The clocks have gone back; the leaves are falling from the trees; the TV adverts are all pushing perfume and package holidays. Yes, it’s nearly that time of year again – Christmas!
But this is quickly joined by an increasing flood of advent calendars.
As I mentioned last year, when I was young an advent calendar was just a picture with hard-to-find little doors; behind each of those doors was a little picture of something wholesome and Victorian. When I was a little older, chocolate calendars became more common but they always seemed a little decadent – not to mention a source of conflict in a house with six children and one calendar!
These days, of course, there is an advent calendar for just about everyone as companies realise what an excellent pre-Christmas sales opportunity they represent. There are calendars for every drink covered on this blog – whisky, beer and coffee – so here’s a round up of the best.
Whisky (and other spirits)
Perhaps the best known of the ‘grown-up’ calendars is Master Of Malt’s wonderful whisky advent calendar; 24 different spirits – in their brilliant little Drinks By The Dram bottles – add up to a very merry Christmas indeed.
To my good fortune, my wife won their whisky calendar last year, and I had the enjoyment of sharing the drams here on the blog throughout December. This year they have been kind enough to send me their bourbon calendar and once again, you’ll be able to read my impressions throughout advent.
While the whisky calendar was a stroke of genius, the idea of a beer advent calendar seems almost obvious – now someone has done the hard work of actually thinking of it. Mail order beer often arrives in boxes of 24 after all; why, it’s almost like Fate wants us to enjoy a daily beer in the run-up to Christmas.
A few online beer merchants have cottoned onto this predestination, although I’m a little surprised that it’s not more widespread. Enter my go-to beer pimps, Ales By Mail.
You could pick ‘n’ mix your own case, but they also produce a reasonably festive selection in a fancy decorated box, along with a mysterious “extra surprise present” for Christmas Day – and who doesn’t like extra Christmas presents?!
I don’t function without my daily coffee, so it’s nice to see that I could enjoy a different bean every day throughout December thanks to Imperial Teas’ Advent Calendar of Coffee.
Two dozen different coffees to enjoy over the course of the month? Yes please – I think I’ll need it to recover from the whisky and the beer!
Of course if you would rather stick to tradition, then there really is only one chocolate advent calendar to consider.
I’ll be reviewing the content of Master of Malts’ Bourbon Advent Calendar daily throughout December!