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

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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-rounded and rather unusual in terms of production. This blended Japanese whisky is made with malted barley distilled in both pot stills and Coffey stills at Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyou distilleries.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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West Cork Original: This blend from West Cork Distillers is not to be sniffed at. Well it is, but let’s not be pedantic. A blend of grain and malt whiskey matured in bourbon casks, this dram is chock-full of poached pear, buffalo grass and light caramel with a short, peppery, orchard fruit finish.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Loch Lomond 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 11184) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing): If you’ve opened your calendar door to Loch Lomond, you’re holding a single grain whisky that was distilled in December 1996 and aged for almost two decades, resulting in a citrusy, sugary, floral, fudgey dram. Some of you might have Strathclyde 55.5% 11 Year Old, a weighty 55.5% ABV affair that, like the former, was bottled for Douglas Laing’s Old Particular range.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Auchentoshan 18 Year Old: Introduced to Auchentoshan’s core range back in 2008, this 18 year old bottling is supremely rich and moreish. It’s been aged in American oak casks, so notes of toasted vanilla and dark nuttiness are rife. Then there's the malty finish that’s deliciously sweet and floral.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dalmore 20 Year Old - Vintage 1996: Day 11 means Dalmore! Vintage 1996, was finished in specially selected Port pipes for three years, making for an incredibly rich and decadent dram. Some of you might have a 25 year old edition released from the distillery in 2015, initially matured in American white oak casks and then separated into 25 year old Palomino Fino sherry butts and 1980s first-fill bourbon casks. In both cases, the drams are delicious!

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dalmore Constellation 30 Year Old 1981 (cask 4): A phenomenal dram, aged for 26 years in an American white oak cask, before finishing in an ex-Amoroso Oloroso sherry butt for four years. It’s one of just two 1981 vintage releases in the Dalmore Constellation Collection.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Ungava Gin: Behold! Canadian gin made with six hand-picked botanicals: Nordic juniper, Arctic Blend tea, cloudberry, crowberry, Labrador tea and wild rose hips. It’s named after the Ungava Peninsula at the northern tip of Quebec, and yep, that colour is all natural – seriously.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva: Launched in tribute to Diplomático’s 18th century founder Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez; this glorious Venezuelan rum is distilled from molasses in a copper pot still before it is matured in whiskey barrels for 12 years. Delicious.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Le Réviseur VSOP Cognac: Grilled grapefruit, over-ripe grape, walnut, and a little toffee apple… Delicious winter pudding, or Cognac Advent bottling? Lucky for all you drammers, it’s the latter, made from grapes from the Petite Champagne region.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

Casa Noble Anejo: An impressive single barrel bottling from Casa Noble, aged in French white oak barrels for two years to deliver a full-bodied dram with fruity agave, luscious caramel and rounded spice.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Marquis de Montesquiou Reserve Armagnac: Tasty stuff, this. It’s double-matured: initially in fresh local black oak casks before moving to more restrained casks for the rest of its maturation lifespan. Flavour-wise it’s honeyed and sweet, with wood spices and hints of caramel.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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J.J. Whitley Rhubarb Vodka: Summertime in a bottle. Remember those days when you could leave the house without a scarf? When you could eat an ice cream in public without getting strange looks? Yeah, this’ll take you there. Sweet and slightly tart, pure rhubarb gorgeousness.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Santo de Piedra: Produced by the House of Agua Piedra Mezcal & Co, this fruit-forward joval mezcal (think peach, apricot and grapefruit) is made in San Bartolo Yautepec from espadin agave.

#santodepiedra #mezcal #adventcalendar @drinksbythedram #newtradition #day11

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Maison Fontaine Verte: Created at Pontarlier in the Jura mountain range to the east of France; La Maison Fontaine Verte is classically floral, with rich herbal and peppery notes. At 56% abv, it’s delicous on its own, with water, or – if you’re feeling fanciful – in a cocktail.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 10

Day 10 is here – and our Christmas countdown has reached double figures! But there's still plenty of spirited goodness to go, as our round-up of today's deliciousness proves...

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Scallywag 13 Year Old: A scrumptious, well-sherried selection of Speyside malts, all aged for at least 13 years, bandied together to create this variation of Douglas Laing's spectacular Scallywag blended malt Scotch whisky.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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David Nicholson 1843: Heaven Hill now distills this wheated bourbon that honours David Nicholson, a grocer who created an original bourbon whiskey recipe back in 1843. Still delicious today, enjoy the rich blend of honey, butter and cinnamon, followed by subtle hints of vanilla and oak.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Copper Dog: Named after a device used to smuggle home whisky straight from the cask, this little Speyside stunner retains that same irreverent and mischievous spirit, and boasts notes of honeyed cereal, chocolate digestives, orange peels and soft simmering spices.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof: This is Pennsylvanian whiskey is rye at its spicy, chewy and aromatic best. For those unacquainted, get set for a real flavour experience.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Hibiki Japanese Harmony: Harmony by name... malt whiskies from the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries combine here for a truly elegant expression, with wafts of orange, honey, light oak and a herbaceous touch or two on the nose and palate.

