Sunday, April 17, 2016

SOWC Blended Weeks. Tasting: Chivas Regal 12 & 18 Years Old

Over the next few weeks I’m going to take a closer look, at some of the notorious blends that the whisky world has to offer. Because it seems, that there are a firmly conviction, among some whisky drinkers, that single malts is superior to blends. Personally I have heard a lot of sayings about the blended whiskies and a lot of these opinions seem to be very similar. A couple of examples are; that the whisky that goes into blends, is less expensive whisky and therefore bad whisky. Or that blends isn’t a pure product because it often contains grain. Finally and apparently, most important to some single malts fans, simply because it is a blend and can be bought in grocery stores.

But first of all, let’s get something straight. A single malt whisky is a blend. That’s right!
Single Malt means, that the whisky is made exclusively from malted barley, from a single distillery. But single malt is a blend, from many different barrels. So unless it’s a single barrel release, it’s a blend.  

With that sorted out, let’s take a closer look, at some of these so called grocery blends and what better way, to get the party started, than tasting a couple of Chivas Regal’s.

Tasting: Chivas Regal 12 Years Old

Chivas Regal 12
Blended Scotch Whisky
Distillery: NDP
Age: 12 Years
Proof/ABV: 40%
DK Price: $44/290dkk
Release: Ongoing 
Points: 66/100 Points 

The Strathisla distillery (1786) is the oldest operating Highland distillery and one of the best selling whisky brands in the world. Before I became a malt head, Chivas Regal was the synonym of Scotch whisky. The Chivas Regal 12 was also the first whisky, I do recollect tasting. Even my non drinking whisky father owned a Chivas Regal 12.

Nose:  Apple, citrus and vanilla.

Taste: Start of very sweet with honey, raisins and hazelnut.

Finish: Woody dry with and a little peat.

The Chivas Regal 12 is a very rounded soft whisky, that is cut clean in its taste. My guess is, that Chivas went shopping, among some of the Speyside distilleries, to find the whisky, for their core in this one.

Tasting: Chivas Regal 18 Years Old. Gold Signature

Chivas Regal 18
Blended Scotch Whisky
Distillery: NDP
Age: 18 Years
Proof/ABV: 40%
DK Price: $86/570dkk
Release: Ongoing 
Points: 79/100 Points

The Chivas Brothers don’t offers any information’s regarding their blend recipe, other than it is made from 20 different grain and malt whiskeys. 

Nose: Apple, toffee and apricots. 

Taste: like its younger brother it starts of very sweet, with a lot of orange marmalade upfront. Followed by honey, sweet malt and dark fruit. 

Finish: Medium malty clean finish.

Being an 18 years old premium blend, priced around $86USD. clearly you should expect a “premium” experience. But sadly, I don’t think that Chivas meets that demand. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an enjoyable dram, but I prefer to spend a little more money and start looking towards the Compass Box range.