In 1995 Chivas surprised with the Century of Malts, a blended malt (then still a vatted malt, by the way) of no less than 100 malt whiskies, including – according to the leaflet in the box – quite a few that are no longer with us. It is not an easy thing to find a bottle nowadays. My first though, however, is… why on earth would you want to mix 100 malt whiskies? What good can come of this? But perhaps I’ll change my mind in a few minutes.
The nose is honeysweet and in all honesty not very different from the regular 12 (I also just tried the ‘special’ Millennium release and the difference is negligible). It hardly shows any fruitiness bar some oranges. Again mostly sugars and honey with just a hint of marzipan and a classic quatre quart cake. The biggest difference is the fact that this one has a nice bit of smoke. I would have to check the booklet to find out which Islay went into the mix, but truth be told cannot be bothered. I expected much more of this.
Well, now, on the palate it is a whole different story. This is much better! Yes, this has depth. First sweet on grain cookies with almonds and honey, followed by orangettes and then some heather and hay, but the whole is wrapped in a soothing blanket of smoke. The spices start to play their role as well. I get some mocha, espresso with chocolate shavings and whipped cream, mokatine, roasted hazel nuts, green grapes (pith included) and chestnut. This is quite nice!
The finish is fairly long, fairly spicy and fairly smoky. Fairly warm too.
The nose did nothing for me, but this Century of Malts more than made up for that on the palate and in the pleasant finish. But I still think it’s crazy to blend 100 single malts (unless you are creating a Frankendram, obviously).