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Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

Average score from 34 reviews and 129 ratings 74

Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Chivas
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

After having entered reviews for 38-year-old Stone of Destiny, 21-yo Royal Salute and 18-yo Chivas Regal, it is high time their younger sibling were featured here: Chivas 12, one of the best-selling Scotch whiskies out there. Let's go:

A very pale pour -a clear-straw yellow hue, paler than most basic drams. In a time when artificial coloring is rampant, I appreciate my pale tones in an affordable whisky. Aroma is very intense: from sweet scents to begin with (vanilla, crème brûlée) to wooden fragrances somewhat later when the ice starts to melt down.

Smooth when beginning the sip, displaying a sweet alcoholic profile. As it evolves midpalate, bitterer accents surge, leading to a medium-lasting wooden finish. And there's a peculiar hint of seaweed that, despite not being unheard of, isn't at all common (but I like it: it nudges me to pair this with Japanese Norimaki.) Despite its being widely sold, it's a nice scotch.

  • This sample was graciously provided by @Nozinan
  • The whisky was opened Dec 9/2017, and the sample poured May 29/2019
  • Sipped neat from a Glencairn glass

Tasting notes

  • Nose: It's a bit shy, and comes across as fairly light. There are equal parts red fruit, honey, and graham crackers. After a rest in the glass, a touch of spices come through, but they're muted. There's something slightly floral developing; almost a light peat-smoke from a Highland or Speyside whisky or maybe barrel char from a North American whisky. There's also a slight creamy aroma in the background. A blend perhaps? After a longer rest there's vanilla and caramel appearing
  • Palate: light to almost medium bodied, fruity (strawberries? light cherries?), soft caramels, a touch of spice, a bit of cocoa powder, some black pepper coming through.
  • Finish: vanilla at first, a bit of oak, a slight nuttiness, some cloves, honey, and a touch of orange zest bitterness near the end of the finish.

Thought process

This is sweet whisky, and it definitely feels light. I'd guess this is 40%-43% abv. With time in the glass, the red fruit aromas become more faint (which is disappointing- they were lovely) and the vanilla and caramel become a bit more prominent. I was convinced this was a single malt whisky at first, but I'm less certain with time. The bitterness on the finish has me thinking Forty Creek as many of their whiskies finish this way. It can be refreshing when it's well integrated, but when it's not, the bitterness is too prominent and becomes a distraction. This whisky feels a bit disjointed: the nose and first part of the taste profile feel like a different style of whisky than the end of the flavour development and finish. As time goes on, this whisky gets less distinct and more "generic", if that makes sense. There are some nice things going on for sure, but it's a bit out of balance or Koyaanisqatsi, if you're a Godfrey Reggio/Philip Glass fan.

I always enjoy blind samplings because they keep me honest. No preconceived notions, just honest assessing and final scoring. I'm also grateful that this blind sample was an ordinary whisky. It's fun to see how we perceive "work-a-day" whiskies when we don't have the marketing blah blah to guide us. I didn't have a mouthgasm, but I didn't spit it out in disgust while cursing the heavens either.

  • Would I buy order this in a bar or pub? Sure. Especially if I was out with co-workers for a casual drink and I knew I wasn't going to nose intensely, this whisky is fine and dandy. Heck, I might even sip it on the rocks.
  • Would I accept a glass if offered? I would, and I have. My wife's cousin lives down the street from us. Her husband is a dedicated blend drinker (JW Black is his usual go-to) and he has this on hand at least once or twice a year.
  • Would I buy a bottle of this? Unlikely. It's $55 and for that price I can get Arran 10 Year old which I like better.

Thanks, as always, to @Nozinan for his generosity.

Great review! I really enjoy the thought processes that go into your blind tastings.

I should add that this particular sample was apparently bottled "before the war". In my review of it I explain the circumstances and how, with help, I was able to determine that the war was probably the first Gulf war.

@OdysseusUnbound well executed review. This reads very close to my experiences of Chivas 12. I have 2 bottles of it now, both received as gifts. One of them is from 35 years ago, one from the last 10 years. It was a little nicer and a little higher in ABV in the more distant past.


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.

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.

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!


Not something I would normally buy, but I received a bottle as a gift and so I thought I'd might as well analyze it a bit.

