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Chivas Regal 12 Year Old bottled 1970s

New Chivas 12, Old Chivas 12 - Part II

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

13th Mar 2017


Chivas Regal 12 Year Old bottled 1970s
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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In my last review, I referenced the bottle I'm now writing about as having been bottled in the 1980s. However, I did a bit of research on the packaging and it was actually bottled in the 1970s! The box the bottle comes in is very different from the current packaging, with very old-fashioned images of life in the Scottish highlands printed in relief. It is damaged, with the red and yellow labels that were normally affixed to the box torn off. The bottle does not show an ABV, I'm assuming this is at 43%.

The colour is a honey-amber, a hair darker than the current bottling. Very malty on the nose, with a fantastic pronounced vegetal note - very much an old-style leathery scotch (which I am sure has whiskies that are much older than twelve)! The other elements that the current bottling features - vanilla, soft apples, herbal notes - are there, but the nose is not as sweet. Mmmmmm - smokier with water! A fantastic time machine.

On the palate that old malty, smoky characteristic is certainly there, with apple (not overripe this time), peat, honey, toffee and vanilla. Soft spices. A bit of red liquorice. More oak than the current bottling (no big surprise). Quite rich - and even richer with water (go easy though). Delicious - but still a touch too sweet for me.

The short finish is similar to the current bottling, but the spices are softer. Despite some similarities, you'd have to work pretty hard - and really know your stuff - to say these were the same product (just 40 years apart).

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Nozinan commented

Do you think the difference in ABV plays a role? Perhaps also older malts were available to build the blend?

7 years ago 0

talexander commented

It plays some role, but I think a bigger role is played by older whiskies and the more common use of sherry casks back then. My understanding is that older blends often contain whiskies much older than the stated age statement; and back then sherry casks were used much more frequently. Add in a slightly higher ABV and you have a superior blend. I've had some 1970s and 1980s bottlings of Johnnie Walker Black that would blow your mind; and a 1950s Dimple that was transporting.

7 years ago 0

CaskTime commented

Good comparison reviews @talexander I have an old bottle of Chivas that came to me from a relative. I'm tempted to open it.

7 years ago 0

CaskTime commented

Just a bit of sentimametal value, it belonged to my grandfather and he never opened it. I think it was a gift to him. Now it's packed away in a box here, would be ashame to never drink it.

7 years ago 0

mscottydunc commented

Nice review. My father was given a bottle of Chivas back in 1981 when he started working, and kept it until he retired in 2015. Given that it was purchased in 1981 and was 12 years old at the time, it was likely distilled sometime in the late 60's. It was by far the best blend I've ever tasted, and one of the better whiskeys in general. I would be very curious to try something bottled even further in the past.

Glad to hear you enjoyed this one as well!

7 years ago 0

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