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Whiskies of the Galaxy Advent calendar is the best booze gift of 2021

With 24 carefully curated drams, this wonderful whiskey tasting is light-years ahead of the rest.

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Flaviar's $250 whiskey-tasting calendar is the best gift for a spirits nut in 2021.

David Watsky/CNET

Just like the universe, the world of whiskeys is ever-expanding and that's what makes geeking out on the stuff so darn fun. Flaviar offers a whiskey- and whisky-tasting subscription and knows a little something about the popular brown spirit and all its forms. For the holidays, Flaviar is offering something special by way of a 24-pour Whiskies of the Galaxy tasting calendar with sips from every corner of the whiskey-producing world. It's a total palate expander for a booze enthusiast and just about the best gift to give a whiskey drinker in 2021.

If you're new to the trendy Advent calendar game, you should know that they are often made in limited supply and can sell out fast, especially the best Advent calendars. Flaviar's whiskey-tasting version is still taking preorders for $250 a pop but inventory will almost certainly dry up, just as it does most years. 

I got a chance to check out an advance copy of the 2021 space-themed whiskey calendar. I'm happy to report that it's even more fun than it sounds. 

What is it?

The calendar comes fitted with 24 quality drams all neatly packaged in a vaguely Star Wars-themed box. The idea is to open and taste one whiskey each day of December until Christmas. There's a sleek tasting glass included as well as a ceramic coaster to rest it on. A companion guide features distillery info and tasting notes on each that you retrieve via QR code (I wouldn't have minded having some of them in the actual book, if I'm being picky). There's also a place to jot down your own thoughts and no shortage of silly celestial copy. 

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David Watsky/CNET

Each of the 24 whiskeys is packaged in a neat little glass vial (seriously, I love the vials). A single pour is 1.7 ounces, which is enough for two people to enjoy a taste if you don't care to drink that much nightly or you prefer to share the experience with a friend. 

A great mix of whiskeys and whiskies

There is a rather thoughtful mix of single malts, blended Scotches, ryes, bourbons, Irish whiskeys, Australian, Japanese and American offerings, which technically means it has samples of both whiskey and whisky. The spread of spirits contains good representation from old-guard producers like a 10-year Bushmills Irish and a 15-year single malt from The GlenAllachie. Newer distilleries shine brightly as well in the 24-day tasting, including a punchy barrel-strength bourbon from Penelope (Indiana) and Balcones' (Texas) complex American single malt -- one of my favorite pours.

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Each day's offering includes a QR code to retrieve in-depth tasting notes and loads of information on the distillery.

David Watsky/CNET

Pricing and delivery timeline

At $250, Flaviar's whiskey-tasting Advent calendar certainly isn't the cheapest one out there, but you're getting over 40 ounces of quality booze, a stone coaster and a tasting glass all wrapped up in some very fun holiday packaging. The calendars are still in the preorder phase but, according to the brand's website, they will ship in the next few weeks and well ahead of Dec. 1. 

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The Whiskies of the Galaxy features lots of pours from far-off places.

David Watsky/CNET

A bonus Flaviar membership with your purchase

Order one of the Whiskies of the Galaxy calendars and you'll also get a free membership to Flaviar that includes built-in discounts when ordering through the marketplace, free shipping and access to tours and live events. 

With an expertly curated Whiskies of the Galaxy tasting calendar, Flaviar is beckoning us to expand our own "whiskeyverse" in 2021. I say prepare for lift-off and grab one of these beauties before they sell out.

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