Way back in August of 2011, I took part in the very first WhiskyCast Virtual Tasting. During the recording session, the four panelists that took part in this tasting were given the following three whiskies to sample and score: the AnCnoc 12, the Powers Gold Label 12, and the Chivas Regal 18. While we knew the names of the first two whiskies, the third whisky (the Chivas Regal 18) was essentially tasted blind. This blind tasting proved to be a very important lesson in my whisky education.
Prior to this tasting, I tended to view blended whisky as an inferior product, but after trying the Chivas Regal 18, and preferring it to the other two whiskies that I tried during this Virtual Tasting, I quickly realized that I still had plenty to learn about whisky. I was so humbled by this experience that I soon started digging deeper into the world of blended whiskies via reviews of the Chivas Regal 12, the Johnnie Walker Red and Black, and several different Compass Box expressions.
Since I finally received a full bottle of the Chivas Regal 18 this past Christmas, I thought that I would revisit this whisky to see if I enjoyed it as much the second time around. But before I get into my review of this whisky, here is what Chivas Brothers has to say about their Chivas Regal 18:
Chivas 18 is a uniquely rich and multi-layered blend that includes over twenty of Scotland’s rarest single malt Scotch whiskies. With 85 flavour notes in every drop, each sip is a new discovery.
Let’s find out if my feelings about this whisky have changed…
- Appearance: Molten bronze.
- Aroma: Fruit and spice and everything nice! Brown sugar, dried ginger, ripe bananas, vanilla, cinnamon, dried fruit, and a hint of sweet pipe tobacco.
- Taste: A bit on the watery side with regards to mouthfeel. All of the flavors are on the front half of my tongue. From the beginning to mid-palate, I’m getting brown sugar and cinnamon. Definitely has some spice to it, but not overly so. As we approach the finish, that pipe tobacco sweetness makes an appearance. Medium finish with vanilla, brown sugar, and the slightest hint of sweet smokiness.
- ABV: 40%
As I said at the beginning of this review, the Chivas Regal 18 is the whisky that changed my mind about blended Scotch whisky. While I am definitely enjoying this whisky the second time around, I can’t say that this is my favorite blended Scotch whisky (that honor goes to the Compass Box Spice Tree which I absolutely adore). As is, the Chivas Regal 18 is beautifully balanced and infinitely drinkable, but as I have said in reviews of other whiskies, I am wishing that it was bottled at a slightly higher ABV.