Chivas Regal 12 is the world’s first luxury whisky. It was launched in 1909 and targeted at the New York elite. It has endured and today remains one of the bestselling whiskies in the world. It’s the number one scotch whisky in China and is sold in 150 countries across Europe, Asia pacific and the Americas. In 2016 it reportedly sold 91 million cases. That’s a lot of scotch!
It is a blended scotch. In fact, it was the Chivas brothers pioneering efforts in blending scotches that led to the legalization of blended mixes with the passage of the 1860 Spirits Act. I do not know the exact number of malts in the blend but Strathisla single malt from Speyside is its foundation.
Critics and whisky connoisseurs have been kinda harsh on blends citing their inferiority to a single malt. But it’s hard not to admire the work and dedication that goes into making a quality blend. Whereas a Master Distiller wrangles the complexity of a single malt and often just a single barrel. A Master Blender must address the complexities of multiple single malts – sometimes in excess of 20 different malts – and the peculiarities of any grain alcohol added to the mix. To succeed and create a consistent, high quality scotch is an amazing sensory accomplishment.
Chivas may have lost some of its bloom but the 12 year old remains a staple and a respectable dram.
Chivas Regal 12yr
Producer: Chivas Brothers – Strathsia Distillery
Origin: Speyside, Scotland
Price Range: $$
Awards: San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2005, 06, 07, 08, 11, 14, 16; Beverage Testing Institute 2004 (91); Wine Enthusiast 2008 (90-95) 14, (93)
Tasting Notes —
Color: Radiant, warm amber
Nose: An aromatic fusion of wild herbs, heather, honey, and orchard fruits
Palette: Round and creamy with a full, rich taste of honey and ripe apples, with vanilla, hazelnut and butterscotch notes.
Finish: Rich and lingering
$$$$$ = Greater than $100
$$$$ = $80 – 100
$$$ = $50 – 80
$$ = $30 – 50
$ = Less than $30
Further Ratings & Reviews
There are many websites and blogs that do an excellent job of reviewing and rating whiskies. As mentioned above The Whiskybits Composite Score is based on an average of at least three reviews conducted by industry leaders. The reviews sites normally referenced include The LA Whisk(e)y Society, The Whisky Reviewer, Proof 66, The Whisky Advocate and The Whisky Jug.