Scotch fans usually have a particular whisky character they are fond of year-round, so whisky gift buying at Christmas can be the perfect occasion for experimenting with new styles and discovering new lifelong favourites.

No longer is whisky gifting intimidating, but a time where enthusiasts embrace change and enjoy the simple pleasure of unearthing new brands, ages and expressions. With so much choice available, from Speyside single malts to aged blends, this guide to Scotch whisky gifts will help novice drinkers learn the ropes, whilst allowing seasoned fans the opportunity to expand their whisky horizons.

Aberlour 18 year-old |The complex one

Colour |Sumptuous auburn gold

Nose |Rich and complex, with notes of toffee and butterscotch combining with ripe peach and bitter orange

Palate |Superbly structured, with initial notes of soft apricot and cream, offset by developing flavours of old leather and oak, with a touch of honey

Finish |Very long and well balanced, progressing from crème brulée to a gentle oak flourish

Greater age adds body and a rich raisin character to Aberlour’s characteristic depth and spiciness. Matured in the highest quality casks, where it develops deep Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry flavours, Aberlour 18 is the richest and most indulgent Aberlour expression.Introduced in 2008, this luxury brown liquor is now one of the stars of the range with its rich and fruity notes, with a great textured mouthfeel. A previous winner of a Gold Medal and Best in Class at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.Aberlour 18 year-old (70cl) can be found atwww.thewhiskyexchange.com

The Glenlivet Cipher |The mysterious one

Presented in an opaque, black bottle without any tasting or cask information, The Glenlivet Cipher is a Scotch whisky shrouded in mystery that helps whisky lovers to push the boundaries of flavour exploration. Crafted from a unique cask combination that has never before been used by The Glenlivet, Cipher will offer a new flavour experience to explore whilst staying true to the flawlessly smooth and fruity flavour that has made the distillery famous.

Makingsingle malt scotchfor nearly 200 years,The Glenlivetdistillery knows a thing or two about whisky. Still based in the wild Scottish highlands where they started, the iconic distillery brings a modern twist to their classic single malt with the new Cipher. With its production wrapped in secrecy but utilising two centuries worth of whisky knowledge, you’ll have to try this single malt scotch whisky yourself to break the code.The Glenlivet Cipher is available at Selfridges for £110

Chivas Regal The Icon |The creamy one

Nose |Deep, rich, fruity and sweet with notes of runny honey, ripe pears, dark chocolate and orange fondant creams

Palate |Full and fruity with flavours of sweet orange, peaches in syrup and vanilla in abundance. Flavours are balanced to perfection with the hazelnut flavours coming from the cask

Finish |Incredibly long, luscious and sweet

Icons aren’t made, they’re born. A blend of some of the rarest and oldest whiskies available to Chivas Regal, Chivas Regal The Icon is the pinnacle of the range. To taste Chivas Regal The Icon is to savour the finest craftsmanship that has gone into each and every bottle created. Chivas Regal The Icon is the embodiment of craftsmanship and tradition married with the unparalleled expertise of Chivas Regal’sMaster Blender Colin Scott.This ultra-prestige Scotch whisky is an exceptionally smooth blend of much sought after whiskies from more than 20 distilleries across Scotland, including some rare whiskies from distilleries now lost forever.

Chivas Regal The Icon is the perfect balance of old and new, with each distillery imparting its own unique characteristics. At its heart lie the rarest malts from Strathisla, the spiritual home of Chivas Regal, and the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Scottish Highlands. Accented with hand-selected single malts from Longmorn and Glen Keith, Chivas Regal The Icon is a bold, balanced and unforgettable blend specifically developed with discerning whisky connoisseurs in mind.

Each year, the Master Blender will produce a limited number of bottles of this luxurious Scotch whisky, making it a must have product for whisky adorers and collectors alike.A celebration of craftsmanship and excellence, Chivas Regal The Icon is Chivas Regal at its very best. With exceptional character and an incredibly long and luscious finish, rich notes of honey, vanilla and dark chocolate are balanced by subtle hazelnut influences from the cask, delivering a long and luxurious finish in the smooth Chivas house style. Chivas Regal The Icon is available atwww.thewhiskyexchange.comfor £1,900.

The Glenlivet Winchester, Vintage 1966 |The indulgent one

Nose |Deliciously sweet with the aromas of treacle, moist raisins and apricot jam

Taste |The palate is then gratified with the release of candied, sumptuous soft fruits, sweet treacle and juicy orange, layered by delicate spice – a teasing intermingling of cinnamon and liquorice

Finish |Exceptionally long, smooth, with a pleasing hint of dryness. The subtle, exotic spice set in relief against the signature soft sweetness is just one of the elements that differentiate this special vintage from the prestigious Vintage 1964

1966 is the second edition in this exquisite collection of 50-year old single malt. The pinnacle of the Glenlivet range, the series of rarefied 50 year-old single malt whiskies have been crafted over generations, matured over decades and hidden within the walls of the Glenlivet distillery. With only 100 bottles of this rare and precious liquid in existence across the globe, the historic Scotch will be priced at £20,000 and sold in the equally luxurious setting of Harrods for its UK launch.

Vintage 1966 was identified early on as being destined for greater things and has since been slowly and steadily developing the signature flavours that make The Glenlivet an enduring benchmark of quality. The trademark soft, sweet, sumptuous complexity is layered by a delicate spice – a teasing intermingling of cinnamon and liquorice – and offers an exceptionally long, smooth finish, with a pleasing hint of dryness.The Vintage 1966 joins Vintage 1964 to become one of the most sought after and exquisite whisky collections in the world, representing the legacy of generations of craftsmen that honours the past, celebrates the present and looks to the future. The Glenlivet Winchester Vintage 1966 is available at prestige retailers for an RRP of £20,000