We test alcohol advent calendars including beer, wine, gin and whisky to see which is best

THE countdown to Christmas is on, and there is no better way to mark the time to the big day than by opening the doors on an advent calendar.

These days there are hundreds of advent calendars to choose from, and alcohol advent calendars reveal a measure of your favourite tipple behind each door.

Whether you’re a gin fan, a beer lover, a whisky drinker or like a glass of wine, there’s something for everyone.

Alcohol advent calendars are an increasingly popular option for people who aren’t that fussed about chocolate.

But these are definitely a luxury item – often with the price tag to prove it. 

We’ve looked at some of the most popular alcohol advent calendars out there to see what they deliver.

We’ve scored nine calendars on their packaging, the quality of the product, and value for money.

We haven’t scored them on taste as this might have led to a lot of typos in this article. 

But hopefully this round-up will help you decide which is the calendar you want to help you countdown to Christmas 2021. 

The Craft Gin Club Very Merry Gin Advent Calendar

What you get: 25 x 50ml gin miniatures

Price: £99.95

Packaging: 5/5   Value for money: 4/5  Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 13/15

The Very Merry Gin advent calendar looks luxurious and lustrous, with its shimmy gold surround and concealed doors – this one felt very Christmassy. 

In association with none other than Phillip Schofield, it’s a nice touch that there is a QR code you can scan to get tips on what flavour to put with your gin each day.

The 50ml measures are generous and you get a tipple of Christmas day too.

In total you end up with a whopping 1.25 litres of gin from this calendar – working out at around £4 a measure. 

For the combo of great packaging and generous measures, this was our winner. 

Flavourly Canvent calendar

What you get: 24 x 330ml cans of craft beer 

Price: £42.95 

Packaging: 3/5   Value for money: 5/5   Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 12/15

The Flavourly beer advent calendar is quite plain and rustic looking, but there’s something quite nice about the style. 

Value for money is the main appeal of this calendar as it’s much cheaper than a lot of its competitors.

A price of £42.95 works out at £1.79 for each of the 24 cans within, which isn’t dissimilar to what you’d pay in a supermarket for a can of craft beer. 

For beer fans, there is a good mix of different styles from different brewers. 

Honest Brew Advent Calendar

What you get: 24 x 330ml/500ml cans and bottles craft beer

Price: £74.90

Packaging: 5/5   Value for money: 3/5   Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 12/15

The packaging on this calendar is fantastic – it’s bright, fun and definitely Christmassy. 

Anyone with children should definitely store this one on a high shelf as it almost looks like a kids calendar.

This is more expensive than our other beer calendars, however, with the total price of £74.90 working out to around £3.12 per can or bottle. 

Again, there is a good mix of breweries and types of beer within, and even a cider or two as well. 

The Snaffling Pig Co Pork Crackling & Beer Advent Calendar 2021

What you get: 12 x 18g pork crackling, 12 x 330ml Snaffling Pig Beer 

Price: £65

Packaging: 4/5   Value for money: 2/5   Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 10/15

The Snaffling Pig Co calendar is super fun to look at – it’s incredibly bright and the windows go around to the sides too, which make it a bit of a hunt to find the right door each day.

The labelling of the cans and packs of crackling within are also bright and good quality.

However, the price tag of £65 is a little disappointing if you’re a beer fan as you only get half the alcohol as you would if you were buying an all-beer calendar but for a similar outlay. 

Virgin Wines Mixed Wine Advent Calendar 2021

What you get: 24 x 187/200ml bottles wine plus 1 full size bottle of prosecco

Price: £99.99 

Packaging: 1/5   Value for money: 5/5   Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 10/15

The wine calendar was huge – if this turned up on the doorstep, you’d definitely be excited. 

It’s a shame then that the packaging was so disappointing. A flat, matt red and a bit scuffed and beaten up when we got it, it didn’t feel like a luxury Christmas product.

But the mini bottles of wine within were a good measure and there was a good mix of different types, including a couple of little bottles of fizz and port. 

There are options for red or white only boxes, but we looked at the mixed version. 

The cherry on the top of this calendar was the full-size bottle of Prosecco behind door number 25, so you can start your Christmas day with a pop. 

Virgin Wines Gin Advent Calendar 2021

What you get: 24 x 50ml gin

Price: £99.99 

Packaging: 2/5   Value for money: 4/5   Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 10/15

The Virgin Wines packaging wasn’t very festive at all – the plain, matt blue packaging definitely didn’t bring any Christmas vibes. 

So I was surprised to find that quality of the product behind each window was actually impressive, with generous 50ml measures in delicate, beautifully-labelled glass bottles. 

The same price as the winning calendar, albeit with one less measure within, makes it pretty decent value for money. You end up with 1.2 litre of gin in total. 

The Really Good Whisky Company Whisky Selection Box

What you get: 25 drams x 30ml premium whisky 42%

Price: £149.50 

Packaging: 2/5   Value for money: 3/5   Quality: 4/5

Overall score: 9/15

This calendar contains 25 drams of whisky, working out at £5.98 for each measure. It contains a total of 750cl of booze – just over a bottle. 

That makes it pretty expensive at £149.95. 

The packaging was disappointing on this calendar – it was dark and not very festive at all. 

It’s also a shame that all the doors are in number order so there’s no hunting around each day for the right window. 

Still, the bottles within are high quality and look luxurious. 

And what’s also pleasing is that you get 25 drams – so you even get a tipple on Christmas morning. 

The Spirit Co Great British Gin advent calendar

What you get: 24 x 30ml gin (42.98%)

Price: £89.95

Packaging: 2/5   Value for money: 4/5  Quality: 3/5

Overall score: 9/15

The gin version of the Spirit Co advent calendar is at least a little cheaper.

Each measure in this one works out at £3.74 and you get a total of 720cl of alcohol – just over a standard bottle. 

It suffers from the same packaging issues as its sister product, but it is a nice touch that all of the gins are made in the UK – it gives the calendar a nice, home-grown feel. 

The Spirit Co All American Whiskey & Bourbon Advent Calendar

What you get: 24 x 30ml whisky and bourbon (47.07%)

Price: £149.95

Packaging: 2/5   Value for money: 3/5   Quality: 3/5

Overall score: 8/15

The Spirit Co advent calendar scored low on packaging – brown is hardly a festive colour and it felt a bit more like a corporate gift than something you’d have on the mantlepiece or kitchen side at Christmas. 

I was also a bit disappointed with the packaging of the bottles as the lids were plastic, which didn’t feel very luxurious given the price tag.

There are 24 drams of whisky and bourbon within, so a nice mix of styles and flavours, but the measures are 30ml, which is not as generous as some other spirit advent calendars. 

 

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