Day 9 - Hibiki Japanese Harmony @drinksbythedram @masterofmalt #boozysanta #whiskeyadvent #whiskeyofjapan

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The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Roe & Co Irish Whiskey: Diageo's return to the Irish whiskey category is a triumphant one with this blend of single malt and grain whiskeys. It is creamy, delightfully fragrant and remarkably rounded, with notes of spiced pear and vanilla.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfarclas 2009 (bottled 2016) (cask 1805) - Drinks by the Dram: We bottled this one ourselves, so we’re obviously big fans of this Glenfarclas expression. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s a typically excellent representation of the distillery – a single malt of complexity, class and sherried sophistication.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dailuaine 16 Year Old – Flora and Fauna: An ideal dram to savour as a digestif, this 16 year old single malt was sherry-matured, resulting in those wonderful winter spice and thick fruitcake notes

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Lost Distilleries Blend – Batch 10: An astonishing expression that was crafted using whiskies exclusively from closed distilleries. this outrageously complex blend is teeming with flavour, but still manages to offer a defined and quite brilliantly integrated tasting experience.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Last Drop 50 Year Old Double Matured: “A lot of life in this beautiful ol’ dog” is what Jim Murray said of this extraordinary Scotch. A small portion of bourbon-barrel matured 30 Year Old whisky from 1995 was held back and filled into seven oloroso sherry hogsheads that lay in a traditional Lowland warehouse for a further 20 years. The resulting notes of dark chocolate truffle, stewed plums, five-spice, liquorice root and aromatic oak are as delectable and scrumptious as you would imagine.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Willem Barentsz Premium Gin: Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz is famous for his search for the Northeast Passage, but if he found this gin in his Advent calendar he’d probably have changed his priorities and stayed home with these sweet and rounded floral-juniper notes and touches of marmalade instead.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Wood's 100 Old Navy Rum: Made from the finest sugar cane and distilled in Guyana, South America, this stately dram is known for being one of the highest volume dark rums out there right now, weighting in at 57% ABV. Despite the heft, muscovado sugar, soft toffee and spice notes still come through for all to enjoy.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Hine Bonneuil 2006: The second vintage of this single-estate Grande Champagne Cognac is a sequel worth entertaining, and brings the quality you would expect from the excellent Hine. A fruity and floral Cognac, there’s dried apricot, red apple and quince, as well as buttery cake and allspice notes. Just delicious.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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El Jimador Reposado: A stunningly smooth example of a reposado, this edition was aged for two months in white oak barrels prior to bottling. Mexico's best-selling tequila is your treat today, with its notes of cooked agave, vanilla and caramel sweetness.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Darroze Grands Assemblages 8 Year Old Bas-Armagnac: This 8 year old Armagnac from Darroze in the Bas Armagnac region for the Grand Assemblage series makes for an absolutely gorgeous blend, packed with dried fruits, quince jam, citrus peels and just a smidgen of wood.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Reyka Vodka: The world's first ‘green’ vodka, Reyka is made from glacial water and distilled using sustainable energy from geothermal heat. The brand is economical with almost everything – but not with its intense flavour profile, making it a superb candidate for cocktails.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Aprendiz Joven Espadín 2015: A textbook example of a smoky, fruity Joven mezcal from San Juan del Ríooft,  a delicious addition to the Mezcal Advent collection.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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St. George Absinthe Verte: The first legal American absinthe released after the ban was lifted in 2007 was worth the wait. With notes of intense wormwood, crisp anise, floral and lemon sweetness and an earthy quality, the Alameda-based distillery got this right –one for the California dreamers out there.

St. George for today’s Absinthe-vent. 60% this is the first American one of the calendar. #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 9

Grab a mince pie and don that reindeer sweater, it’s time to discover what Day 9 of our Advent calendar adventure has in store!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Naked Grouse: Relaunched as a blended malt in September this year, the updated recipe is made from whisky distilleries including The Macallan, Highland Park, Glenturret and The Glenrothes. Sherried and thick; the dram oozes notes of sultanas, sticky toffee pudding, Victoria sponge and crème caramel.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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FEW Bourbon: Hailing from the first distillery in Evanston (near Chicago) since prohibition, this gorgeous three-grain bourbon combines the legally-required corn majority with northern rye and a touch of malt – resulting in a whiskey packed with toffee, clove, vanilla and spice.

Day 9 @drinksbythedram

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The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Big Peat: Take malt whisky from iconic Islay greats Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Port Ellen, blend them together, and what do you end up with? A delicious, easy-drinking whisky with great body and a sweet, fresh, maritime, citrus flavour.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Koval Four Grain: This creamy, spicy whiskey is distilled from a mash bill of organic oats, malted barley, rye, and wheat, and then aged for around two years in charred oak barrels from Minnesota. The result? Notes of corn, red fruit and banana and allspice. Lovely.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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963 8 Year Old Blended Malt: A subtly spicy eight year old blended malt that is not often seen outside Japan. If you’re unfamiliar with Sasanokowa Shuzo, the distillery has been making whisky since 1946, and also crafts the Yamazakura range.

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Togouchi 9 Year Old: Well, this is not something you see every day! This nine year old blend is made up with both Scotch and Canadian whiskies, and was aged in a railway tunnel below the streets of Hiroshima. Lemon, orange and peat develops into a spiced caramel finish. Divine.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Tullamore DEW Phoenix: The Phoenix was placed on the coat of arms of the town of Tullamore in 1785, after a hot air balloon crash caused a terrible fire that nearly wiped it off the map. Tullamore DEW Phoenix – a blend of pot still whiskey finished in oloroso sherry casks, single malt and grain whiskey – pays homage to the resilient town.

Day 9 - Tullamore Dew.

