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Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

Long overdue - Part III

4 481

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

14th Jul 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

Nose: 21/25

Some fruit. A hint of something savoury. There’s richness to the nose. Grilled pineapple (faint). Not too complex but a rich, pleasant nose.

Taste: 20/25

Thin, a little sweet. Sour on the development with some pepper. A savoury note I can’t name. Some alcohol nip.

Finish: 20/25

Medium, pepper, some astringency.

Balance: 20/25

Underpowered in terms of flavour. The alcohol is a bit too forward.

Score: 81/100

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.

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OdysseusUnbound commented

The score shocked me when I first looked at this review, but it makes more sense with this being an older bottling. I had the misfortune of tasting a recent bottling a few weeks ago (the same night Wiser’s 35 was the highlight of the night) and it was quite forgettable, 72-75 points at best.

4 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

A nice whisky, adopted and given a home on the shelf in my resource library. It performs well in a Rusty Nail. Thank you @Nozinan!

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Nozinan my experience with Chivas Regal 12 is about the same as is yours. Yes, my bottle has been around for a number of years too.

4 years ago 0

casualtorture commented

Sounds way different than the newer bottling.

4 years ago 0

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