Reviewed by Freya Knudsen
In more recent years, ‘grown up’ calendars have boomed with options spanning from traditional chocolate to beauty and alcohol. I’d heard of Virgin Wines but didn’t know they also sold spirits and beers, so when I was offered the option of a beer, wine or gin calendar, I opted for gin to see what the selection would be like. As an avid gin lover, this seemed like a great way to sample a lot of different flavours and get to know better what I like. I’ve tried quite a few but they’ve tended to be on the cheaper side as I don’t like to buy a premium gin unless I know I’ll like it.
What better time to get an alcohol calendar than the run up to Christmas, when daily drinking is not only accepted but actively encouraged. Especially after the last couple of years, its time to let our hair down in style!
The Virgin Wines Gin Advent Calendar arrived in a large, sturdy, seasonally decorated box that was branded minimally with the Virgin Wines logo. Cleverly all the pictures are drink themed made Christmassy, so think cocktail shaker as an angel and snowman in a glass. Also featured is the tagline Because Christmas is too short for boring gin. They are not wrong! The calendar is packed with 24 x 5cl bottles of gin, comprised of both unique flavour combinations and classic favourites, such as Old Tom, London Dry and Navy from across the UK’s distilleries. For the purposes of this review, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself, I opened all the doors early.
My partner insisted he should also be involved so we made short drinks with ice and lemonade or apple juice (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). I didn’t drink all 24 in a week, but I did try some of the more unique flavours, so I could give some feedback. Among our favourites were:
Edinburgh Gin – Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur
Very tasty and moreish, could easily drink a bottle of this. I can certainly see why this has a great reputation.
Warner’s – Christmas Cake Gin
Tasted as described, Christmas cake in a glass. This would make a great Christmas cocktail or served only with ice.
Rock Rose – Navy Strength Gin
Has a slight spice to the taste, but absolutely great for a gin and tonic.
Festival – Spiced Orange Gin
Tasted of orange and spice, recommendation on site stated it would make a fantastic negroni and I can believe it.
In total, I’ve tried 10 of the curated collection and found so far that they’re all delicious. Whoever selected these has got some taste, there’s obviously been a lot of thought put into choosing these.
This calendar marks the 3rd iteration of the Virgin Wines gin selection. What’s great on the website is that you can leave the gins as a surprise or reveal a synopsis for each bottle contents, along with style of gin, brand, abv and country.
To summarise, I’d recommend purchasing this calendar, for the ultimate countdown to Christmas. Its an affordable way to try a lot of new gins without spending ludicrous amounts of full-size bottles. Better still if a special someone deserves a treat given the last two years, go ahead and earn yourself some brownie points. They might just share it with you! The curated selection featured a great variety that encompasses every taste. I’ve certainly found a couple so far where I intend to purchase a bigger bottle.
Gin Calendar RRP: £99.99
The gin calendar can be purchased from Virgin Wines here.
Wine Calendar RRP: £89.99
The wine calendar can be purchased from Virgin Wines here.
Beer Calendar RRP: £79.99
The beer calendar can be purchased from Virgin Wines here.
Please note: Delivery is charged at £7.99 per calendar.