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The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Ardmore 15 Year Old 2002 (cask 94091) - Chieftain's (Ian Macleod): There are two potential drams from Ian Macleod’s Chieftan’s range here, and both are equally as fine! The first, from Ardmore, was distilled in February 2002 and matured for 15 years in a Madeira cask until May 2017 . The second, an Aberfeldy, was distilled in April 2003 and bottled 14 years later in May 2017, having spent some time finishing in a Port pipe. Lovely stuff all round.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Big Peat: A dram so nice we featured it twice! Savvy imbibers will have clocked Big Peat’s appearance in The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. Rude not to include him here too really, since he’s basically a Scotch Santa. Small batch, non-chill-filtered and without colouring, for your dramming pleasure.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old: This is the very first 26 year old whisky to be released by Glenfiddich distillery, and it’s a beauty. Aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks sourced from the Kelvin Cooperage in Kentucky, it is soft and silky on the palate, with notes of liquorice, vanilla, toffee, nutmeg and cinnamon.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1979 - 5th Release (2005 Special Release): Boy oh boy, you’re in for a treat. This incredibly rare single malt from Port Ellen was launched as part of Diageo's Special Releases in 2005, with 5,280 bottles produced at cask strength. Flavour-wise, well… We won’t spoil it.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Kokoro Gin: Using Japanese botanicals has become a real trend in gin as of late, and Kokoro is a fantastic example. Made with fresh sansho berries from the Afan Forest in Japan, (which are popular in Japanese cuisine), this London dry is unlike any gin you’ve tasted before.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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South Pacific 12 Year Old 2004 - Bonpland: Hailing from Fiji's South Pacific distillery, this off-the-wall rum (of which only 488 bottles were ever produced) was finished in a German wine cask, resulting in a liquid bursting with grilled pineapple, mango, spicy oak and grape sweetness.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Pierre Ferrand Double Cask Réserve: Launched to replace Pierre Ferrand Reserve, this Cognac enjoys a unique double-aging process; first in French Oak Cognac barrels and then in former Banyuls casks (a type of French fortified wine). Expect fresh apricot, bright red berries and cinnamon spice.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Herradura Plata: Behind door seven lies a dreamy Tequila from Casa Herradura. Creamy and full, Herradura Plata is made from 100% blue agave plants that are harvested between seven and 10 years old, with the resulting liquid aged for 40 days in oak barrels before bottling.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Domaine Boingnères 1985 Cépages Nobles: Another showstopping armagnac from  Domaine de Boingnères. Distilled in 1985 from the increasingly rare Folle Blanche and Colombard grape varieties, this robust spirit offers notes of tobacco, leather and clove.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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St. George Green Chile Vodka: It’s said to be the perfect vodka for a Bloody Mary, and who are we to disagree? It’s made by distilling a non-GMO neutral spirit with jalapeño peppers, lime peel and fresh coriander, and then blending it with a serrano, habanero, and red and yellow pepper infusion. Clever!

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Los Cuerudos Reposado 2015: Rich and sweet, with undertones of that classic mezcal smoke we all know and love, from the folk behind the Los Cuerudos range. A real crowd-pleaser.

#loscuerudos #mezcal #delicious #pregoingtoa100thbirthdaybymyself #smellsdevine @drinksbythedram #resposado

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Liquoristerie De Provence Versinthe La Blanche: This colourless beauty is vacuum-distilled at a low temperature to retain some of the more delicate flavour notes, and contains a blend of 20 botanicals, including grande wormwood, verbena, basil, star anise, genepi, tarragon, dill, rosemary, and peppermint.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 8

It's time for day 8 in our Advent Calendar odyssey, and we've got a whole array of spirits for your dramming discovery...

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Cardhu 12 Year Old: This popular Speyside single malt makes for a charming Advent treat, with its gentle sweetness, soft peat and good helping of Christmas cheer!

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Hudson Baby Bourbon: Aiming to put New York whiskey back on the map, this classic bourbon was the first legal pot-still whiskey to be produced in New York since prohibition, and it was worth the wait. Made from 100% New York corn, it’s brimming with sweet caramel and vanilla notes with a pleasant touch of rye spices.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

Glengoyne 15 Year Old: If you’re not interested in peat or smoke, then today you’re in luck! Glengoyne air-dried the barley in this 15 year old, before ageing the whisky in both ex-bourbon and first-fill sherry casks to create a rich and rounded single malt.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Ragtime Rye Whiskey: It was a century-or-so ago that ragtime and rye were a thriving feature in so many bars and saloons in New York before the turbulence of Prohibition. We can enjoy the spirit of the era today with New York Distilling Company's delightful, er… spirit!

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Mars Maltage Cosmo: A whisky that sounds more like a bar of chocolate might just be the most appropriate thing we could put behind an Advent calendar window, and, fittingly, this blended malt is one for the more sweet-toothed among you. From the little-known Japanese distillery Shinshu, the Maltage Cosmo has notes of soft vanilla, sweet red fruit and chocolate biscuits.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Kilbeggan 8 Year Old Single Grain: You can’t really ask for more from this hugely enjoyable expression; it’s a classically stunning single grain Irish whiskey. Once you enjoy the honey, vanilla, tropical fruit, almond and spiced oak notes, you’ll be Kil-beggan for more!

