives up to to Colonel’s good name by being absolutely amazing. This is packed full of corn sweetness, caramel apples and creamy vanilla, with rye and cinnamon spices.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Half-Century Blend: There’s a reason why this incredibly well-crafted drop with an astounding flavour profile has been saved until last in this Christmas countdown. After all, what could be a better reward for Advent patience than a dram with seemingly endless poise and depth?

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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WhistlePig 12 Year Old – Old World: An exciting 12 year old straight rye whiskey inspired by the techniques of the 'old world', with a particular reverence for Scotch whisky, and finished in a selection of wine casks – 63% Madeira, 30% Sauternes and 7% Port. This dram is every bit as varied and delicious as you would imagine.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Yamazaki 18 Year Old: A fitting way to conclude proceedings for Japanese whisky lovers, Yamazaki's legendary 18 year old is an earthy, rustic delight, with plenty of wood resin and a floral character teaming with zest and sherried peels.

December 24: The Yamazaki 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky My notes: The nose is intense with earthy elements. The palate has all the similar elements; the earthy and oak taste is center stage accompanied with citrus. The finish lingers with continued citrus and fruit, transitioning to a sherry finish as the warming effect pleasantly stays with the taster. This is quite the endnote to this Japanese Whisky Advent journey. Being the oldest dram in the collection, the complexity is evident especially during the finish. That unique transition of flavors exemplifies this Yamazaki’s journey through the years. It is elegant, mature, and overall a pleasant journey. Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt The nose is quite thick and resinous, there is a pleasant oiliness with zesty citrus and peels and a hint of sherry. Plenty of oak and orchard fruits. The palate is of medium-body with green notes and an earthen note, plenty of wood resin and a floral character with zest and sherried peels. The finish is of good length with fruit and zest. For all my followers on social media, thank you for following me through this journey of Japanese Whisky discovery. I’m looking forward to sharing much more about whiskey from all over into 2018 and beyond. Cheers! And for those who celebrate: Merry Christmas / Happy Christmas / メリークリスマス! #roadtowhiskykingdom #japanesewhisky #suntory #suntorywhisky #theyamazaki #theyamazaki18 #18yearoldwhisky #singlemalt #singlemaltwhisky #masterofmalt #drinksbythedram #whiskyadvent

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The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Teeling 24 Year Old - Vintage Reserve Collection: A 24 year old Irish single malt whiskey that was matured in bourbon casks before being given a finishing period in Sauternes wine barrels, this impressive edition from Teeling's Vintage Reserve Collection is suitably long, mellow and silky smooth. Just lovely.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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North British 55 Year Old (Douglas Laing): Another Advent calendar corker for the final day, how can you not get excited about a 55 year old North British single grain, distilled in May 1962 and aged in a single refill hogshead until June 2017?

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Half Century Blend Batch 2: Batch 2 of the stunning blend has the same the luxurious, velvety mouthfeel of the previous batch but adds in decadent notes of a Parisian chocolaterie, rich coffee, unctuous dark fruits and nutty caramel.

December 24. #ChristmasEve #theblendedwhiskycompany #thehalfcenturyblend #batch2 #agedover50years #blendedscotchwhisky @drinksbythedram @masterofmalt #🥃 #premiumwhisky #whiskyadvent Launched in the latter half of 2016, The Half-Century Blend is The Blended Whisky Company's bottle-shaped love letter to the days of whisky production where "less efficient barley-strains, sprawling on-site floor maltings, inefficient brewer’s yeast, lengthy fermentation times, mucky direct-fired stills, bulky and inefficient worm-tub condensers and less active refill casks" were the norm. As the name suggests, this astounding expression was made with whiskies which were aged for over 50 years, resulting in an immensely expressive flavour profile showing off the unmistakable characteristics of incredible whisky distilled over half a century ago. Only 768 bottles were produced in the first batch. Serge from WhiskyFun gave The Half-Century Blend a score of 90 Points. Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt Nose: Freshly baked apple crumble topped with brown sugar and extra-thick double cream, followed by roast chestnuts and a whiff of brandied cherries. A touch of tobacco leaf and old oak furniture. Palate: More cigar box and brown sugar on the palate, joined by bourbon-y vanilla and generous handfuls of dried fruit (with some juicy cherries sneaking in once again). Perhaps a touch of rye spice develops with the ethereal oak notes growing behind the rich fruit. Finish: Juicy apricot jam, gingerbread, walnut and the last hints of elegant oak lingering for ages. Overall: Massively, massively impressive blended Scotch whisky with seemingly endless poise and depth. #MerryChristmas #MerryChrisymasEve #happyholidays #🎄 #🎅🏼

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The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Master of Malt 60 Year Old Speyside: You lucky lot with this calendar have got the superb 60 (yes, SIXTY!) Year Old Speyside bottling from Master of Malt, an extraordinary single malt Scotch whisky from a famous Speyside distillery. It's packed with mouth-filling chocolate, coconut, nutmeg and walnut notes! You may have Brora 34 Year Old 1982 (Special Release 2017) behind your window 24, a truly rare treat from a closed and sorely missed distillery.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Karuizawa 48 Year Old 1964 (cask 3603): The oldest expression from this now closed distillery and a truly special dram, this whisky was aged for just over 48 years in a 400-litre sherry oak cask and delivers devastatingly dreamy drops of spiced orange chocolates, rich oak and savoury dark sugars.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Yuletide Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company): Packed with a host of traditional winter botanicals, alongside gold, frankincense, myrrh, this gin is a Christmas celebration, a most decked of halls and the perfect accompaniment to end this festive season. Make sure you give it a little shake before you open and catch the snow-globe effect!

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend 25 Year Old: This cracking 25 year old expression was made to celebrate the fact that Joy Spence had spent 20 years as Appleton Estate's master blender. Expect notes of gingerbread, coffee ice-cream, almond-coated pastries and crushed flower petals.

Final day of Advent #santa #drinksbythedram #lego #appletonrum #miniature

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The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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A.E. Dor No.7 Grande Champagne Cognac: Made using the exquisite eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne region, this powerful, dynamic expression is a touch of sheer brandy brilliance.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo Edicion Limitada: Seleccion Suprema is a limited edition, super premium tequila that was aged in oak for 49 months, giving it a full bodied and oily palate, with notes of dry oak, baked agave plants, more floral notes and allspice.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Clos Martin 50 Year Old Vieille Réserve: A very rare expression which has been matured for 50 years, this astoundingly old single terroir Bas Armagnac from the esteemed Clos Martin is surely the perfect way to round off an Armagnac Advent!

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Cîroc Red Berry: A suitably festive, flavoured edition of the five-times-distilled vodka made from grapes which have been harvested when frozen, Cîroc Red Berry is blended with essences of raspberries and strawberries to give it a vibrant flavour profile.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Pescador de Sueños Arroqueño: From the hills of Sola de Vega comes this arroqueño agave-based mezcal. Arroqueño is a variety known for is size and power, and it doesn’t disappoint here, adding great viscosity and a long lovely finish to this final Advent treat. Taste a great arroqueño and you instantly understand why people go mad for the Mezcal(endar)!

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Fée XS Absinthe Suisse: La Fée made this wine-based absinthe in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, using very old recipes and methods and locally-grown grand wormwood to create an outstanding and wonderfully traditional absinthe.

Last Absinthe of Advent! La Fée XS Suisse 53% #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 23

The penultimate Advent Calendar day is upon us. It’s been a cracking few weeks though – and as Day 23 reveals, we’ve every intention of going out of a high with some particularly glam drams. Behold!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak: A truly remarkable 12 year old single malt from hero distillery The Macallan. Rich dried fruits, charred oak, soft spice and a sweet, lingering finish. One of the best in its age category.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Booker's True Barrel Bourbon (Batch 2017-01E): Every batch of Booker's True Barrel Bourbon is a winner, and this bottling is certainly no exception. Aged for six years and one month, the liquid is presented uncut and unfiltered. A heady mix of toffee, cedar and cherry.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfiddich Experimental Series - IPA Cask Finish: Created collaboratively by Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman and IPA expert Seb Jones, this fascinating single malt has indeed been finished for three months in former IPA casks. Vibrant and zesty.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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High West Campfire Whiskey: Ever wondered what the combination of peated Scotch whisky and sweet bourbon would taste like in a bottle? Well, wonder no longer! This incredibly well-balanced dram is a masterclass in blending global whisky styles.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Togouchi 15 Year Old: If you’ve enjoyed the Togouchi drams thus far, you’ll love this 15 year old blend. Nutty and chocolatey, with a finish packed with peppercorn, vanilla and a touch of peat.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Teeling Brabazon Bottling Series 1: The first release in Teeling's Brabazon Bottling range – an experiment in fortified wine casks and Irish whiskey – contains liquid drawn from six Sherry casks. Absolutely delicious!

