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Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

Blinders On

0 485

@VictorReview by @Victor

17th Sep 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

When reviewing a well-known product, particularly a blended Scotch in a Single Malt crowd, it is good to try to taste the whisky as though one is sampling it blind. This actually IS a bottle of "your father's Chivas Regal 12 yo" blend, because I bought this bottle somewhere between 1979 and 1989, probably in 1979. I opened it first in 2012, maybe 18 months ago, but the bottle is still 95% full, and was gassed 11 months ago to preserve it. The ABV is 43%, in contrast to the current Chivas Regal 12 YO

Nose: strong, tart, pointed, very clean wine notes, sweet, with a bit of toffee, high-pitched vanilla, high-pitched confectioner's sugar, high-pitched barley-malt. Delightful

Taste: thick, creamy rich mouth-coating, sweet, a good translation of the nose onto the palate, almost, but not quite as good as is the nose. The flavours are less vivid and distinct on the palate than they were in the nose

Finish: medium length, then a quick taper-off. The palate flavours remain throughout the finish. Very sweet at the end, with very noticeable bitterness also

Balance: great nose, a very good palate, loses a lot on the finish. Going into the finish the primary balance is between sweet and bitter. This particular 43% version of Chivas Regal 12 YO is better for nosing than for drinking, but the early delivery on the palate is also nice

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WhiskyBee commented

Love this review. I used to drink Chivas now and then during the years ('79-'89) you mention, long before I took whisky seriously. I remember it being more flavorful than the rather watery dram I tried several months ago. Thanks, @Victor, for letting me re-live the memory through your words.

7 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Victor, I too own a bottle from this era. I would place it at about 1984, the year that the classy old gelding, John Henry, won the inaugural Ballantine's Scotch Classic at Meadowlands Race Track - I have a Ballantine's from this period as well.

7 years ago 0

systemdown commented

Great review. I must admit I did a double take when I saw the score - but that was before I read the review for this "antique" blend.

All I know is, the Chivas 12 of today doesn't rate highly in my books but I'm glad this oldie was a good one.

Having recently opened an antique blend (a Heather Mist bottled 1978) I know how rewarding an antique blend (even a standard one) can be, having had that extra few decades of bottle time to mellow the grain and bring the malt to the fore.

Also, I suspect the malt component was higher and of better quality in blends of that era. The early to mid-70's seem to be the "golden years" of malt whisky, for whisky that is still obtainable today - of course I hear that "pre-war" whisky is great too, but I'd be extremely lucky to ever experience that in my lifetime.

7 years ago 0

Taco commented

Geez! I wish I could find an old bottle of Chivas. It was my standard scotch until about 30 years ago when I was introduced to Glenmorangie 10. The only single malts available prior to this time were Glenlivet 12 (meh!) and Glenfiddich 12 (yuck!), so I preferred Chivas. I didn't like the airline bottles I've had recently, so it's nice to know I wasn't crazy thinking it used to be good.

7 years ago 0

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