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Miltonduff 21 Year Old 1995 (cask 2594) - The Single Cask: Exactly the kind of dram you hope for when you hear the words ‘single cask’. This 21 year old expression is from a tip-top distillery, in this case Miltonduff, with loads of complexity and a distinctly singular character – in this case peppery oak spice, dark chocolate, and juicy orchard fruit.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) Moscatel Cask Finish – Distillers Edition: Finished in casks which previously held Moscatel wine, this 2003 vintage is perfect for anyone who enjoys the pairing of smoky Islay peat with touches of expressive sweetness from wine barrels.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glencadam 25 Year Old: The Glencadam 25 Year Old is not only one of the distillery's rarest whiskies, but is also an exemplary reflection of this distillery's style, with its delicate, mellow and slightly sweet profile. Some Old & Rare Adventers might have William Larue Weller’s impeccable 2015 Release behind the window.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Master of Malt 60 Year Old Speyside: From the award-winning Master of Malt Secret Bottlings Series, this extraordinary 60 year old single malt Scotch whisky is from a famous, but undisclosed, Speyside distillery – you can try to guess, but our lips are sealed. 

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Tanqueray Rangpur: An exotic twist on a classic, Tanqueray Rangpur sees exotic citrus from India (also known as a mandarin orange), ginger and bay leaves added to the classic Tanqueray gin botanical recipe, resulting in a warming winter treat.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Sailor Jerry 3cl Sample: Inspired by the father of old-school tattooing, Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, this is a straight up handcrafted classic that makes an incredible spiced mojito with its notes of vanilla, butter, oak and winter spices.

December 8: Sailor Jerry Spirit Drink #sailorjerry #spicedrum #rum #rumadventcalendar #drinksbythedram

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The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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A.E. Dor XO Fine Champagne Cognac: When you have an XO Cognac from the esteemed A.E. Dor house, you know you’re in good hands. A rich blend of Grande and Petit Champagne eaux-de-vie, this edition is light, honeyed, delicate and supremely well crafted.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Ocho Reposado Tequila 2016 (Puerta del Aire): Ocho's 2016 harvest at Rancho Puerta del Aire gave us this delicious reposado, a light, elegant and enjoyably zesty tequila, with notes of grapefruit, caramel, creamy hazelnut and freshly chopped pine. And let’s face it – Ocho just had to go behind door 8.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Château de Lacquy 7 Year Old VSOP: If a VSOP expression from the long-running Château de Lacquy that features sweet bursts of fresh apricot, redcurrants, sultanas and spearmint doesn’t do it for you – then surely nothing will. This is really quite lovely.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Mamont Vodka: A Siberian-made, five-times distilled vodka that has been filtered through Siberian rock (that’s not a nickname for Ivan Drago) is sure to be of considerable elegance and refinement, and Mamont does not disappoint, delivering a crystal-clear spirit with mammoth personality.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Mezcal Amores Cupreata: A typically rustic, earthy mezcal made with Cupreata agave, the sweet peaty smoke, tropical fruit and freshly cooked sweetcorn notes make this a delicious Advent treat. You can sample easy knowing that Amores plants ten agaves for each one it uses, so there’s plenty a-more-s where this came from!

#mezcal #newtradition #cupreata @drinksbythedram #adventcalendar #amores

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Jade 1901 Absinthe: Superb absinthe-maker Jade based the creation of this classic on a recipe from 1901 that was used by the famous Pernod Fils distillery based in Saumur, France. With its combination of crisp, minty and earthy flavours, this expression more than does the original edition proud.

Jade 1901 Absinthe-vent continues with a delicious Jade, plate of salt bacon for scale. #absinthe

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 7

Well, well, well, what have we here? It’s 7 December, which can only mean one thing – the seventh dram of the month is ripe for the picking! Let’s crack open those doors.

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Roe & Co Irish Whiskey: Launched in March this year, category newcomer Roe & Co is a blend of bourbon cask-aged single malt and grain whiskeys created by Diageo master blender Caroline Martin and her team. Velvety and sweet, its spiced pear and vanilla notes make it the perfect winter’s dram.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Wild Turkey 101: You’d often find a bottle of Wild Turkey stashed close to the typewriter of American journalist Hunter S Thompson, and upon tasting a dram as fine as this it’s easy to see why. Full and rich; expect ashy sweetness, pepper, caramel and toasted cereal that lasts long into the finish.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Auchentoshan Three Wood: They say good things come in threes – and Auchentoshan Three Wood is the perfect example. Matured in three different casks (Pedro Ximénez, bourbon and oloroso), this sweet, intense and complex Lowland single malt is triple-distilled for your drinking pleasure.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Mellow Corn: If you don’t know, get to know. Oily on the palate with a smooth balance of sweet and spice, this straight corn whiskey has been aged in former Heaven Hill barrels. This little-explored style of whiskey makes for a delectable dram indeed.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Pure Malt Red: Fruity, creamy, buttery, and slightly herbal, this easy-drinking dram is a lightweight treat for the palate. It’s made up of casks primarily from Nikka distillery Miyagikyo, with a touch of Yoichi malt to round the experience off.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Paddy Irish Whiskey: First made in 1779, this long-standing bottling is made, usually, with all three styles of Irish whiskey: single pot still, single malt and grain. The result? A sweet, medium-bodied sipper underscored by a spicy, dry, oaky finish.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tullibardine 24 Year Old 1993 - North Star Spirits: Pretty much does what it says its extremely delightful tin! Drawn from a bourbon hogshead that was laid down in March 1993, this independently-bottled Highland whisky is a flavourful whirl of peanut brittle, green apple, honey, and white chocolate.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Deanston 18 Year Old: An indulgent dram from Deanston, which, believe it or not, is 100% self-sufficient in energy thanks to Hercules – the second largest waterwheel in the world. Rich honey, silky vanilla, sugary shortbread and a smidge of fresh ginger make Day 7’s selection a real treat for the palate.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old: A festive dessert dram if ever there was one. Aged for 25 years, this indulgent whisky is the real deal: fruit compote, cream and caster sugar develops into roasted malt, chestnuts and stewed raisins, and, as the whisky goes down, demerara sugar, nutmeg and caramel take residence on your tastebuds. A lingerer.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Auchentoshan 44 Year Old 1966: An excellent year for English football, and an excellent year, it would appear, for Scotch whisky too. This gorgeous Auchentoshan bottling has aged incredibly well (unlike some beloved football legends) and is soft, sweet, herbaceous and minty in equal measure.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Bathtub Gin: Buckle up, Advent spirit explorers – we’re getting science-y. The folk at Ableforth’s infuse copper pot still-made spirit with a whole host of botanicals including cassia, orange peel and cardamom (a process known as cold-compounding) to create this extraordinary gin. You don’t need a degree in chemistry, however, to know it’s delicious.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Trois Rivières Cuvée de l’Ocean: An intriguing rhum agricole from Martinique's Trois Rivières, the liquid is made from sugar cane grown in fields right next to the sea, giving this expression a distinct coastal character. 