Day 23, Teeling Brabazon Series.

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The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Ben Nevis 17 Year Old 1999 (Cask 94311) - Dun Bheagan (Ian Macleod): Most of you will happen upon a Dun Bheagan bottling of 17 year old Ben Nevis single malt, distilled in May 1999 and finished in a former Madeira wine cask. Tasty! Some of you may discover a sweet, syrupy, peppery Glengoyne behind today’s door – aged for eight years in a refill hogshead cask before being bottled by Douglas Laing for its Single Minded range. Both are delicious.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%): This cask-strength bourbon from Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig is one to sip and savour. Initially nutty, it unravels into deep vanilla and orange oil, with an satisfyingly spicy finish. A few drops of water take this dram to another level.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Balvenie 30 Year Old: We’re bringing out the big guns, here. This is the 2014 release of this single malt, which has been matured in a mixture of traditional oak and Sherry casks. Warming, rich and complex, with a long honeyed, floral finish – just beautiful.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfarclas 60 Year Old (cask 1672): This is the first 60 year old ever released by Glenfarclas, and it’s a real beauty. Matured in a single first-fill sherry butt, this landmark dram boasts notes of dried fruits, treacle, rich spices and espresso. If there was an award for ‘world’s longest finish’, this whisky would be in with a chance for sure.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Scapegrace Gold Gin: Bottled at 57% abv, this higher-strength variation on the core Scapegrace Gin recipe packs a real punch. It features almost all of the same botanicals – juniper, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, lemon peel, orange peel, orris, cinnamon, cassia, angelica, clove and liquorice – with some zesty tangerine peels thrown in for good measure.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Botran Reserva Blanca: Aged in a Solera system using ex-bourbon casks, this rich, rounded rum has been charcoal filtered to remove the colour but keep those delcious aged rum flavours. Pretty cool, eh?

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Ragnaud-Sabourin No. 35 Fontvieille: As with all Cognacs from Ragnaud Sabourin, this bottling is made exclusively with spirit distilled from grapes hailing from the Grande Champagne region. No geographical mixing it up here, and no sweetening or colouring either. Superb.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Fortaleza Añejo: This beautifully complex añejo has been aged for 18 months in American oak casks, resulting in a complex Tequila that delivers notes of vanilla, butterscotch and cooked agave.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Darroze Grands Assemblages 30 Year Old Bas-Armagnac: 30 years in cask has mellowed those formerly fiery eaux-de-vie, resulting in an intensely flavoursome and rather festive Armagnac: think mince pies, cloves and cinnamon!

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Isfjord Premium Arctic Vodka: Made with five times distilled wheat and blended with super soft water from the icebergs of Greenland – yes, really – Isfjord Premium Arctic Vodka is fantastic served over ice or in a cocktail. Cracking in a Martini.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Los Siete Misterios Mexicano 2015: Made with the large Mexicano variety of agave by the folk at Los Siete Misterios. Smoky and floral, with notes of chilli-chocolate.

#yesterdays #sietemisterios #mezcal #day23 @drinksbythedram

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Combier L'Entêté Absinthe Supérieure: ‘L'Entêté Absinthe’ means ‘The Stubborn Absinthe’ in English, and it’s so-named in honour of Combier owner Franck Choisne, who had some pretty strong feelings towards a French law that put restrictions of fennel in absinthe back in 1988. Guess what it lists among its key ingredients…?

L’Entêté 62% one more to go!! Absinthe-vent! #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 22

**It's the final countdown!** Christmas is just around the corner, and we've got a contingent of drams to mark the occasion. Roll on Day 22!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

BenRiach 10 Year Old: A fruity, lively single malt matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks to bring out that classic Speyside character, this core bottling is exactly the type of delicious dram to you’d expect from BenRiach.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Eagle Rare 10 Year Old: An exceptional release from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, bourbon fans are sure to love the blend of honey, buttered bread, oily walnuts and  touches of red fruit going on here.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Angels' Nectar Blended Malt - Rich Peat Edition: A selection of heavily peated Highland malts contributed to this particularly peaty edition of Angels' Nectar Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, making it the ideal warming dram for these chilly winter evenings.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Hudson Manhattan Rye: Made with a mash bill of 100% rye grain, this beautiful Hudson release harks back to the pre-Prohibition age of whiskey distillation to create a fine example of craft distilled rye whiskey.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky: Produced in continuous distillation using a Coffey still and crafted from a mash bill dominated by corn and filled out with malted barley, there’s plenty of sweet, fruity flavours in this grain whisky, balanced by fresh vanilla and crunchy biscuits.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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The Quiet Man Blend: A blended Irish whiskey finished in first-fill bourbon barrels for the Quiet Man range, expect notes of fresh tropical fruit, toasted cereals, marmalade and creamy vanilla.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glentauchers 7 Year Old 2010 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr): A simply delectable Glentauchers kicks off proceedings today, a sherry puncheon-matured dream from the Speyside distillery. Some of you will have found a 15 year old Glen Spey single malt, drawn from a pair of casks laid down in 2000 and also bottled in 2016 by Càrn Mòr. 

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tomatin 27 Year Old 1988 - Batch 3: The third batch of Tomatin 1988 was aged for 27 years and includes a portion of whisky that was matured in first-fill tawny Port casks. You can taste the influence – the harmony of fizzy strawberry laces, crystallised ginger, chocolate éclairs and hearty barley is downright delicious.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Talisker 25 Year Old: Truly spectacular stuff from the beautiful island of Skye, this single malt Scotch whisky was predominantly matured in American oak hogsheads with some European oak refill.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Macallan 42 Year Old 1969 (cask 6860) - The Rarest of the Rare Collection (Duncan Taylor): Bottled by Duncan Taylor after a 42-year maturation, this exquisite 1969 vintage Macallan single cask malt Scotch whisky has a rich and oily palate with notes of dried oranges, delicate oak, milk chocolate, soft kiwi fruits and lychees.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Rives Special Gin: Given that it is triple distilled and features 11 botanicals at its core, it’s little surprise that Rives Special Gin has a flavour profile highlighted by clean, crisp juniper notes of and touches of toasted almonds.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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The Duppy Share Caribbean Rum: Made from a blend of bourbon barrel-matured 5 year old rum from Barbados and 3 year old rum from Jamaica, this is one stylish, bold and altogether very tasty rum.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Frapin Château de Fontpinot XO Cognac: Frapin is one of the most well respected Cognac houses in the Grande Champagne region and with single estate XO Cognac like this, it’s not hard to see why. This drop is well balanced and utterly delicious.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Arette Fuerte: Tequila fans will be well aware of the excellent Arette, and this blanco Tequila lives up to the brand’s name, possessing full-bodied agave notes, a slight sweetness of zesty pineapple and a lingering peppery heat on the finish.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Clos Martin 1989 Folle Blanche: A 1989 vintage Armagnac with the unusual distinction of being distilled only using the Folle Blanche grape variety, this is sure to be a real treat for Armagnac buffs –enjoy!

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Davna Hani Linden Honey Vodka: This premium Polish grain vodka is naturally flavoured with aromatic Linden honey that was made by bees kept in the natural environment of the Polish Highlands.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Zignum Silver Mezcal: Made with 100% Espadin agave, this silver mezcal is well suited to cocktails that demand a subtle smokiness, although its soft aroma and delicate flavours mean it can be enjoyed on its own too.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Jade Nouvelle-Orleans Verte: A stunning example of a verte absinthe that is based on a T.A. Breaux recipe, you won’t regret trying this tipple.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 21

It might be the season of goodwill, but trust us – you won’t feel like sharing the dream drams of Day 21!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

Hudson Manhattan Rye: This is the first legal pot-distilled rye to be produced in New York’s Hudson Valley for more than 70 years. Double-distilled and aged in American Oak, this milestone whiskey is oily, herbaceous, and cinnamon sweet – with great length.

