Gift Guide: Spirits

It is fast approaching the season of sharing. What’s more perfect than getting a friend or a loved one a bottle of their favourite spirit. Or, even better still, treat them one that they might have not yet tried. The beauty of spirits is that they can be enjoyed individually or shared amongst many, so chances are you’ll get a sip of tipple.

We select an edit of great spirits including cognac, rum and gin. We believe these will inspire and guarantee some treasured sip and savour moments.


Remy Martin XO Excellence

Enjoy the taste of excellence with Remy Martin’s XO Excellence cognac, a myriad of floral, fruity and spicy aromas. With a notes of ripe fruits, white flowers and oaky notes of freshly grated cinnamon and hazelnuts, this cognac is velvety, rich and lingering.
Remy Martin XO Excellence – 700ml – £160

Ragnaud Sabourin Alliance 35 year old Cognac

Ragnaud Sabourin No. 35 is quite simply as good as Cognac gets. Beautiful aromas of citrus – orange peel with a touch of lemon – can be found. It has a delicate and elegant notes with a subtle mix of oak spice, with dried fruits, orange rind and blossom. The finish is beautifully complex and lasts for several minutes.
Ragnaud Sabourin Alliance 35 year old cognac – £150

Hine Bonneuil Vintage 2005 Cognac

Hine Bonneuil is the first release of its type from this famous Cognac name, and represents a single vineyard and single vintage expression. Taken from a limited release of just 18 specifically selected casks, all grapes were sourced from Hine’s own domain and taken from the excellent 2005 vintage – one of the best harvests of the last century. Exotic and expressive in style, opulent fruit aromas are combined with suggestions of gingerbread, liquorice and oriental spices. Commanding great presence on the palate, a dense mouth-coating texture carries notes of honey, pineapple and cloves before finishing with a deliciously lingering spicy flavour. A wonderful expression of modern cognac, this collectable release offers something refreshingly different and completely unique.
Hine Bonneuil Vintage 2005 Cognac – £95


Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23


This exquisite Guatemalan rum has won countless awards and once you open it you’ll know why. Made from ‘first crush’ virgin sugar cane, it is matured for 6 to 23 years in the best bourbon, sherry and pedro ximenez barrels. Very intense on the nose with vanilla, almond, chocolate and spicy notes. On the palate it is nice and rich – the perfect accompaniment to a good cigar.
Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23 – £52.45

Angostura 1824 Limited Reserve Rum

Angostura 1824 Limited Reserve is a blend of the finest mature rums, hand-picked by the master blender from select casks. These rums are aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 12 years and then skilfully hand-blended. Blackcurrant, vanilla, some tropical fruits come through on the nose; on the palate cinnamon, brown sugar and all things nice.
Angostura 1824 Limited Reserve Rum – £79.99


An ultra premium bourbon whiskey that, unlike traditional bourbons that use a corn based mash, Basil Hayden’s uses nearly twice as much rye, giving it a gentle yet spicy flavour. Deliciously spicy and honeyed with a dry light finish, this excellent bourbon has universal appeal and deserves to be shared, sipped and savoured.
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Whiskey – £45

Whistlepig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey

This stunningly good 10 year old release is made exclusively from 100% aged rye, which imparts a uniquely full-bodied and unadulterated taste to the whisky. Before being bottled it is aged for at least ten years through a unique double-barrel process – it spends five years in first fill white American oak barrels and another five years in used bourbon barrels. The resulting whiskey is forward and pronounced on the nose, displaying hints of vanilla and caramel, dried orange peel, cinnamon, allspice and clove. Full and textural in the mouth, an indulgent assortment of flavours are suggested including caramel, pecan, vanilla and a rich rye spiciness.
Whistlepig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey – £92.50


Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin

The Westbourne Strength offering from Martin Miller has a more traditional character meaning that it’s perfect for use in making classic cocktails like the Negroni where a more obvious juniper hit is required. The quality of Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin has been recognised by numerous awards in prestigious spirit competitions around the world. Exceptionally smooth on the palate, it’s lightly spicy with floral aromas of parma violet and clean juniper notes.
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin – £39.50

Origin Arezzo London Dry Gin

Each of Arezzo’s Origin gin is distilled from English wheat spirit and Juniper with no other botanicals added. You can then transform the spirit into a more traditional, more rounded gin by adding some drops of cold-distilled botanical essence of coriander, fresh lemon peel, bitter orange peel, cardamom, angelica, cassia, liquorice, cubeb berries and camomile. Origin has notes of citrus and pine, with a smooth creaminess and a long finish.
Origin Arezzo London Dry Gin – £41.50

Cambridge Gin “Japanese Gin”

Marking the start of the Japanese cherry blossom season, The Cambridge Distillery have proudly created a unique Japanese Gin. Distilled, blended and bottled in Cambridge, the gin boasts a unique blend of traditional juniper and distinctive Japanese flavours including yuzu peel, shiso leaf, sansho pepper, sesame seeds and cucumber for an intricate and delicate ‘umami’ taste. Noted as “London meets Tokyo in a glass”, this gin provides a classic drink with a truly original twist for an unprecedented experience.
Cambridge Gin “Japanese Gin” – £64.99


Ketel One

Incredibly, Ketel One is still a family owned distillery in Holland, owned by the 11th generation of the Nolet family. A classic vodka which really comes into it’s own when used in cocktails. Be a cocktail maestro using Ketel One’s clean and fresh qualities that have a touch of peppery spice and a smooth, rich finish.
Ketel One Vodka – £33.99

Cold River Vodka

This award–winning premium vodka is tripled distilled in small batches to create a clear, smooth vodka with a subtle sweetness – ideal for anyone who likes their vodka straight, simple and sophisticated.
Cold River Vodka – £59.99

You may be wondering why we’ve omitted whisky from this list. Well, we like whisky so much and feel it deserves it’s own dedicated article and you can see our current Christmas recommendations here.

Chris Chasseaud

Chris is the Style & Features Editor at Ape to Gentleman, and one of the UK's leading style commentators. Having worked in the fashion and design world for his entire career he's well placed to deliver sartorial advice.