Welcome to WhiskyReviews.net, a new website featuring regular reviews that (hopefully) inform and entertain at the same time.
Over the last few years I have tried to indulge my love for writing by opining on various different topics. However, for some reason nothing really stuck until I turned my attentions to my interest in whisky. Only then did the words begin to flow freely. So, after I had typed up a few reviews, it seemed that I had best put them in some kind of order, which of course meant picking a whisky to stand as my first review.
I expect that single malts will take up the bulk of my writing but due to the vast quantity of blended scotch sold across the world, it seemed somehow appropriate to kick things off with an affordable, every day blend…
First though, perhaps some background information regarding the difference between blends and single malts would be useful. In short, a single malt is made from 100% malted barley and is produced entirely at one distillery. A blend meanwhile, is made by vatting together whisky from various distilleries, including some made from other grains like wheat, maize and rye. A single malt is often held in higher regard than its blended cousin, for the simple reason that malt whisky is viewed as superior to that which is distilled from other grains. It is also fair to say that most blends are created to appeal to as many people as possible and therefore lack the character of a single malt which can be influenced by the place, the people and the conditions in which it was made.
Chivas Regal is the flagship brand of Chivas Brothers, a company which began life as a grocers in Aberdeen back in 1801. Like many such businesses of the time, Chivas Bros. were purveyors of fine wines and spirits and by the 1840’s they had a cellar full of maturing whisky which slumbered until the time was deemed right to sell to their many customers. Of course for any business with such an inventory, the creation of a bespoke and exclusive product was a desirable progression. Thus the Chivas blends were born.
The 12 year old Chivas Regal blend is made from a vatting of malt and grain whiskies from multiple distilleries. Unfortunately, it is extremely rare for any blender to unveil the exact makeup of their product, though it is said that premium blends can contain anything up to 40% malt whisky.
Chivas Regal 12 year old is bottled at 40% abv and retails for around £25 a bottle.
The nose is rather inoffensive. Pleasant but a little unremarkable with Heather Honey, Vanilla and Green Fruits. On the palate there’s Honey and Vanilla again, Apple & Pear and a touch of Oak.
The Scores: About the scoring system
Smell: Pleasant without being sensational.
Taste: An easy sipping, every day dram.
Value: There are cheaper blends on the market but few carry an age statement of 12 years.
Total: 36 / 50
Chivas 12 has been marketed in the past as ‘the blend for grownups’ and I kind of understand why. Not a massive dram but is instead rather subtle and even somewhat sophisticated. A basic blend but a pleasant enough drinking experience.