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Cognac Leyrat VSOP: Produced at the vineyards at Domaine de Chez Maillard, using eaux-de-vie from the Fine Bois region, this exceptional VSOP is a mouthful of dried fruits, stem ginger, custard and molasses with a fabulously long finish.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Don Fulano Blanco Fuerte: Intense, spicy, herbal, fruity; this higher-strength version of its core range cousin Don Fulano Blanco (bottled at 50% abv) is a powerful beast. This is a Tequila to be savoured and is well worth spending time on.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Comte de Lauvia Réserve: A blend of 7-15 year old eaux-de-vie made with Ugni Blanc, Baco Blanc and Folle Blance grapes. Packed with cinnamon and nutmeg, this Armagnac takes you on a tour of a French bakery, stopping by brioche and fruity pastries on route. You’ll exit via a florist selling orange blossom and lilac.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

Grasovka Bisongrass Vodka: We’re off to Poland today, with a little summin’ summin’ from Grasovka. Aromatic, light, and fragrant, the flavour of this easy-drinking vodka is based on the flavour of native bisongrass. The distinctive full-sized bottle is decorated with a bison and contains a spear of the plant inside.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Derrumbes Oaxaca Mezcal: Made with Espadin agave, cooked in a traditional underground pit, double distilled, and rested for three months; Derrumbes is the prime example of a mezcal made in the central valley of Oaxaca. It’s brimming with citrus, fruity agave, smoke and herbal pine.

#day7 #lovely @drinksbythedram #yum #happy #newtradition #derrumbesoaxaca

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Fée XS Absinthe Française: This is one seriously cool absinthe. It’s made in Pontarlier (the French homeland of absinthe!) in very small quantities according to an historic recipe centered on grand wormwood grown nearby.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 6

Only 19 sleeps until Christmas according to our maths – we've reached day 6 of our awesome Advent Calendars!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfiddich Experimental Series Project XX: This expression boasts an incredibly complex and intriguing character, thanks to the collaboration of 20 malt masters, whose chosen expressions from Glenfiddich Distillery were married by in-house malt master Brian Kinsman to create this unusual single malt.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey: Named after the creek which flows near where Abraham Lincoln grew up, this stately small-batch bourbon from the makers of Jim Beam is chock full of sweet and spicy notes.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Peat's Beast: A beast with plenty of beauty from an unnamed distillery, this effort isn’t all smoke and sulphur. There’s sweet and meat among the peat in this beach barbecue of a dram.

Smokey! @drinksbythedram #peatsbeast #Scotch #SingleMalt #WhiskyAdvent #WhiskyWorship #Review #TastingNote

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The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Michter's US*1 Straight Rye: From the Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, every bottle of this straight rye whiskey comes from a single barrel, and every single bottle is utterly gorgeous.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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White Oak Akashi Single Malt 5 Year Old (cask 1373): Made at the White Oak distillery in Hyogo, near Kyoto, this single cask dream is one of two options out there in Japanese calendars today. 

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Golden Horse Musashi: This impressive, little-known gem is the pure malt expression from the Golden Horse range, which was re-launched in 2016. With soft fruit, earthy vanilla and a hint of coffee, this tasty tipple justifies the return.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Irish Single Malt #1 -  13 Year Old: The second lovely horse of the day, this 13-year-old single malt whiskey from an undisclosed Irish distillery complete with a label inspired by a very famous comedy series is an incredibly fruity and lusciously sweet affair that was bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Port Dundas 2004 12 Year Old: The Port Dundas distillery sadly closed in 2011, so think of it as a Christmas miracle that Clan Denny managed to bottle this 12 Year Old in May 2017 after distillation in July 2004, bringing its complex and delicious array of flavours into your lives this holiday season.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfarclas 25 Year Old: Bringing stunning Speyside sophistication to proceedings, the Glenfarclas 25 Years Old is a genuine classic from the region, combining delicate sweetness, warm spice, wisps of smoke and soft buttery goodness in one sumptuous, sherried expression.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Mortlach 25 Year Old: Matured mostly in refill American oak casks for a quarter of a century before bottling, this 2014 Mortlach single malt Scotch release is an utterly stunning and compelling dram that’s sure to bring some Christmas cheer!