On the nose there is a good deal of honey, a surprising amount now that I consider it. Also slight apple, of the tart variety, and a hint of smoky peat.

On the palate the honey translates well with a smooth, supple delivery. Then the peat creeps in around the back and sides of the tongue. Not much fruit to speak of. The slight bitterness is well controlled and balanced by the sweeter aspects of the spirit.

The finish is uneventful but pleasant enough with a bit of sweetness and also some drying oak. On the whole this is an enjoyable, easy-drinking blend that I would consider buying at the right price, though certainly not at the LCBO's full retail.

I received 2 bottles of this (one 1.14L) as gifts within a few months of each other, both from families of patients. The smaller one was recent enough that I was able to trade it in for something at the LCBO (FC Heritage - so I "paid" what it was worth) but the larger one was too old for the LCBO.

So I opened it at a tasting, and kept 240 cc of it and sent the bottle with a friend. It's "ok". Review eventually.


The blend Chivas Regal 12 Year Old has never been much on my radar, to be honest. I’ve tried a few from different era’s but have never founds one that I truly like, I’m sorry to have to say. But when my whiskybuddy Benny was able to score to bottles – one from 1987 and one from 2006 – and asked me if I was interested in a head-to-head, I jumped at the chance. I’ll end with the one from 2006, bottled at today’s minimum strength of 40%.

The nose starts very closed and at first does not offer any fruit, but merely soft notes of grass, liquorice root and flowery honey. Even with patience and hand warmth, I can hardly get this one to talk. Some vanilla appears, a single wood shaving and a slice of apple. C’est tout!

It is a lot less oily than its older brother. Not watery, but coming close. Some peaches now, as well as barley sugars, toffee apples and a truckload of honey. But also a tad of chemical sweetness – no doubt from the grain in the mix – which makes me pull a bit of a face. Pity.

The finish is very short and only offers sugars and liquorice.

Chivas 12 does not score very high in my book, but this one certainly goes to the bottom of the list. Thanks Benny, that was a nice experiment.


So, according to foodanddrink.scotsman.com/drink/… this is the fourth best selling whisky in the world, so it should be awesome . . . giggles like a naughty schoolboy.

I was gifted a 350ml bottle of this a few weeks back by my amazing better half as it was on offer and she had some vouchers to use up - she always was a romantic sort! I'd never tried it before, being a Johnny Walker Black fan, as I'd always been given the impression that it was a very light blend by contrast. Well, I can't do a side by side comparison (just yet) but I have been delving in over the weeks to see how it is. So . . .

Nose - Immediately pleasant if a tad simple. Honey, toffee, little prickle of ginger, slight raisin and with some air time a faint custardy note comes out. To be fair, the grain isn't immediately obvious at all, which has to be a good sign.

Taste - The grain becomes a little more prominent on the development but the arrival is quite malty with the raisins coming out more definitively. There's a little more honey but the toffee that was on the nose has taken a back seat here.

Finish - OK here come the toffee along with some tannins (think old tea bag) that are rather bitter but not so much it kills it. Short to medium (at a push - it does linger a wee while).

Well, my expectations were pretty low to be honest but this has been quite a nice surprise. Yes, it has some flaws and the flavours are simplistic and rather generic, but it works. As a blend you can often get for £20 in the UK it gives decent value at that price point. Probably not one I'd buy over JWB but not something I'd turn down or be unhappy to receive as a gift. On reflection, this reminds me of the profile of Grant's but with less noticeable grain influence.


This Chivas expression would be a good one for someone just beginning their whisky journey.

I was served this with a couple small cubes of ice, in a heavy cocktail glass. The pour was a nice golden amber, and left an oily ring on the glass.

The nose is one of a blend of vanilla, toffee and floral hints of lemon, and a slight smoke in the background. There is definitly a heavy scent of grain/barley. Some nuttiness comes through as well.

On the palate, it’s very similar to the scent. It has a full mouthfeel initially, and you pick up all the flavors mentioned above. The overwhelming taste is that of malt/barley, along with a bit of honey sweetness.

The aftertaste is short-medium, and there is a small amount of lingering smoke.