#hudsonmanhattanrye #tuthilltown

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The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Old Ezra 7 Year Old: Old Ezra 7 Year Old: Produced by Luxco and distilled by Heaven Hill, Old Ezra follows a recipe that is seven generations old. This sour mash bourbon is packed with cedar spice, vanilla and corn, with a long fiery cinnamon finish.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Kilchoman Single Cask 524/2011: A rather delightful single cask release from Anthony Wills' farm distillery, Kilchoman. The Islay-based site grows a portion of the barley used in its whisky, and is one of the small number of distilleries in Scotland with traditional floor maltings.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Hudson Four Grain Bourbon: This gorgeous four-grain bourbon by Tuthilltown Spirits, producers of the first legal pot-still whiskey in New York since Prohibition, is made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley. It is pot-distilled twice and aged in charred oak barrels, resulting in a full-bodied and well-balanced dram.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve: Packed with bright, fresh red berry notes, thanks to a huge portion of Bordeaux wine cask and sherry cask-matured whisky. It also contains malt matured in Mizunara casks, which brings fragrant oak note to the mix.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Tipperary Single Cask: A fruity dram from the Tipperary Boutique Distillery Company. This eight year old single cask bottling has been finished in red wine casks, so you’ll find top notes of strawberry and grape with a kumquat finish.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar #WhiskyAdvent

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Talisker 7 Year Old 2009 (cask 11521) - Provenance (Douglas Laing): Independently bottled by Douglas Laing for its Provenance selection; this Talisker was distilled on the Isle of Skye in November 2009 and matured in a refill hogshead for seven years. Coastal, fruity and intense.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Macallan Rare Cask: This mouth-watering whisky is made up of 16 individual sherry cask styles, a high proportion of which are first fill. A rich, spicy, oily Speyside single malt packed with winter spices, thyme, honey and gingerbread. A sweet, zesty finish awaits.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Port Ellen 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company): This, the sixth batch of Port Ellen bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company, is just sublime. Charred pineapple, oily barley, smoky vanilla and tropical sweetness abound.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glengoyne 35 Year Old: This limited edition Glengoyne single malt was distilled in the 1970s and matured for 35 years in sherry casks. Classic and luxurious in equal measure.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Thompson’s Small Batch Gin: A lovely little French gin made with Bordelais grapes, Thompson’s has a compelling botanical make-up. We’re talking vineyard peaches, caviar,  Jamaican pepper, rosebuds, and Chinese ginger to name but a few.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Diplomático Single Vintage 2002: This incredible single vintage rum from Diplomático is a real treat. Distilled in 2002, it was aged for around 12 years in bourbon and single malt whisky barrels before enjoying a finishing period in Spanish sherry casks.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

ABK6 VS Pure Single Cognac: Elegant, fresh and fruity; this is an excellent single estate VS from Abceassis Domaine, the highly-respected Cognac house.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

Don Julio 1942 Tequila: An astonishing small-batch añejo named after founder Don Julio Gonzalez-Frausto Estrada. It is distilled in Pot Still 6, which produces only three barrels per run, and is packed with vanilla, almonds, chocolate, cinnamon and oak.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Baron de Sigognac 10 Year Old: Rich and earthy with sweet spices and oak, this dram is an outstanding Bas-Armagnac from Baron de Sigognac. The company produces around 50-60 casks a year using one short column still.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Our/London Vodka: Produced in a Hackney Downs micro-distillery; Our/London is one of a number of distilleries in cities around the world producing Our/Vodka – a collaborative Pernod Ricard project. Smooth and fruity.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Pierde Almas Espadin: Made with Espadin agave, this fantastic expression boasts a creamy mouthfeel and those classic smoky mezcal notes. It is produced in small batches in Oaxaca, Mexico, using copper pot stills.

#pierdealmas #espadin #adventcalendar #delicious @drinksbythedram

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Absente 55°: Mild and pastis-like, this French absinthe is made from a blend of artemisia absinthium, aniseed flavours, mint and spices. It has an ABV of 55%, as the name suggests.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 20

A quartet of drams remain in the 2017 Advent Calendar contingent. But there's no need to be sad just yet. The first of the four, hiding behind those windows marked 20, are a joy to behold. Fitting for the time of year, really!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Kilchoman Sanaig: Vatted from both bourbon and sherry casks, this enjoyable single malt has plenty of fruit and earthy peat coming through, along with a touch of dark chocolate-covered raisins.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey: Made from Montana-grown malted barley, water from mountain glaciers, and aged in a toasted and charred virgin oak barrel, this taste of rustic Montana marvellousness is well worth your attention.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky: Something of a homage to famous Prohibition era rum-runner Captain William McCoy, this blended Scotch whisky is a higher-strength expression than the classic (bottled at 50% ABV rather than 40%), and features notes of toffee, dark chocolate, grassy malt and crushed nuts.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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FEW Rye: FEW Rye serves as a fantastic example of top-notch American craft distilling, with a mash bill filled with ample rye and helpings of corn and malted barley and a beautifully balanced and fruity flavour profile.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Nikka 12 Year Old: A truly fantastic 12 year old blended Japanese whisky from Nikka that has all the poise and sophistication you have come to expect from Japanese drams, with notes of buttery oak, rounded malt, a touch of leather and a hint of smoke.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Teeling 14 Year Old - The Revival Volume III: A celebration of the revival of whiskey distilling in Dublin and the history of maturation in ex-bourbon barrels, this beauty has the rather unusual distinction of being finished in Pineau des Charentes barrels, a type of fortified wine made from grape must and Cognac eaux-de-vie.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Bower Hill Single Barrel: Distilled and aged in Louisville, Kentucky, each barrel produces roughly 300 bottles of a straight bourbon whiskey made to commemorate a battle fought at Bower Hill during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Kilchoman 100% Islay - 7th Edition: Produced completely on Islay using barley grown, harvested, malted, distilled and matured at the distillery, the seventh release of this stunner is slightly less peated than the standard Kilchoman character would suggest. This expression makes the most of whisky distilled in 2010 and matured in a combination of fresh and refill ex-Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels until 2017.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Kavalan Solist Amontillado Cask: An incredibly intriguing dram here, this Taiwanese single malt whisky from the King Car distillery was Amontillado sherry-cask matured with notes of hazelnut, pepper, caramel and exotic fruit.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Balvenie 46 Year Old 1968 (cask 7293) - The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter One: The oldest whisky in Chapter One of five highly collectible bottlings in the Balvenie DCS Compendium, this velvety delight has blossom honey, oak vanilla, a touch of citrus and low-key spiciness.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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City of London Square Mile Gin: A selection of botanicals including juniper, angelica, coriander, fresh orange & lemon, liquorice and orris root, among others help make this as big, bold and beautiful gin.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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El Dorado Rare Collection - Enmore 1993: Showcasing rum from one of Guyana's well-loved rum distilleries, Enmore, the notes of mango, marzipan, raisin, cinnamon spice and a touch of salted butter make this a delicious treat.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula: Grapes grown in the Grande Champagne region helped create this premier cru Cognac, packed with dried peels, allspice, acacia honey and dried apricot.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Centinela 3 Year Old: The oldest tequila in the Centinela range was matured in barrels for three years and was made with 100% agave, giving it an earthy, leafy palate, with a bit of damp oak at the centre, vanilla and a good wallop of spice.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Comte de Lauvia Fine: A fine expression from Comte de Lauvia's Armagnac range, this blend of young eaux-de-vie made with ugni blanc, baco blanc and folle blanche grapes was aged in new, local oak casks before being moved to older casks to complete the maturation process.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

Mozart Chocolate Vodka: A distilled chocolate macerate made with cacao and vanilla is the backbone to this clear, subtly drying and delicious vodka that possesses a balanced, bittersweet quality.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Pelotón de la Muerte: The name may mean 'Brigade of Death', a reference to a group of insurgents during the Mexican Revolution, but this silver mezcal tastes like a celebration of Mexico, from the Espadin agave used to create it, to the aromatic wood smoke and sweet green fruits that form an exciting and lively palate.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Jade VS 1898 Absinthe: Created from a recipe from CF Berge in the 19th century prior to the Absinthe ban, this is a full-bodied Verte Suisse absinthe that’s got all the spiced and herbal flavours, along with fennel, fresh flowers, anise and hints of wormwood.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 19

By some ridiculous feat of the passage of time, it's 19 December! Rather than panic, take a moment to settle down with today's dram and bask in the festivities. After all, as they say, it's the most wonderful time of the year – and we've got some wonderful drams to match! 