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Glenfiddich 40 Year Old Limited Edition (Release Number 12): Definitely very old and absolutely very rare, the highly celebrated, limited edition Glenfiddich 40 year old uses a 'remnant vatting' process, which means some of the previous batch is carried over each time and vatted with the casks selected for the new release.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Edinburgh Gin Cannonball Navy Strength: Inspired by Edinburgh's naval heritage, the vibrant botanical selection and punchy, navy-strength ABV gives this hearty tipple a booming character that’s brimming with strong juniper, zesty lemon and lingering spices.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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El Dorado 15 Year Old: Striking gold with its 15 Year Old, El Dorado matured this beauty in bourbon barrels after it was pot-distilled, and created a rum that was duly rated the best in the world at the International Wine and Spirit Competition for four years running.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Frapin 12 Years Old Cask Strength (cask 1900): It’s not often you see a Cognac from a single cask, with an age statement and bottled at 40% ABV, so this this beautiful Grande Champagne release from the fantastic House of Frapin is a real seasonal treat.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Sauza Hornitos Reposado: Sauza ‘rested’ this 100% agave release in 10,000 gallon vats called pipones post-double distillation to create an intricate, refined reposado.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Baron de Sigognac XO Platinum: Expertly blended and bottled eaux-de-vie aged for at least six years, this fine addition to the Baron de Sigognac collection offers notes of dried fruits, honey, butterscotch and rancio, making it an exceptional example of an XO Armagnac.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Skyy Infusions Passion Fruit: Skyy quadruple-distilled and triple-filtered this vodka with the natural flavours of exotic passion fruit, peach and mango, giving you a tropical twist to this season of winter-y wonderment.

#drinksbythedram Vodka Advent Calendar day 5 & 6. #deathsdoorvodka & #skyyvodka

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The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Pierde Almas Puritita Verda 40%: Made using Espadin agave and bottled at 42% ABV, this charming and easy-going mezcal from the Pierde Almas range is absolutely ideal in a Palomaesque or Last of the Oaxacans cocktail.

#adventcalendar #day6 #mezcal #purititaverda #nice @drinksbythedram #willbesadonday25

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Sebor Absinth: A blend of 13 herbs and a centuries-old Swiss recipe, this absinthe contains the highest level of Artemesia Absinthium (grand wormwood) legally allowed in drinks in the UK. Rich, mellow and spicy – festive fun is assured here.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 5

Can you believe we're one-fifth of the way to Christmas already? With the excitement well and truly building, it's time to reveal the drams nestled behind Advent Calendar doors for 5 December. Cheers!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Jim Beam Double Oak: A fantastic bourbon that’s aged in two different freshly charred American oak barrels, this super toasty effort is perfect for a classic winter’s day.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Noah's Mill: This adored small batch bourbon was created with a selection of whiskeys ranging between 4 and 20 years old and was bottled at a hefty 57.2% ABV, but that doesn’t stop the rich, fruit delivery from ‘milling’ away! Some of you might have King's County Bourbon, and a very small few might even have a peated King's County expression!  

#drinksbythedram, #57.2%byvol, #smooth!

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The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The GlenDronach 12 Year Old: From the Highlands distillery, this sweet, creamy GlenDronach spent at least 12 years maturing in a combination of the finest Pedro Ximénezand oloroso sherry casks. It was bottled without chill-filtration or additional colouring to form this sherried sensation.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey: This fine addition to the Old Scout range isn’t technically a bourbon, because of the blend of two whiskeys made with bourbon mash bills, only one is aged in new oak barrels, the other is aged in rejuvenated, re-charred bourbon casks. That doesn’t stop it from being drop-dead delicious, however.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky: Nikka uses the two Coffey stills at Miyagikyo distillery to create malt whisky, which is usually reserved for grain efforts in other distilleries. Luckily for us they broke the mould to deliver this rich and flavoursome expression.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Tipperary 10 Years Old Knockmealdowns: This sweet and enjoyable creamy 10 year old Irish single malt whiskey was drawn from a handful of ex-bourbon casks and honours the Knockmealdowns mountain range, which is fitting from a dram that hits such splendid heights.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Ledaig 11 Year Old 2005 (cask 900161) - Single Malts of Scotland: A single-cask spectacular from Tobermory distillery, this peaty treat was bottled for Speciality Drinks' Single Malts of Scotland range, with plenty of juicy fruit and warming spices.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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North British 27 Year Old 1988 (cask 10938) - Old Particular: From the North British distillery in Edinburgh, this well-aged grain whisky was matured in a single refill barrel for 27 years, giving it plenty of time for the honeyed, rounded character to develop.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tomatin 36 Year Old - Batch 4: The fourth batch of the 36 Year Old is a combination of first fill Spanish oloroso sherry butts and traditional oak casks that reveals splendid notes of dark spices, red fruits and nutty malt this outrageously good Tomatin tipple.

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The John Walker: Made in loving memory of John Walker himself, this epitome of exclusivity is crafted from specially selected casks to create a whisky with notes of rich fruit, sweet vanilla and a honeyed character that waltz together in sumptuous harmony.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Moonshot Gin – That Boutique-y Gin Company: More Stanley Kubrick than Franz de le Boë, this gin was made using botanicals that were sent to space, including a helping of moon rock from a lunar meteorite, to create a tipple to enjoyed by astrophiles and gin-nuts alike. It just this week collected a gold medal the The Spirits Masters Awards!