Overall, this is an inoffensive whisky, and one I would have again. I cannot say it’s extremely complex, but there are some nice flavors in it. I would like to have it neat, with maybe a half-teaspoon of water, to see if I am able to detect anything I may have missed.


A friend gifted this 375ml Chivas to me for helping him out when he was sick. Drinking neat, bottle freshly opened.

Nose: A bit alcohol forward at first but fades with time. Subtle vanilla, pears, and grapes. Everything is fairly subtle and subdued.

Palate: Things open up a bit here. Creamy palate with an oily body. Lots of wood spice and smoke, balanced with a subtle sweetness with a spicy finish.

Overall: This is actually an enjoyable whisky. I was expecting less. I would take JW black over this, but not by much.

It will be worth nothing at auction because I plan to open it...

@Nozinan ah, that makes more sense...


Once of the great things about taking a week of work and staying at home is - I can catch up on whisky reviews! While my daughter (home on March break) rollerblades around the neighbourhood and watches terrible kids shows on Netflix, I can make a bit of a dent in my tastings.

Hard to believe I haven't reviewed this one yet (though I did do an old Royal Salute 21 some years ago). The brand was founded in 1801 by James & John Chivas, and primarily features Strathisla malt (among other Speysiders). To consolidate supply, Chivas Bros. purchased the distillery in 1950, and remains the spiritual home of this hugely successful brand. The luxurious packaging shows various stereotypical Scottish motifs such as a lion, swords, thistle, a castle, etc but also displays a Luckenbooth (two linked hearts) which are on the Strathisla gates, and a sailing ship representing the Port of Aberdeen, where the company was founded. Colin Scott is the current master blender.

We're going to have some fun and compare this brand new, freshly opened bottle with a bottling from the 1980s (which has been open for about a year or so).

The colour is a light-to-medium gold. On the nose - soft red apple, a touch of herbs, light apple and heather. Buttered toast. Loads of vanilla. Could be maltier. A bit nutty with water. A safe and unassuming scotch, and a bit too much on the sweet side for me.

Not quite as sweet on the palate, though, with honey, more vanilla, summer herbs and a hint of smoke. Overripe apples. Nice creamy mouthfeel. A bit maltier with water.

The short finish has a bit of spice to it, with some caramel and a nice bit of peat. While this has elements that speak to luxury (creaminess, sweetness and a hint of smoke), it's fairly straightforward, without much to challenge the discerning drinker. This doesn't even compare to the rich complexity of Johnnie Walker Black (also a 12 year old).


A well rounded sweet blend with a beautiful bourbon like color. Enjoyable and highly drinkable. If you like your whisky smooth and easy going this is a winner.


My first review and the first Whisky I tasted couple of years ago. I am quiet new to whisky, I am a beer lover looking for new things. I am not doing advanced scorings just a total score. I use 80 for a good whisky, 70 average, 60 bad, 50 crap. 90 will be max. 100 I will never taste I think ;).

For years I receive this bottle as a christmas gift from my parents and I drink it like water. It is not very special, but very drinkable like JW Black Label is.

This together with the JW Black will be my starting point to the single malts I will try later.

I own some cheaper blends like Cutty Sark, J&B, Red label but use those for mixing with cola or ginger ale so I will not review them as a neat whisky.

My tasting notes are very simple, I am no expert, mostly I smell and taste simple things like vanille, honey, apple etc. etc.

My English is not very well too, I am sorry about that.

Thanks for the review, your comments are very clear. For me, this is one whisky that really works best with Club Soda. It was designed for the scotch-and-soda crowd (from an earlier generation), and that is really the best thing to balance out its flavours.


Chivas Regal traces its name back to the House of Chivas, a large mansion that was built at Shivas in Aberdeenshire in 1640; the name is derived from the Gaelic ‘seamhas’, meaning ‘narrow place’. In 1801 Chivas Brothers opened a grocery store in Aberdeen. The store sold luxury foodstuffs such as coffee, exotic spices, French brandies, and Caribbean rums to a wealthy clientele, and in 1843 Chivas Brothers were granted a Royal Warrant to supply goods to Queen Victoria. During the 1850s James Chivas started to blend whiskies to create a smooth whisky as it was requested by his customers. As a result he launched the company’s first blended Scotch whisky, Royal Glen Dee, followed in the 1860s by a second blended Scotch whisky, Royal Strathythan. In 1909, Chivas Brothers decided to create its most aged blended Scotch whisky to be exported to the US where the booming economy after the turn of the century was fueling demand for luxury goods; this whisky was named Chivas Regal. In 1950, Chivas Brothers acquired Strathisla Distillery that produces the Strathisla single malt used in the Chivas Regal blend.