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Wolfburn Northland Single Malt: Aged for a minimum of three and a half years in used Islay quarter cask barrels, this is a beautiful and complex single malt that develops delightfully well for such a youthful spirit.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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High West American Prairie Reserve: A delightful small-batch blend of two straight bourbons: a 6 year from Seagrams in Lawrenceberg, Indiana, and a 10 year old from Four Roses with a high rye content mash-bill. Expect sweet, toasty spices, vanilla, cherries and manuka honey.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Inchmurrin 12 Year Old: This 12 year old single malt from Loch Lomond distillery was aged in a mixture of casks, including bourbon, refill and re-charred wood, and is teaming with notes of barley malt, salted caramel, dried herbs, candied peels and allspice.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Balcones Texas Single Malt 53%: This quite brilliant single malt American whisky was ‘yard-aged’ in ex-bourbon American oak before it was bottled by craft-distillers extraordinaires Balcones. Expect huge flavour and character.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Blended Whisky: This reward for Advent patience is an expertly-made blend, brimming with intense fruit and vanilla notes, all very well balanced by Japanese distillers Nikka.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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The Irishman Single Malt Irish Whiskey: A triple distilled expression aged in both sherry and bourbon casks for over 10 years before bottling that delicately combines peaches and cream with a sprinkling of crushed up biscuits and almonds that makes for an absolutely cracking dram.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Benrinnes 20 Year Old 1997 (Scotland Grindlay): Grindlay bottled this 20 year single malt from the Benrinnes distillery after it was drawn from one cask which was laid down in 1997. You can expect to find a sumptuous blend of walnuts, cashews, honey and hints of creamy chocolate.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Kavalan Sherry Oak: The award-winning, cask-strength Kavalan Solist Sherry diluted with Kavalan spring water to a 46% ABV, Sherry Oak is a smooth, clean and complex single malt brimming with notes of dried fruit, nuttiness and spice.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Mannochmore 25 Year Old 1990 (Special Release 2016): Matured in fresh American oak and European oak casks as well as first fill ex-bourbon American oak barrels and ex-Sherry European oak butts, this rare official bottling of Mannochmore is a refined and well-balanced dram, with a backbone of sticky, sweet fruit.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Highland Park 40 Year Old: Prepare to be astonished by an incredibly well-matured and spectacular Island whisky from Highland Park on Orkney, with a thick palate, huge personality and devastating class.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Anno 60² Gin: Produced in Kent, this special edition of Anno Gin celebrated co-founders Andy and Norman’s sixtieth birthdays in 2015, hence Anno 60² Gin. It was also bottled at a robust stronger-than-navy-strength 60% ABV that lends a distinctive, woody taste.

Behind door #19: @drinksbythedram anno 60 gin🙈 #ginadvent #gingerandtonic

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The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Rumbullion! Navy-Strength: Made using a secret recipe with a Caribbean rum at its spicy core, you can expect the big, spicy flavours of cardamom, clove and vanilla present in the regular Rumbullion! to be amplified here, to great effect.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Bisquit Légende Cognac: A simply gorgeous expression from Bisquit, which hails from Château de Lignères on the Charente. We love the blend of golden fruits, honey and spices combined with floral notes on the nose.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Casamigos Añejo Tequila: This Añejo tequila, which has spent 14 months ageing in American white oak casks, tastes as good as co-founder George Clooney looks. There's a host of delightful flavours including toffee pennies, roasted agave, dark chocolate and sweetly spiced oak notes.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Château de Lacquy 2000: From small but absolutely smashing producer Château de Lacquy, this vintage is everything you could want from a Bas-Armagnac. Enjoy the gorgeous combination of dried fruit, nuttiness, citrus blossom, floral elements and underlying oak notes.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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St. George California Citrus Vodka: A bright, juicy Citrus Vodka from St George Spirits of Iberian inspiration that combines Valencia oranges, Seville oranges and bergamot to create a spirit that’s clean in its approach, but rich in fresh fruit flesh and has an interesting mineral note or two along the way.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Alipús San Juan 47.8%: Alipús is a craft producer of Mezcal, and the team takes care to create impressive examples of it. This expression offers notes of sweet, roasted agave, a traditional touch of smoke and a little bit of herbaceous menthol.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Cold-Distilled Absinthe: A robust yet aromatic absinthe from Ableforth's, bottled at 91.25%! You could have La Pontissalienne in your calendar instead, an expression that aims to balance wormwood and anise notes.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 18

**Seven Sleeps To Christmas Klaxon!** It's official: we're in the home straight to the Big Day. The excitement here is sky-high – tempered only by the fact that the dram count is dwindling. But that's next week's problem. Let's live in the moment and tuck in to today's Advent selection! 

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dalmore 12 Year Old: A beautifully composed and rich 12 year old from the Dalmore distillery, the blend of Seville marmalade, rich coffee, winter spices and fruitcake make for a seasonal sensation.

Day eighteen: #dalmore12 #drinksbythedram #advent

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The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea: This adventure of a dram is initially aged on land, before being sent on an epic sea-faring voyage, crossing the equator four times to complete the maturation process. A combination of bourbon brilliance with coastal cool.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Riverflow: The distillery that produced this whisky is a mystery, but the gorgeous balance of stem ginger, brandy snaps, vanilla and a scoop of rum-raisin ice cream leaves no confusion in our minds: this is a dram to savour.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Jim Beam Rye: One of Jim Beam's oldest recipes was used to create this rye whiskey release, made in a pre-Prohibition style. The result is big, bold and spicy; everything you want from rye whisky, with touches of vanilla and black pepper.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt: Named after the company's founder, Masataka Taketsuru, this no-age-statement expression features a blend of malt whisky from the Miyagikyo distillery, as well a percentage matured in sherry casks. The conclusion? A rich, well-spiced dram.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year Old Single Malt: Triple distilled Irish single malt whiskey finished in bourbon, port, Madeira and Oloroso sherry casks – there’s a range of flavour here in a varied and sumptuous treat.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Port Charlotte 14 Year Old 2002 - Single Cask (Master of Malt): Distilled in 2002 at Islay's Bruichladdich distillery, this terrific tipple was matured in a single ex-bourbon barrel and bottled under the Port Charlotte name in 2016 without any chill-filtration or additional colours.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Talisker 18 Year Old: A masterpiece from one of Scotland's greatest distilleries, you simply cannot deny that stunning balance of peat, spice and sweetness. Just lovely.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Johnnie Walker King George V: A very special edition from Johnnie Walker made to celebrate the Royal Warrant bestowed upon the brand by the monarch, some of Johnnie Walker's rarest stocks, including Cardhu, Lochnagar and even Port Ellen, went into this quite incredible delight. You may have found Johnnie Walker King George V - Royal Warrant 80th Anniversary behind your window, but either way, it’s a royally good time!