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Mezan Jamaica XO Rum: An XO rum bottled by Mezan, two distilleries in Jamaica, Monymusk and Hampden provided the blend of rums aged between 4 and 23 years to create this pungent but sweet rum with plenty of spice and dried fruits.

day 5 #averymerrychristmas #rumadvent #mastersofmalt #drinksbythedram #mezanrum

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The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Courvoisier XO: Courvoisier XO features very old eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Borderies regions that were well aged and expertly blended to help create this altogether timeless and delectable Cognac.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Lunazul Reposado: From the Tierre de Agaves Distillery, Lunazul have produced everything you want from a classic reposado, a spirit distilled from 100% blue agave that features delicately fruity notes, with subtle oak and vanilla.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Clés des Ducs Three Star Armagnac: Consisting of eaux-de-vie which have aged for at least three years in Limousin oak after distillation, this blend is dominated by fruity and flowery notes.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Death's Door Vodka: From the Death's Door folks in Wisconsin, a combination of malted barley forms the basis for this creamy spirit that features subtle vanilla and mixed nuts. Ironically, it should make you feel quite alive.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Los Siete Misterios Coyote 2015: Made using an unusual variety of agave, ‘Coyote’, and traditional production techniques, Los Siete Misterios produced this mezcal to capture the spirit and heritage of the drink. When you experience the fruity tones, well-cooked agave, wet earth and floral flashes - you’ll know they succeeded.

#adventcalendar #day5 #mezcal #sietemisterios #yum #appreciatingmezcalsmore @drinksbythedram #coyote2015

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Jade Esprit Edouard Verte: Jade produces absinthes using centuries-old recipes, and this debut from the brand is an absolute delight. You may have the Original Manchester Absinthe in your calendar, a lively, refreshing spirit. 

Today’s Absinthe-vent Jade Espirit Édouard 72% #absinthe @drinksbythedram @jade_liqueurs

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 4

It might be Monday, but we’ve got something to banish those blues… Day 4’s drams of marvellousness from across the whole Advent Calendar cohort!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Irish Single Malt #1 – 13 Year Old: We start in Ireland this time with a lovely one from independent bottler That Boutique-y Whisky Company. It’s got fruit notes galore, from apricot and apple to raspberry, fig and plums. We dig the wood spices, too!

The Spelunkers — Day 4 @drinksbythedram @lego #whiskyadvent #adventcalendar #yddow #yourdailydoseofwhat

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The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Buffalo Trace: An absolute classic from this Kentucky stalwart. It’s got sweet spices, it’s got complexity, it’s a smooth sipper, and it more than holds its own in a cocktail. What’s not to love?

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Inchmoan 12 Year Old: A medicinal peated dram from the Loch Lomond distillery, bottled under the Inchmoan brand. Loads of peppery spice, with toffee coming through later to round it all off.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Bower Hill Reserve Rye: Straight rye from Bower Hill; a powerful expression characterised by the rye warmth with fresh oak, spiced rum, and a generous helping of mint.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka Whisky From The Barrel: An incredibly powerful joy of a Japanese whisky, full-bodied with loads of toffee, autumnal spices and fresh fruits. A modern classic.

Day 4 - From The Barrel. @masterofmalt #whiskeyadvent #boozysanta #whiskeyofjapan @drinksbythedram

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The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey: An oily, fruity expression from the renowned Cooley Distillery. Along with the orchard vibes you’ve got maltiness and spicy grassy quality going on.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Blanton's Straight From The Barrel: A single-barrel release from the immensely popular Blanton’s series. And with good reason: the liquid is divine, with this one boasting deep spice and dark fruit notes. Enjoy!

Day 4 of #whiskyadvent - a #blantons #bourbon...at 64.8%. This is getting a bit silly now

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The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dalmore King Alexander III: The folk up at Dalmore have been busy with this one – it’s been matured in Madeira, Sherry, Marsala, Kentucky bourbon and Port casks!

December 4. The Dalmore King Alexander III #whiskyadvent @drinksbythedram #mastersofmalt #singlemaltscotchwhisky #🥃 #merrychristmas #happyholidays

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The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Kininvie 25 Year Old 1990 (cask 21) - 'The First Drops' (Special Release #1): As the name might suggest, this bottling contains some of the first spirit to ever come off the Kininvie stills. The vatting includes whiskies from cask 8 (released in Taiwan), cask 20 (Europe) and cask 21 (for the UK).

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Yamazaki Age Unknown: Just as it says on the tin, little is known about this Yamazaki liquid, although it was bottled by Keizo Saji, the late Suntory chairman who passed away in 1999. It’s thought that the whisky within was distilled in the 1960s.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Don Q Gran Añejo: The rums in this cracking Puerto Rican expression were aged for between six and 12 years. The result? An indulgent rum packed with tropical fruit notes underscored by an earthy vegetal quality.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Whitley Neill Quince Gin: A variation on a theme, this South African-inspired classic gin has been reimagined with a bounteous serve of quince thrown in for good measure.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Bisquit VSOP Cognac: Rumoured to be Winston Churchill’s favourite Cognac house, Bisquit makes a rather fabulous VSOP which is exactly what we have here.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Don Julio Blanco Tequila: A classic blanco Tequila from Don Julio. This particular expression has won awards for its silky mouthfeel and refreshing palate.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Single de Samalens 8 Year Old: Made using exclusively Ugni Blanc grapes, this Armagnac leans towards the drier side of the flavour spectrum. Well worth spending time with as the aromas really develop in the glass.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Square One Cucumber Vodka: This earthy refresher is made from organic American rye. Why not try it in a Bloody Mary?

