Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Pernod Ricard
Average price: € 20.00
Official website: www.chivas.com
Every now and then we like to talk about whiskies that are usually snubbed by enthusiasts because they are too basic, but which may have been the starting point for many, thanks to their easy accessibility, in terms of both taste and wallet.
And it’s precisely the Chivas Regal, whether for its name or for its label (power of branding!), that evokes in consumers a high standard of quality, ending up in the shopping trolley when you are invited to dinner at someone else’s house and wants to show off a little without spending too much (like in this old Italian commercial).
But the history behind this cheap (literally) whisky is no less than many others, starting with the Chivas brothers and their shop, who began producing the blend in the second half of the nineteenth century, to meet a clientele that demanded softer, more delicate whiskies than those sold in their shop.
So there came The Royal Glen Dee, the Royal Strathythan and, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Chivas Regal.
The latter acquired the 12-year ageing indication after the Second World War, in what was certainly a good marketing move (one that still works today), choosing to add a declared age to a blend (which normally lacks one) in order to give it a certain importance.
If you then consider that it became the “official drink” of Sinatra and his Rat Pack, the impact on the collective imagination is served.
A blend of malt and grain whiskies (mostly from the Strathisla distillery), it has a coppery colour, obviously of artificial origin, to evoke significant ageing.
The nose is full of cereal, vanilla, caramel and a hint of dried fruit, with a clear acidic note that disappears with a little patience: overall sweet, but not really pleasant.
In the mouth things improve, the biscuity and sweet profile remains, softer than on the nose, always accompanied by dried fruit and vanilla with an addition of plums and honey, together with a certain dryness in the background. Simple, linear, clean.
The finish is short, dry, of plums and dried fruit, vaguely acidic like the initial nose.
Clearly made to be harmless and not to upset those who have it in their glass, it succeeds in its objective without adding anything more, perhaps even a little less: that acidity that I perceived on the nose and then in the finish spoils an otherwise pleasant drink.
The Whiskey Jug