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

The Glenrothes 1969 cask 11485 (bottled 2013): Drawn from a single refill hogshead, this single malt Scotch is intensely expressive and fluid, combining notes of herbal tea, verbena, mint, ginger honey cake, liquorice and barley sugar with the texture of raw silk.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Williams Great British Extra Dry Gin: A dry, juniper-led gin designed for use in a classic G&T, Chase distilled this gin from its Naked vodka, which itself was made from cider produced with organically grown apples. The result is a delicious gin with notes of spice and citrus fruit.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Doorly's 12 Year Old: A superb example of a gorgeous Barbados rum, you can expect masses of tropical fruit, chewy caramel, leafy tobacco and fragrant oak notes throughout.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Maxime Trijol Elegance: The current head of the company, Jean-Jacques Trijol, produced this delight in the heart of the Cognac region, St Martial Sur Né.  He created a signature structure and finesse that brings a scrumptious harmony between fruit and spirit straight to your palate.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Arette Reposado: A corking reposado aged for between 4 and 6 months in white oak, this tequila treat is made with 100% blue agave from Jalisco, and is blended with water from the Tequila Volcano (yes, a real thing!). A genuinely superb premium tequila from Arette is the result.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Domaine de Labadie Blason Noir: This Armagnac was crafted using predominantly Picpoul (Folle Blanche) grapes from Domaine de Labadie vineyards, which were picked at the end of September. It has been aged for at least 6 years.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Ketel One Citroen Lemon Vodka: This Dutch lemon vodka adds natural citrus to the superb signature Ketel One vodka for a remarkably fresh and fun tipple.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Ven A Mi Reposado: This reposado mezcal spent a number of months in wooden barrels, lending charred oak tones to the already complex and earthy blend of herbaceous smokiness, barbecue baked pears and warm golden syrup notes with cinnamon undertones.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Maison Fontaine Blanche: In the Jura mountain range to the east of France lies Pontarlier, where this super, clear absinthe was made. It’s a versatile and excellent spirit able to enjoyed either on its own with water or in cocktails.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 17

It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. As such, our Advent Calendars are starting to look rather bare… Nevertheless, there are some cracking drams yet to be discovered still hidden behind those doors.

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Talisker 10 Year Old: Aged for a minimum of 10 years in American oak casks, this classic Island dram from the Isle of Skye opens up with big, peaty, barley bonfire smoke notes, before settling into orchard fruit and a toasted malty, sugary finish.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon: Rebel Yell is not just any old whiskey! It was one of the first wheated bourbon recipes ever created, way back in 1849. Packed with sultanas, nectarine, prune and vanilla notes, this historic bourbon is still made according to the original recipe, with wheat, corn and malted barley.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest: Matured in American bourbon barrels and finished for three years in oloroso sherry butts to give it a gloriously warm finish, Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest is a dram and a half. To accentuate its rich fruitiness and trademark smokiness, Bowmore suggests enjoying it with some rich dark chocolate.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Bernheim Original: The first straight wheat whiskey to launch on the US market, Bernheim Original is bottled at seven years of age, and is a full, sweet dram that develops into a long and slightly dry finish packed with toasted spices.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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White Oak Akashi Single Malt: Hold on tight, we’re going on a whisky adventure! This no-age-statement single malt release from the Akashi range, produced by White Oak in Hyogo, represents somewhat unchartered territory. Creamy and delicious.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Tipperary Watershed: Bottled and released by Tipperary Boutique Distillery Company, each batch of Watershed single malt is drawn from a selection of six first-fill bourbon casks, resulting in an Irish whiskey packed with raisins, sultanas, and brown sugar, with a long white chocolate finish.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar #WhiskyAdvent

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Fettercairn 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 11084) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing): There's a fantastic 20 year old Fettercairn behind the Day 17 window, distilled in November 1995 and bottled in February 2016. It's a fruity little  number, with a whole host of gorgeous vanilla notes from its ex-bourbon cask. Some of you will discover a sherried single malt: Blair Athol 21 Year Old 1995 (cask 11788) - Old Particular. This one was distilled in November 1995 and bottled in June 2017. Both are downright delicious. 

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Old Single Malt: This most excellent whiskey from the Tullamore D.E.W. range has been finished for up to six months in bourbon, oloroso sherry, Port and Madeira casks. Expect notes of soft fruit, bourbon-cask vanilla and toasted bread – delightful.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Half-Century Blend: This incredibly well-crafted drop from the Blended Whisky Company is made up of whiskies that have been aged for more than 50 years, and its expressive flavour profile demonstrates that perfectly: cigar box, brown sugar, vanilla, dried fruit, rye spice, oak, apricot jam, gingerbread, walnut… Just wow.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Teeling 33 Year Old - Vintage Reserve Collection: Drawn from a pair of ex-American oak bourbon barrels that matured the whiskey for 33 years before the folk at Teeling bottled it; this outstanding dram has a light, fresh palate with notes of vanilla, sandalwood, allspice, and orchard fruits, developing into a deep, inviting finish.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Rutte Dry Gin: Produced in the Netherlands, this elegant dry gin lists fennel as a key botanical alongside more classic ingredients juniper, coriander and orange peel. Creamy, peppery, herbaceous, and great in a cocktail.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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J. Bally Millésime 2002 Rhum Vieux: Produced on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean, this 2002 vintage rhum agricole is sweet and powerful. It’s oaky, with vanilla, dark chocolate, pepper and spice.  

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Hine Rare VSOP Cognac: A blend of Grande and Petite Champagnes, Hine Rare VSOP is what's known as a Fine Champagne, and contains Cognac aged between six and 12 years, with most being around eight years old. The result is a delicate and smooth spirit that’s just terrific to sip.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Herencia de Plata Blanco: Spanish for ‘Silver Inheritance’, this fresh blanco Tequila is bottled immediately after distillation and boasts notes of citrus, pepper, earth and smoke. Absolutely cracking in a cocktail, we can confirm.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Baron de Sigognac VSOP: Balanced yet complex, this VSOP was aged for six months in new oak, before it was decanted into old oak, where it remained for a further seven years. The folk at Baron de Sigognac sure know how to craft a fine digestif.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Square One Vodka: Rich and nutty; it’s a cracking vodka, this. Made from 100% organic American-grown rye, and water from the Teton Range of Wyoming, Square One is the world’s first certified organic rye vodka.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

Mezcal San Cosme: Produced in small batches in Oaxaca, Mexico, Mezcal San Cosme is made with 100% Espadin agave. On the palate, you’ll find smoky agave mixed with leather and an earthiness, with a caramel sweetness. The finish is spicy and warm, perfect for a wintery night.

#adventcalendar #mezcal #sancosme #delicious #newtradition @drinksbythedram #only7moredays

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Redux Absinthe: Redux Absinthe from Colorado's Golden Moon distillery is lurking behind Day 17's window, and it's packed with orange and lemon oils, intense anise, and Alpine herbs. Don’t be alarmed if you discover the striking Corsair Red, with its notes of hibiscus, wormwood and citrus, or is the well-rounded, rich Adnams Absinthe Verte.

Today’s absinthe-vent, Redux! #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 16

As the big day gets ever closer, it's time to explore the drams behind Door 16 of our Advent Calendars of amazement! 

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky: Matured in American oak barrels that previously held white and red wines, this Taiwanese tipple has a bourbon-esque profile that brings chocolate, honey and warm baking spices through a smooth delivery.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Jim Beam Double Oak: There’s no trouble with this double, because this toasty little number is ideal for a cold winter’s day. A typically assured bourbon release from veteran Jim Beam, it’s aged in two different freshly charred American oak barrels, and you can taste it.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Singleton of Dufftown 12 Year Old: Aged in a high proportion of European oak casks, this Dufftown dram is packed with notes of orange zest spiciness, hints of cut grass and smatterings of nuts, oak and toffee.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Bulleit Rye: If you’re a fan of Bulleit Bourbon and but need more rye in your life, then you’ll love this edition. With a mash bill comprising 95% rye and 5% malted barley, this small batch production is all the proof you need that Bulleit can handle rye whiskey.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Togouchi Premium Blended Japanese Whisky: This whisky is aged in an old, previously abandoned railway tunnel and its alcohol content is reduced by using pure spring water from Sandankyo mountains, so you know you’re tasting rural, rustic Japan in a dram here.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

