Sunday, September 10, 2017
Whisky Review: Chivas Regal 12 years Blended Scotch Whisky
Chivas Regal 12 years old
They are two titans of the 12 year age statement blended Scotch whisky category. One is Johnnie Walker Black. The other is Chivas Regal.
I like both.
I like Chivas for the honey sweetness, spices and apple notes. Sometimes I just want an old friend along while we watch the game. Don't have to make much chit chat. Chivas won't let me down.
Black Label is spicy cinnamon and caramel, accented with smoke due to the blending malts Talisker and Caol Ila. Black Label is caramel while Chivas is honey. Each has its time and place. While Johnnie Black is more complex and probably is the superior dram in the category, it is invariably more expensive, often when I am light in the wallet, which makes Chivas (often on sale) a lot better company.
Blended Scotch Whisky
Core Malts in Blend
Strathisla, Glen Grant, Glenlivet, Glenburgie, Braeval, and many others.
Widely available in over 151 countries.
Plastic twist-off cap. A little bit cheap and disappointing, and not in keeping with the fancy, but dated (e.g. thistle and castles) packaging and design.
12 years - no grain or malt whiskies less than 12 years and certainly some are older.
Style of Whisky
Vanilla, reserved oak, citrus, sliced apple.
Wild honey, spiced pumpkin pie, caramel, English cream, sugar pie, maple syrup on pancakes. Sweetness is not cloyingly so.
While it is a short finish, the flavors are: lemon meringue, lemon zest, touch of smoke, slightest of slightest hint of peat, a sweetness that transitions to sour (but in a good way), and finally black pepper. A distinct black pepper.
I like this blended Scotch. It does not suffer from the all too common flaw of being too grainy. It is honey and sunshine in a glass. Virtually no peat or smoke, but that's ok.
I think the novice Scotch fan will really like Chivas Regal 12 years because it is balanced with no off-putting flavors. In this regard, whisky newbies may prefer this over Johnnie Walker Black Label that has much more smoke and spiciness that novices may not enjoy.
When you factor in the price point, often on sale, how can you turn down an old friend?