Booze Review

Whisky Review – Chivas Regal 18


Chivas Regal 18

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.

13 replies »

  1. There’s something eerily familiar about that picture…..

    I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much out of the Chivas 18 but, partly due in some respect to lower expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. I also got vanilla and brown sugar in an envelope of butterscotch and just a very slight hint of smoke/tobacco. I can’t say that I’d pick up a bottle to have around the house but it’s more complex and gentile than JW Red or Dewars. The Spice Tree, on the other hand was almost worth getting gutted like a fish over. Almost.

    That said, my Scotch palate still belongs to Lagavulin.

    Slainte!

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    • Pleased to hear that you enjoyed it! Me thinks we’re on the same page with this one. It’s very very good, but as The Coopered Tot said on our Facebook page, perhaps it’s a tad too polite. Funny how one’s palate changes after just a year or two.

      As far as the smoky spirits go, you can never go wrong with Lagavulin! Limpd was kind enough to pass along a 30 ml sample, so I’ll be revisiting it soon. What you need to try is the Ardbeg Uigeadail. That stuff is wickedly smoky and delicious!

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  2. while taste test as you described are quite fun, I found out that they don’t always meet my long term sipping taste. For example, when I taste test a sweeter scotch, I rate it higher. But I don’t much care to drink sweeter scotches for a glass or two or three. I prefer Smokey for the long haul.

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  3. I find that Chivas is a great fallback position in a bar. It is usually always there and is a fine whiskey. The Chivas 18 is even more so. Of course, my tastes tend to be a bit sweeter and a little less of a briquette than yours. So, I find it a welcome addition as we dram away a night. The Chivas 18 is a good solid whiskey to cut through the pineapples dipped in honey or the salty dog westering home and lead on to the next dram.

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    • Totally agree. I turned my nose up at this stuff for quite some time and have learned from the error of my ways. Stupid stupid me is all I can say. Is it my favorite whisky? No, but it’s still quite solid and a great way to start one of our marathon dramming sessions.

      And by the way, this one is going rapidly, so expect to see it on dregs night.

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      • So, it is not your favorite but just the easiest to pour? I wouldn’t have expected to see it on dregs night until later in the summer but you are quite generous with both your whiskey and your pour.

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        • That’s a fair assessment. Easy drinking stuff for sure with zero burn. And as far as my generosity, I’m just trying my best to be a team player.

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  4. If you still have some left in the bottle save a few drams and we’ll do a side-by-side comparison with the bottle of Chivas 12 yo I have buried deep in my booze cabinet.

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    • There should be more than enough left in the bottle for that. Consider it set aside. It’s not like I don’t have other stuff to drink.

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