The nose is very light and fruity. There are orange peel, vanilla, and honey, followed by hints of rubber.

The palate is medium-bodied and a tad peppery. Vanilla is the dominant flavour here, followed by caramel and a rest of orange peel.

The finish is of medium length, very sweet and fruity. It starts off being slightly peppery, then caramel comes to the fore, followed by hints of fudge and crème brûlée.

This is a simple and unassuming, yet pleasantly fruity and easy drinking blend. Overall a rather smooth and satisfying drinking experience.

i wonder why this is still under the shadow on JW Black label


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

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.

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.


Chivas Regal blended whisky is a standard blended whisky that does what it is supposed to do: It is underpowered but balanced. It has an exceptional nose and is easy to drink. It finishes short and delivers on Speyside and Highland notes. I am always debating between Chivas and Johnny Walker Black Label 12 Year. Although I almost always prefer the JWBL.


Chivas Regal 12 year old is a blend of many different malt and grain Scotch whiskies, matured for at least 12 years.

I'm not gonna go on about it too much. It's a regular grain blend that has some age so that's why it's supposed to be worth of an review. I guess it manages to entertain you at some level like Scary Movie or some other parody mix of another movies.

This is consumption stuff, consume it fast or in the kitchen.

Nose: Herbs and honey in a rather stingy way.

Taste: Fruits and honey in a watery environment. Actually the taste is not that bad. I gave it 15 which I've given to some single/blended malts as well, so there's prove that I don't completely hate it. And let's keep in mind that every whisky is drinkable, even the baddest of the bad...

Finish: Quick and sharp, a watery cinnamon blast.

Balance: Well, it's a regular grain blend...


Chivas 12 a big blend lower price blended scotch available all around the world and consumed en masse. Chivas company gets its single malt from the likes of Strathisla, Braeval and Glen Grant. This is their entry level blend and its not bad by any means, in fact i think its better than certain single malts and at around 50AUD a bottle (700mL) its not overly expensive

  • Nose: fruity, zesty, apple, pears, grassy vanilla cream, very smooth, almost a Turkish delight note hanging around, and an ever so slightly harsh savoury note, could be from the grain whisky. With water much richer, more panna cotta than vanilla cream. Savoury note completely gone. Not bad

  • Pallet: ever so slightly creamy, bit of spice actually and oak, more citrus zing, sourness from the nose comes in as balance rather than a detractor, less fruity here. With water much dryer, bit more wood and spice, some caramel, citrus seems to be absent now

  • Finish: savoury note hangs around into the finish, baked apple nips in as well and a touch. Fades quickly. With water a little warmer but much the same lasts longer, savoury grain note pops in right at the end.

  • Mark – neat 7.9, with water 8.1

Overall: This is good stuff, its not spectacular by any means but its a decent straight-forward dram. Not a bad bottle to have around if you are after an easy but tasty experience to just relax after a big day.


Chivas, always there for a quick easy sip. Let get reviewing.

Nose: Salty, faint wafts of oil, citrus, grainy like a Irish Whisky, and very faint scent of vanilla oak. Simple nose really, nothing much to ponder over here.

Taste: Again the grain comes right through. Accompanied by salt, smoke, creamy oak, and a little bit of tar and spice. Remains a little oily on the palate. Very light, smooth, nothing flamboyant about this.

Finish: Oaky/woody, Lime, Orange rind, dry and sticky.

That's it.

I see a lot of poor marks for Chivas 12 year and I really can't bring myself to follow suit just because it doesn't blow me away. Chivas is a blend, it's not complex, nor have I ever heard of it having a reputation as a stellar and spectacular Whisky. It's simple, light and enjoyable to me. The names a little gimmicky but so are other Whisky names out there, which I won't mention, that are equally "Regal" if you know what I mean. At least Chivas does not promise what it cannot deliver. Price is about right also for what you get. I can't complain. Solidly average, and that's not a thing that should be reproached in this Whisky. It doesn't promise to me to be liquid gold, nor do I have to pay in bullion to acquire it, it is what it is, simple/average. No shame in that.

