I bought four different 50ml bottles of whiskies in late September and have so far reviewed three of them: Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut, Johnnie Walker Red, and Johnnie Walker Black. It’s finally time to put the Chivas Regal 12 under the microscope. But before I get on with the review, here are some quick facts (courtesy of Wikipedia) about Chivas Regal:
- Chivas Brothers traces its roots to the opening of a grocery store at 13 King St, Aberdeen in 1801.
- In 1843, Chivas Brothers were granted a Royal Warrant to supply goods to Queen Victoria.
- During the 1850s, James Chivas decided to respond to his affluent customers’ demands for a smoother whisky, by beginning to blend whiskies to create a proprietary blend to Chivas Brothers. Their first blended Scotch whisky named ‘Royal Glen Dee’ was launched, followed in the 1860s by their second blended Scotch whisky, ‘Royal Strathythan’.
- In the early 1900s, Chivas Brothers decided to create their most aged blended Scotch whisky to export to the U.S, where the booming economy after the turn of the century was fueling demand for luxury goods. The whisky was named Chivas Regal.
- Chivas Regal was re-launched as Chivas Regal 12 year old in the US following the disruption of both Prohibition and World War II. Chivas became a fashionable brand of the era, and became associated with Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack. Chivas Regal was the Scotch whisky requested by Sinatra, along with other spirits brands backstage at performances, and Chivas sponsored Frank Sinatra’s Diamond Jubilee Tour in 1990.
- Chivas Regal was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2000 upon the breakup of Seagrams Group.
And now for the review…
- Appearance: Golden yellow.
- Aroma: Once I get past the alcohol, some of the lighter notes come through. Honey. Rosemary. Ripe fruit. Eucalyptus. Faint smell of smoke.
- Taste: Thin and watery mouthfeel. Tingles the tip of your tongue in the beginning. Let it sit on your tongue for a bit and you feel some mild cinnamon and peppery spiciness start to build. Ends with a medium, peppery finish. Pleasant, mouth warming aftertaste.
- ABV: 40%
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this itty bitty bottle of Scotch. The Chivas Regal 12 may not be as multidimensional as some of the whiskies that I typically enjoy, but what’s in the glass is perfectly acceptable and very drinkable. Much like the Glenlivet 12 and the Glennfiddich 12, this would be a great “training wheels” dram for someone that is curious about Scotch. Definitely a step up from the Johnnie Walker Red, and at the very least, on par with the Johnnie Walker Black.