Review: Chivas Regal 12 year old blended scotch whisky


A staple on almost every shop shelf, it has been a while since I actually stopped to reconsider the Chivas Regal range. Driving up and down the A9 at times you do pass a few Chivas lorries going about their business. The distinctive branding and packaging means there is nothing else like a Regal out there.

As with many firms today their roots were first laid down during the early 1800's and the initial whisky boom. William Edward opened his wine merchant and grocery store in Aberdeen before moving to a new location in the city sometime in 1838 when a James Chivas came onboard. A name change was instigated to reflect this new partnership but this marriage only lasted until 1857 when it was dissolved. Joined by family members, the Chivas legacy endured until 1893 when the bloodline finished and employees took the company forward.

Right up until the advent of the second world war, the Chivas brand was primarily exported where its main markets were located. Shortly after the war in 1949 the company was snapped up by Seagrams who recognised the visibility of the Regal brand, which was associated with the blue chip end of the market. In 1962 Chivas shipped 135,000 cases to the United States with this dramatically rising to to over a million in 1980. Today the Chivas Regal brand is the 3rd largest in the world after Johnnie Walker and Ballantines not bad from such humble origins.

This should hopefully be the 1st of several Regal reviews as I make my way through the range as and when I purchase them.

Age: 12 years old
Strength: 40% vol
Price: circa £26

Colour: a honey pot

Nose: more honey and oranges with home made tablet, white pepper and bacon fat.

Taste: a faint echo of grain but nicely balanced and approachable (normally I'd say bland), vanilla custard, fudge, batter of all things and walnuts towards the end with a clean finish.

A very streamlined and well engineered blend; it almost feels below 40% strength as its so polished on the palate. There's nothing to criticise here as its a fine starter whisky to kick off an evening of dramming. I'm not going to pour cushing praise about its characteristics but a thumbs up overall for what it repesents.

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