West Cork 12 Year Old Sherry Cask: West Cork Distillers launched this beauty in 2016 after it was allowed a finishing period in Sherry casks, giving it those deliciously decadent touches of sweet berries and milk chocolate.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Speyside 10 Year Old 2007 (cask 0119) - The Cooper's Choice: Distilled in January 2007, this single cask release was bottled by Cooper's Choice from the Vintage Malt Whisky Co.'s selection in 2017, after a finishing period in a sherry cask. This maturation has worked a treat, imparting notes of honeyed raspberries, dried barley, almond pastries and a pinch of cumin. You could also have Croftengea 10 Year Old 2006 (cask 5024), another delicious bottling from The Cooper's Choice.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 10: An exceptional blended Scotch whisky exclusively made with malt and grain whiskies from distilleries that are unfortunately no longer in production. This 10th batch is every bit as jaw-droppingly complex and assured as you would expect.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Highland Park 30 Year Old: An absolutely outstanding whisky, there is surely no way you could not enjoy this devastatingly beautiful dram of rich chocolate, juicy sultana, winter spices and sea-spray hints.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tomatin 1971 44 Year Old: A single cask release distilled in 1971 and matured in a Spanish ex-oloroso sherry cask, the first in Tomatin's revered Warehouse 6 Collection has earned the right to be enjoyed very slowly, to have every sip savoured, because it’s a truly astonishing expression.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Bathtub Gin - Cask-Aged: A cask-aged edition of Ableforth's marvellous Bathtub Gin, aged for between three and six months in tiny ‘octave’ casks, which have a large surface area to volume ratio. This imparts all kinds of complexity and flavour, creating a wonderfully spicy, rich and buttery gin.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Clairin Sajous 2015: An intriguing style of rhum agricole from Haiti, the sugar cane juice used in this expression is reduced over fires fuelled by the remains of the aforementioned sugar cane, and then undergoes a wild fermentation. Add that to the double distillation process, and you’ve got a rum with notes of milk chocolate, leafy herbs, crunchy brown sugar and funky hints of wet grass to savour.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Courvoisier Napoleon Cognac: Released to celebrate Napoleon's love of fine Cognac, this wonderful example of well-aged Courvoisier is rich, intense and utterly delicious.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Corazón Expresiones Reposado - Buffalo Trace Barrel (cask 12449): This Reposado spent over 10 months in barrels that previously held Buffalo Trace bourbon, and the array of fizzy oak spices, caramelised agave and corn hints will make you very grateful for this fact.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Clos Martin VSOP 8 Year Old Bas-Armagnac: Distilled from the Folle Blanche grape, this eight year old VSOP from Clos Martin has a delicate spiciness and elegant flavour profile that Armagnac fans should love.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Chase Vodka: The signature spirit from the versatile brand created in its entirety on a Herefordshire family farm, from seed to bottle. The result is an exquisite vodka of genuine provenance.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Mezcal Amores Espadin: Made with Espadin agave from Oaxaca, this Amores mezcal has a wonderfully subtle and refined character, brimming with various suggestions of capsicum, mint leaf, wood smoke and just a hint of cream.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Fée Blanche Absinthe: An old fashioned-style white absinthe, La Fée Blanche is based on an old French recipe from the 1800s and produced in conjunction with the French Absinthe Museum. It is a sweet and herbal dram, with hints of star anise and fennel seed.

La Fée Blanche, absinthe-vent 53% #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 15

Many of you would’ve enjoyed your work Christmas do yesterday, but don’t let a late night throw you off! A wealth of gorgeous drams await...

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 10: The tenth batch of this exceptional blended Scotch whisk features liquid from silent distilleries Caperdonich, Rosebank, Imperial, Mosstowie, Glen Mhor, Glenisla, Glenlochy, Craigduff, Port Ellen, Brora, and Port Dundas. That's some line-up, we’re sure you’ll agree, and the resulting dram is an incredible tribute to these ghost sites.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Basil Hayden's Bourbon: The recipe for this classic Kentucky straight bourbon dates back to 1796, when master distiller Basil Hayden mixed small grains into a traditional corn mash. Well balanced and spicy – thanks to the rye at its core – with notes of peppermint and fruit, this light-bodied dram is a great introduction to the family of Jim Beam small batch bourbons.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 10: Such a truly magnificent dram, we thought we’d share it twice. This beauty from The Blended Whisky Company is initially pudding-sweet on the palate, before presenting notes of green apple, smoke, and rich oak. A long, full, creamy finish rounds the whole experience off.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Michter's US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey: Once hugely popular, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, demand for Michter's Sour Mash Whiskey seemed to drop off in recent years. Thankfully not for too long, though, since it returned in the form of this fine expression. Don’t let the name deceive you; flavour-wise it’s sugared almonds and cinnamon spice (and all things nice!).

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Togouchi 12 Year Old: Produced by Chugoku Jozo for the Togouchi range, and aged in a tunnel, this 12 year old Japanese blended whisky is a peaty treat packed with fruit, citrus, spice and oak. It’s intended to be “influenced by Scotland and Canada, but with a Japanese style”, and we reckon that sums it up pretty well.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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The Irishman Cask Strength (2017 Release): The 2017 release of The Irishman Cask Strength is a combination of single malt and single pot still whiskeys aged in ex-bourbon casks. Spicy malt lies at its core, with apricot, sugared almond and toasted cedar building on top of it. The finish is sweet and peppery, with a hint of ginger.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar #WhiskyAdvent

Macduff 26 Year Old 1991 (cask 4583) - Chieftain's (Ian Macleod): Bottled by Ian Macleod for the Chieftain's range, Day 15’s dram is a gorgeously sherried Macduff single malt, distilled in June 1991. After 26 years of absorbing flavour from the sherry butt that contained it, it was decanted into just 730 bottles. A real treat.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Wolfburn Aurora Single Malt: Wolfburn Aurora Single Malt: A delightful release from Wolfburn distillery in Caithness. Released late last year, 40% of the whisky has been aged in second-fill quarter casks, another 40% in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and the final 20% in first-fill oloroso sherry hogsheads.

Night 15 #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear #whiskeyadvent #drinksbythedram

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The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Jura 25 Year Old 1991 (cask 11067) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing): Cherry Bakewells, salted caramel and… spicy chopped coriander? You better believe it, and it works like a dream. Distilled in February 1991 and aged in a refill hogshead for 25 years, this Xtra Old Particular bottling from the Jura distillery gives way to a satisfying peppery finish.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Half-Century Blend: If the name didn’t already give it away, this massively impressive whisky is made up of whiskies that have been aged for more than 50 years – an ode to the days where "less efficient barley-strains, sprawling on-site floor maltings, inefficient brewer’s yeast, lengthy fermentation times, mucky direct-fired stills, bulky and inefficient worm-tub condensers and less active refill casks" were the norm. Truly a dram to savour.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

FEW Breakfast Gin: In combining traditional gin botanicals such as juniper, coriander, and citrus with the Earl Grey tea, FEW Breakfast Gin really does live up to its name. This bergamot-forward recipe is the perfect base for your brunch-time French 75.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Foursquare 11 Year Old 2004 – Exceptional Cask Selection: An indulgent mouthful of raisins, vanilla pods, milk chocolate, Lyle's Golden Syrup Cake and walnuts; this gorgeous rum is a dreamy dessert dram if ever we saw one. Distilled in 2004 by Foursquare in Barbados, the rum was aged for 11 years in ex-bourbon casks.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Frapin VSOP Cognac: Settle down somewhere quiet with this one – it’s a dram to savour. This exceptional VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac is blended with eaux-de-vie made of the grapes from Frapin's large estate in France.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Sauza Tres Generaciones Reposado Tequila: A sweet, spicy Tequila, aged in American oak barrels for at least four months. Triple-distilled from 100% blue agave, this Reposado forms part of Sauza’s premium Tres Generaciones range.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Darroze 19 Year Old 1997 Domaine De Jouanchicot - Unique Collection: Domaine de Jouanchicot is unique in that it only uses the Ugni Blanc grape variety in its bottlings. This 19 year old Bas-Armagnac from Dorrze was produced by the House, so its designation in the Unique Collection is rather apt. A tropical, floral spirit.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Skyy Infusions Raspberry: Skyy’s Infusions range is made using real fruit – no artificial, plastic-tasting raspberry here. Just a hit of intense, sweet, fresh raspberry flavour that makes it perfect for cocktails. You can almost taste the seeds.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Derrumbes Michoacan Mezcal: Made from both Cupreata and Cenizo agave varieties that have been cooked in an underground pit, Mezcal Derrumbes Michoacan is a sumptuous balance of fruity and herbal, exotic and rich.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Versinthe Absinthe: Bottled at 45% abv, and rather sweet for an absinthe, but don’t let that deter you – it contains heaps of star anise, herbs and pleasantly bitter notes. All in all a refreshing deviation from the norm.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 14

On the 14th day of Advent my Calendars gave to me... a plethora of world whiskies! And Scotch, and some remarkable other spirits, too. Best crack on, then! 

