Spoilers ahead! If you plan to get The Mezcal Advent Calendar and want it to be a surprise, don’t read this post.

Drinks by the Dram is a company based in the UK that sells 30ml (about 1 fl. oz.) “dram” spirit samples. Their website says they offer thousands of fine spirits in these little drams. The idea is that you can try a small sample of an expensive spirit before committing to a full bottle. It looks like their main draw is whisky samples from around the world, but they carry everything: gin, vodka, rum, cognac, absinthe, tequila, and mezcal among other spirits.

In November 2016, my girlfriend.. I should rephrase that, the best girlfriend ever!.. gave me The Mezcal Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram. You read that right, there is such a thing as advent calendars full of booze! Every day in December leading up to Christmas, you try a different 1 oz sample. The company has advent calendars for nearly every type of spirit. The Very Rare and Old Whisky Advent Calendar is the most high-end and sells for about $10,000 USD; these expensive drams arrive in a handmade wooden box. Drinks by the Dram also sells a Chili Vodka calendar which sounds more like a gag gift (pun intended). All of their advent calendars have custom artwork related to the spirit on the box. These are a great way to rekindle that childhood anticipation for Christmas morning.

Del Maguey Wild Tepextate in the Mezcal Advent Calendar

December 3rd: A dram of Del Maguey Wild Tepextate

While it’s not exactly cheap and you have to ship it from the UK (unless you already live there!), you pay for delightful packaging and an experience that lasts nearly a month! Keep in mind that the entire advent calendar is nearly a full 750ml bottle so you get quite a bit of mezcal. I have a feeling that the mezcal sets are not flying off the shelves in Europe because my set didn’t match the ones on their 2016 daily advent calendar blog but they were close. Regardless, here were the contents:

December 2016

  1. Montelobos Joven
  2. San Cosme
  3. Del Maguey Wild Tepextate
  4. Siete Misterios Espadin
  5. Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio Special Stizel Weller Cask Finish
  6. Del Maguey Vida
  7. Siete Misterios Doba-Yej
  8. Zignum Silver
  9. Alipus San Juan
  10. Alipus San Andres
  11. Los Nahuales Espadin
  12. Jaral de Berrio
  13. Pierde Almas La Puritita Verda
  14. Pierde Almas Tobaziche
  15. Pierde Almas Mezcal de Pechuga 2013 edition
  16. La Penca Mezcal
  17. Ilegal Reposado
  18. Derrumbes Oaxaca
  19. Mezcal Meteoro
  20. QuiQuiRiQui Matalan
  21. Quiquiriqui San Juan del Rio
  22. Zignum Reposado
  23. Siete Misterios Tobala
  24. La Venenosa Raicilla Sur

Was it awesome? Yes, it was an incredible gift and a lot of fun. I hadn’t tried many of those mezcals at the time and some of them are not even available in the United States. Brands like Siete Misterios and Pierde Almas are somewhat rare in bars and liquors store so the opportunity to try a sample was great. Believe it or not, I wasn’t completely depressed to see some of the not-so-great mezcals were in the set: Zignum, Jaral De Berrio, and La Penca. Tasting them confirmed what I had heard elsewhere – they are gross. And now I can pass along the warning based on experience rather than hearsay (which was 100% accurate in this case). It would be great if they ditched some of those aforementioned mezcals and added some drams from brands like El Jolgorio and Real Minero. My guess is that they are bottling what is easily found in Europe. At any rate, I recommend this gift for that special mezcal friend in your life, it will surely get them into the holiday spirit!


FYI this post is not a paid advertisement. Mezcal Reviews has no formal relationship with Drinks by the Dram or Master of Malt (we wish we did – please send us mezcal). Happy holidays!