Vodka Advent Calendar day 3 & 4 oops !! #ruttevodka #grainvodka & #squareonevodka #cucumbervodka

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The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Zignum Reposado Mezcal: An intriguing mezcal – not as smoky as others out there, its short ‘rest’ in oak dials back the bonfire vibe and accentuates the sweetness. Tasty!

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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Absinthe Bitters: Wormwood is highly regulated in Australia so the Great Southern Distilling Company (which makes this delightful drop) had to get creative and label this ‘bitters’ to get away with the concentration. This absinthe is made with both Roman wormwood and Pontica wormwood. Herby.

Day 3 La Fée Absinthe 68% #absinthe Absinthe-vent or Absvente? @drinksbythedram

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Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 3

We’ve made it to Day 3! Up today we’ve got a whole host of deliciousness from distilleries far and wide… tuck in!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky: First up we’re taking a trip to South Africa with this award-winning single grain expression. The whisky is matured in first-fill bourbon casks for three years, before being transferred into fresh first-fill bourbon barrels for another two years.

 
 

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year Old: A fantastic bourbon with a 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% malted barley mash bill. This is super toasty with loads of creamy vanilla and tropical fruit notes going on.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: The first blended malt of this Advent season, Monkey Shoulder champions the deliciousness of all things Speyside. One ideal for use in cocktails, if you feel like mixing it up.

 
 

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Roughstock Montana Spring Wheat Whiskey: This intriguing whiskey is made using a type of wheat more commonly found in a bakery than in a distillery. But don’t be put off – it’s been finished in heavily toasted French oak casks and is downright delectable.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve: A blend of lightly peated and heavily peated whiskies from Hakushu, this expression boasts an incredibly herbaceous, deeply complex character.

 
 

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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The Irishman 12 Year Old (2016 Release): A dream of an Irish single malt from the chaps at Walsh Whiskey, expect milk chocolate, fried banana and hazelnut notes from this first-fill bourbon barrel-matured expression.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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English Whisky Co. 5 Year Old 2010 – Single Cask: An independently bottled drop of English whisky from retailer Master of Malt, this oloroso sherry-matured beauty offers all kinds of festive nosing and tasting notes, from mince pies to figgy pud.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Mackmyra Seasonal Skördetid: A seasonal release from the renowned Swedish whisky-maker, Skördetid (or ‘harvest time’) has been finished in Masi Costasera Amarone casks, imparting a herbal spiciness. You may have found Mackmyra Moment - Malström behind your door, which is another tip-top drop.  

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Prometheus 26 Year Old: Another peated Speysider, this time from The Glasgow Distillery Company. We rate the aromatic heather, creamy dark chocolate and smoky charcoal notes.

 
 

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Port Askaig 45 Year Old: When was the last time you saw a 45-year-old Islay whisky?! An incredibly exciting dram, drawn from five different sherry butts which were married together for a year prior to bottling.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

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Rumbullion!: Ableforth’s spiced rum, but not as you know it. This is a blend of high-proof Caribbean rum, creamy Madagascan vanilla, vibrant orange peel, cassia, cloves and cardamom. Rich, velvety, and very easy to drink.  

 
 

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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The East India Company London Dry Gin: Forget tea, the East India Company has branched out into gin and this one’s divine. Perfect in a G&T with a tonic that’ll let the aromatics shine, or in a Tom Collins.

 
 

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Cognac Couprie VSOP: A robust yet elegantly floral Cognac from the renowned Cognac Couperie house – located in Grande Champagne, no less.

 
 

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

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Don Fulano Añejo: A grown-up Tequila definitely for sipping, Dol Fulano’s Añejo expression has been aged in both new and old French oak casks and boasts nosing and tasting notes of dark chocolate, almonds and cherries.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Marquis de Montesquiou Extra Old: An XO expression from the Cognac house founded by relatives of d'Artagnan off of the actual Three Musketeers.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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Rutte Grain Vodka: Thought to be the first certified organic vodka in all Europe, this Dutch offering is made using French winter wheat and triple-filtered local water.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Del Maguey Wild Papalome Mezcal: A joyous single-estate mezcal made from 100% Wild Maguey Papalome agave and a stainless steel pot still with a clay condenser and bamboo tube. Intruiguing.

The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Fée Parisienne Absinthe: An all-natural absinthe made with 60% grand wormwood, this is a great sipper neat, or enjoy over large ice cubes.

Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 2

After all the anticipation of opening the first Advent Calendar windows yesterday, we’re relieved it’s the weekend – we need a lie-in after all that over-excitement! But there’s no let-up in the fun. It’s Day 2, and therefore time to explore some more awesome drams…

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Buffalo Trace: A classic Kentucky straight bourbon which has won awards for its complex sweetness. Expect to find swathes of vanilla on the nose and palate, with heaps of sweet spices and a delicious toastiness.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar: #WhiskeyAdvent

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1792 Small Batch: 1792 refers to the year Kentucky became a state – but this incredibly smooth bourbon is more than just a number. Velvety, creamy and dangerously easy to drink. Enjoy!

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Port Askaig 8 Year Old: A secret single malt from Islay independently bottled by Speciality Drinks. Smooth, elegant and abundant in peat. Tasty stuff.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye: A spicier whiskey from the brand known for its wheated straight bourbon, expect a whole bunch of warming sweet spices along with chocolatey vanilla.

 
 

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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White Oak Akashi Blended Whisky: A blend of malt and grain whiskies from Japan (not the molasses-based version available domestically), White Oak Akashi offers all kinds of Cherry Bakewell tart, walnut and dried fruit notes, all bundled up with a warm spiciness reminiscent of a good rye. Interesting