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Mackmyra Brukswhisky: Mackmyra's core expression, this light Swedish whisky was primarily matured in first-fill bourbon barrels, although it does feature some whisky aged in sherry and Swedish oak casks too, as well as some smokier malt. The result is a dram of complexity, brimming with flavour. Just delicious.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Maker's Mark 46: Maker's 46 was created for those that like spicy bourbon, which was achieved with the addition of inserting seared French oak staves into the barrels (with the stave profile "number 46" - thus the name). It's utterly stunning.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

Smokehead: A superb, cult single malt from Ian MacLeod, there’s a raft of classic Islay character in this massive, thick peat, smoke-rich dram.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Westland American Oak: The core single malt whiskey from Westland distillery, this delightful dram was matured in American oak casks and is filled with notes of caramel, buttered bread, cherries, coffee and a touch of cigar box.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Chita Suntory Whisky: The main expression from Chita distillery, owned by Suntory. This single grain whisky was matured in a combination of sherry, bourbon and wine casks, giving it a raft of flavours including vanilla sponge cake, honey, honeydew melon, citrus and honey'd cereal.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Teeling Single Grain: Irish single grain whiskey from Teeling, unique for its maturation in Californian Cabernet Sauvignon casks. It’s deliciously sweet with a good deal of spice and fruit.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Invergordon 27 Year Old 1988 (cask 8118) - The Single Cask: An independent bottling of 27 year old Invergordon single grain, bottled in February 2016 by The Single Cask, it was distilled in February 1988 and boasts notes of peanut butter and chocolate, brown sugar and drying spices.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Gran Reserva: finished in casks that were previously used to age Caribbean rum, this classic example of a delicious Glenfiddich expression contains the range of gorgeous flavours you expect, including barley sugar, marmalade, Manuka honey, chocolate, foam bananas, fruitcake spices and buttery vanilla. Yummy.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Laphroaig 27 Year Old: With a proud Islay identity, this 27 year old Laphroaig is matured by placing a portion of the whisky in refill quarter casks and the rest first-fill bourbon barrels. The result is a single malt Scotch whisky possessing depth, character and flavour. You might have Laphroaig 25 Year Old Cask Strength (2014 Release) instead, but either way it’s a lovely little Laphroaig treat for you this Thursday.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Balvenie 40 Year Old: This 40 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Balvenie distillery offers a stunning balance between traditional whisky cask and Sherry cask malts, creating a superbly aged expression.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Marylebone London Dry Gin: Made in London by the Pleasure Gardens Distilling Co., using a combination of botanicals including juniper, lime flower, lemon balm, clove, liquorice, chamomile and grapefruit, this is a seriously well-put-together gin that’s worth savouring.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Brugal 1888 Ron Gran Reserva Familiar: An absolute corker of an offering, this very special old rum from Brugal was distilled twice and aged in American oak, before it was finished in Spanish oak sherry casks. The result is a dark rum from the Dominican Republic that’s buttery, sweet and utterly delicious!

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Camus VSOP Borderies 2017: This 2017 vintage of VSOP Borderies is almost entirely made with fruit from Maison Camus estates, delivering a fresh and subtly nutty Cognac, complete with notes of brioche dipped in dark coffee, walnuts embedded within milk chocolate and citrus peels.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Porfidio Extra Añejo: Made with 100% blue agave and distilled using state-of-the-art European equipment, this Tequila was continually aged in virgin barrels for that delicious oak influence. Some might be opening calendar windows to find Sierra Milenario Tequila Extra Añejo, a 100% agave Tequila aged for three years in durmast oak casks.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

Baron de Lustrac 1967: Specialists in releasing fantastic Armagnac from very old vintages, you can count on Baron de Lustrac to deliver rancio richness, runny honey, fresh red grapes and a kick of baking spice to this superb, stately edition.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Tito's Vodka: A small batch vodka that's distilled six times and filtered to reach the level of quality desired, this little beauty is made in small-batches in Austin, Texas, by Tito Beveridge and is versatile enough to be enjoyed in cocktails or on its own.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Ilegal Añejo: This very tasty mezcal is made in Tlacolula in Mexico's Oaxaca region and distilled twice in copper stills. It is fortunately very much legal, because this rich buttery spirit with whiffs of smoke and notes of bitter orange and cloves is an utterly a fine example of how good mezcal can get.

#aprendiz #mezcal #drinksbythedram #adventcalendar #yesterdays

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Grande Absente: Distilleries Et Domaines De Provence took great care to respect the legacy of the spirit when distilling this absinthe, using a recipe that was devised prior to the spirit's ban and bottling it at a traditionally high strength of 69% ABV.

Today’s absinthe-vent Grande Absente #absinthe 69%

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 13

If you’ve not yet written out your Christmas cards or arranged the seating plan for the big day, fret not – there’s still time! For now, kick back and relax with Day 13...

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Big Strand: Stretching a total length of 7 miles, the Big Strand is the longest sandy beach on Islay. Bottled by Morrison & MacKay, this light, sippable namesake single malt Scotch whisky hails from a well-known yet undisclosed distillery on the island.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014): A cracking single barrel bourbon from Evan Williams lies behind door 13. Distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2014, the whiskey offers chewy toffee, rye spice, barrel char and orange peel notes. Some of you will discover a 2008 expression that was bottled last year: a woody, spicy, dram packed with notes of toffee and orchard fruits.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Wolfburn Aurora Single Malt: A magnificent release from Caithness-based Wolfburn distillery. Released late last year; 40% of the whisky was aged in second-fill quarter casks, another 40% in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and final 20% in first-fill oloroso sherry hogsheads.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Wasmund's Single Malt Whisky: A truly unique dram from Virgina’s Copper Fox Distillery. This American single malt is made from malted barley that has been smoked with cherry and applewood, and then aged using wood chips. Unlike anything you’ll have tasted before.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Pure Malt Black: Made with whisky from Nikka's Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, this blended malt scored highly in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible (with different batches scoring 92 and 95 respectively). The delicate combination of fruit, balanced oak, peat and toffee makes this an absolutely cracking dram.

Dec 13 - Nikka Pure Malt Black. #whiskeyadvent #whiskeyofjapan #boozysanta @drinksbythedram @masterofmalt

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The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey: My, my, my. This deliciously light and sweet Irish treat is made from a combination of single pot still and single malt whiskeys, resulting in a honeyed, vanillic, malty dram that gives way to a warming, long finish.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar #WhiskyAdvent

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Laggan Mill 8 Year Old 2008 (cask 7391) - The Cooper's Choice: A gorgeous single cask up for grabs here, from an undisclosed Islay distillery and independently bottled by The Vintage Malt Whisky Company for its Coopers Choice range. Distilled in 2008, the expression was matured in a bourbon cask for eight years until 2016. Some Adventers will have a seven year old 2009 bourbon cask-matured expression behind their door 13.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Royal Brackla 14 Year Old 2001 (bottled 2016) - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr): A glorious 14 year old Royal Brackla single malt Scotch whisky bottled independently for Morrison & MacKay’s Càrn Mòr range. The palate is brimming with chocolate raisins, liquorice, yellow plum, and pear, with a rather long vanilla-forward finish.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfarclas 29 Year Old 1986 Refill Sherry Casks - Family Collector Series V: The fifth release in the Glenfarclas Family Collector Series, this delectable dram was aged in a pair of refill sherry butts to bring a lighter sherry influence to the collection, which has otherwise featured whiskies drawn from oloroso and fino sherry casks.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons): The rarest of the rare, this one. This single cask whisky was distilled in November 1974 (one year before Ladyburn’s stills fell silent), matured in a first fill bourbon cask and bottled in November 2014, to the delight of Scotch fans everywhere.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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The Wrecking Coast Cornish Clotted Cream Gin: To create this creamy, junipery delight, the folk at The Wrecking Coast Distillery macerated 12 botanicals (sans cream) in grain spirit for a fortnight, and then ran the liquid through a computer-controlled iStill. Meanwhile, Cornish clotted cream was cold distilled in a vacuum still, and the lovely lot was blended together to create this sumptuously creamy treat.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

