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A few years ago, I received 2 bottles of Chivas Regal 12 YO very close together from the families of 2 different patients. This is unusual for me. Thinking hard, I’ve received whisky professionally on very few occasions, and only 3 times since I started doing home Palliative Care. It could have been four had I accepted an ancient bottle of Dimple that was leaking… I was tempted (but that’s another story).
The other bottle was sold recently enough that I was able to exchange it at the LCBO for a bottle of FC Heritage (not sure I did well on that trade). This one, when my patient’s husband gave it to me, he told me it had been bottled before “the war”. I tried to do some research. The UPC symbol helped a bit, since none were used before 1974, so that rules out WW I, WW II, Korea, the “American War” (some of you call it “Vietnam War”), 6 day war, Yom Kippur War. The coat of arms added further clues (with help from @talexander) suggesting it was probably bottled in the 1980s (before the first Gulf War). The LCBO would not take it.
So, December 9 of 2017 it was the opening pour at a tasting in my home, and the next morning I poured off a 240 mL (from a 1.14 L bottle) “sample” and relinquished custody of the rest to @Paddockjudge. It has languished in my cabinet. Last summer I shared some with my brother in law (the one who brought me brandy from China), and in May I provided a sample to a friend. So this bottle, assed, was just under 2/3 full.
This expression, in a standard Glencairn, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Some fruit. A hint of something savoury. There’s richness to the nose. Grilled pineapple (faint). Not too complex but a rich, pleasant nose.
Thin, a little sweet. Sour on the development with some pepper. A savoury note I can’t name. Some alcohol nip.
Medium, pepper, some astringency.
Underpowered in terms of flavour. The alcohol is a bit too forward.
Water does not appear to change this much at all.
I think I remembered liking it more than tonight. Also, given it’s an older bottle I think I expected more too. It’s not bad, but it’s not something I would reach for outside of an “educational” tasting.