Gosling's Black Seal: Deep and thick, this rum is a heady blend of sweet spices, stewed fruits, and a spiced, crisp finish. Produced in Bermuda since 1806; Gosling's Black Seal is named after the wax used to seal the stopper in place.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Domaine de la Grolette Très Vieille Réserve des Borderies: Produced solely using grapes from the Borderies region, this Cognac is made up of liquid aged between 25 and 30 years – and as such, is the is the oldest in the small produced by Domaine de la Grolette.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Centinela Blanco: Vibrant and flavoursome, Centinela Blanco is twice distilled from 100% blue weber agave and presented unaged. Casa Centinela was founded in 1904 by the Torres Perez Vargas family, who have been producing Tequila at the Hacienda El Centinela since 1904.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Laberdolive 12 Year Old Bas-Armagnac Terre-Bouc: Laberdolive has more than 100 years of brandy-making history behind it, so, clearly, this house knows what it’s doing. This incredibly well-made Armagnac is a fantastic example of its production prowess.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Cold River Blueberry Vodka: Cold River Blueberry Vodka: This is no run-of-the-mill blueberry vodka, let us tell you. To make this intensely flavourful vodka, the dedicated folk at Maine Distillery steep Wymans and Maine blueberries in alcohol for a few days, add a touch of sugar and water, and mix this tincture into their Cold River potato vodka.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Del Maguey San Jose Rio Minas Mezcal: This limited edition bottling is a real treat and is unique in terms of both origin (it’s made in the village of Rio Minas) and flavour. A light, sweet, floral mezcal with luxuriant notes of papaya, peach, and violets that give way to a herbal, eucalyptus finish.

#delmaguey #mezcal #adventcalendar #sanjoseriominas @drinksbythedram #lifeisgood

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Mythe Absinthe: This classic French absinthe from Distillerie des Terres Rouges is based on traditional recipes, with an ABV (69%) to reflect it. No sugar is used; the resulting liquid is herbal and medicinal.

Mythe Absinthe! 69% this is mighty strong one for tonight! Nice natural green color. #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 12

It's the official Advent half-way mark – Day 12 has arrived! And there's no let-up when it comes to the quality of the drams inside our decidedly delicious Advent calendars...

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Evan Williams White Label: A back-bar favourite around the world, this classic Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is bottled at a higher ABV than the regular Evan Williams, and is an enjoyably warming dram with notes of red peppercorn spice, maple syrup, BBQ smoke and dry-roasted peanuts.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon: Made from a blend of two whiskeys, one a young wheated bourbon distilled by Smooth Ambler and the other an old, rye-rich bourbon the distillers have sourced, this intriguing release isn’t just for those interested in the art of distilling, but for lovers of tasty bourbon too.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Loch Lomond 12 Year Old: Drawn from a selection of three cask types – bourbon casks, refill casks and recharged casks – this beauty offers notes of brown sugar, five-spice, creamy vanilla and orchard fruits.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Knob Creek Rye: Striking a perfect balance between classic, spicy rye whiskeys and sweeter, vanilla-fuelled high-rye-content bourbons, this rye release from Knob Creek is teaming with rich caramel, bright ginger, rye spiciness, vanilla, brown sugar and soft butter.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Hibiki 17 Year Old: This renowned Japanese blend is made with aged malt and grain whiskies from all of Suntory's distilleries, giving it a simply gorgeously array of mixed peels, raisin, custard and plenty of oak.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Connemara Peated: Rare among Irish whiskey for being a peated expression, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is an Islay imitator. This edition cuts its own path, with malt and peat blending with honeyed smoke and barley sweetness.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tipperary 8 Year Old 2008 (cask RC00117) - Red Wine Cask Finish: After it was treated to a finishing period in red wine casks, this Irish single malt has a bounty of all the kind of fruit notes you’d expect from the flavour profile.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Stagg Jr.: The impressive Stagg Jr. from Buffalo Trace is a particularly punchy release, with this bottling weighing in at an imposing 64.9% ABV. This doesn’t stop the peppery and intense notes with touches of burnt sugar and coffee beans from shining through.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Invergordon 42 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company): An absolute delight for the senses, this single grain was bottled following a lengthy 42-year distillation period. Made using a coffey still, expect notes of chocolate buttons, papaya and old leather. Some people might have a different Invergordon beauty in their calendar: Invergordon 52 Year Old 1964 (cask 11487) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing), or Invergordon 50 Year Old 1966 (cask 12235) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing).

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company): That Boutique-y Gin Company combines gin with whole pineapples that have been roasted on a spit with Demerara sugar until they're caramelised for this truly glorious treat that works just as well as a winter warmer as it does a summer delight.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Flor de Caña 12 Year Old: From Nicaraguan producer Flor de Caña, this fine sipping rum is bursting with flavours including toffee apple and buttery vanilla.

December 12: Ron Flor de Caña 12 Year Old #flordecaña #12yearold #rum #rumadventcalendar #drinksbythedram

A post shared by Al’s Rum Advent Calendar (@rumadventcalendar) on

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Fanny Fougerat Petite Cigüe VSOP Cognac: From Fanny Fougerat, this fascinating VSOP Cognac is hugely fruity, with a zesty kick of citrus acidity developing.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Tapatio Reposado Tequila: Aged for four months in casks that previously held bourbon, this reposado is seriously delicious and works just as fantastically in cocktails as it does by itself.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Château de Laubade VSOP Bas Armagnac: Château de Laubade ages its eaux-de-vie exclusively in Gascony oak casks, so this VSOP expression of Bas Armagnac is packed with sumptuous flavours of banana, vanilla and hints of spicy figs.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Cîroc Vodka: This chic, premium French vodka is five times distilled with grapes harvested when frozen. Enjoy the floral, aromatic profile, with hints of fresh flowers and fruit with a creamy finish.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej 2013: Made using Angustifolia Haw agave and a double distillation technique, this is exactly the kind of mouth-watering mezcal you’ve come to expect from the brand. It's teaming with citrus, delicate floral notes and sweet toasted caramel cooked agave.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Fée NV Absinthe Verte: Working exceptionally well with a variety of mixers, La Fée's 'Envy' offering is popular with the bar and club market for good reason.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 11

Y’know, we could get rather used to sampling a delectable dram each day. We’re over one third of the way through Advent – let’s get stuck into Day 11!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Ailsa Bay Single Malt: Peat in the front, sweet in the back. Ailsa Bay is produced at Ailsa Craig and is the result of the distillery’s peated distillation run, which takes place for just two weeks out the year. It’s aged in four different casks: refill American oak, first-fill bourbon, new oak and Baby Bourbon casks from New York’s Hudson Distillery.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Baker's 7 Year Old: Named after the grand nephew of Jim Beam – Baker Beam – this nutty, tangy, fruity, spicy bourbon is made with a special strain of jug yeast that has been used by the Beam family for more than 60 years.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tamdhu 10 Year Old: Fully sherry cask-matured, this indulgent dram (which was revived and relaunched at the Spirit of Speyside festival in 2013) has a creamy mouthful and notes of soft red fruit, brown sugar and clove on the palate, with a sugary ginger, cacao and blackcurrant finish.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Balcones Baby Blue Corn Whisky: Craft distillery Balcones' Baby Blue Corn lies behind the American Whiskey Advent Calendar window today. This rich, thick bourbon was not only the first Texan whisky, but also the first whisky to be distilled from blue corn. Some of you might be discovering Balcones True Blue 100 Proof today, a sweet and soft dram with notes of banana nut bread and spice cake.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka All Malt: Incredibly well-rounde