@rigmorole chivas isn't the worst scotch you'll taste on your quest for a grail. Besides its a blend. Cheap one at that. You could add it to soda or w.e. you want without feeling any guilt. I like it for its versatility and affordability that comes with its profile. Not everyday is a $100+ scotch day. I maintain a variety of spirits for different occasions. Chivas has its place in my bar. Everyone has a different perspective on a dram. I respect your opinion we won't all like the same things. Sadly though I've tasted singlemalts much worse than Chivas going for 3x its price. So not the worst thing out there.

Hi Folks,

I stumbled upon a 2ltr chivas 12 year bottle at my parents place, i presume the bottle must be atleast 12-15 years old and its un-opened. Is it ok to still drink the alcohol? The color of the alcohol hasn't changed yet. Is there a way to test/check if the alcohol is spoilt? Any suggestions and recommendations is appreciated. TIA.



Realised that I had a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 that I had gotten for last Christmas in the back of the whisky cabinet, lets crack it open and give a serious try to this popular blend.

Nose: mostly a nose of malts and grains, orange rind and rind oils, a little floral, hints of toffee and nuts.

Palate: oily, butter and malty, cooking oils, breakfast cereal (weet-bix like), some raisins.

Finish: semi-sweetness, malty, slight sultana/raisin fruitiness, very oily in texture.

while not exactly bursting with flavour, it's got the great quality of a cheap blend of not having any obnoxiously bad notes. Mixes very well too. A nice alternative to JW red and black in the basic blend market.


This week I've been tasting whiskies that most people would consider to be bottom shelf/mixer whiskies. Those would be Jim Beam White Label, Jack Daniels #7, Chivas Regal 12 yr old, Johnnie Walker Red and Black Label.

Now I'm doing this for several reasons. The first and most important is that I needed to get some sample bottles for a whisky exchange and this was the quickest way to get those bottles.

Now instead of just buying the samples and tossing the whiskies into the sink I got it into my head that I should try tasting them and actually fully analyzing them.

The second reason is that to honestly really appreciate good whisky, you need to recognize why it's good, by understanding why bad and meh whiskies are bad and meh. This was a point that a friend of mine, Systemdown, recently made in one of his comments on a review and a very valid comment in my mind.

Now Chivas Regal 12 yr old and I have a history together, Chivas Regal 12 yr old was the first scotch I ever had, and is what made me think that I was really a whisky geek.

When I first saw Chivas Regal 12 yr old in the liquor store years ago I decided to make the leap into Scotch and purchased the bottle because the packaging was bright and shiny and it was 12 years old which I thought was old at the time in my life. When I got it home I eagerly cracked open the bottle and poured it into a glass of coke.


Yeah I know I'm silly. Even sadder is that several years ago when I found out that my brother and sister in law liked whisky, at a whisky bar I happily decided to show them some good whisky and ordered both Chivas Regal 12 year old and Crown Royal for them to try.

Needless to say my whisky credit with them went severely into the red for quite a time.

Thankfully I've happily put my whisky credit with them not just in the black, but far into the green with quite a few good whisky choices.

So when I cracked open the sample bottle of Chivas Regal 12 yr old I was, for me, literally taking a walk down memory lane.

I smell the open bottle and out comes the smell that I associate with Chivas Regal, alcohol with some oak overtones, but nothing much.

Then I pour the whisky into the glencairn and everything changes. I smell Speyside.

Holy Bejebus Batman!?!

I did not expect that at all.

Out of it comes apple, cinnamon, citrus notes, vanilla, and of course oak.

This leaves me absolutely gobsmacked! My god how much things change as your palate improves.

This literally leaves me wanting to retry all my old whiskies. To see how much they've changed, or more accurately, how much I've changed.

I bring the glencairn to the bedroom where we're watching tv and my wife comments that from across the room she can smell orange rind.

I say nothing, but grin and hand her the glass.

She noses it and starts trying to guess what whisky we're drinking tonight.

"Macallan? Glenlivet? Glenfiddich?"


"Well I smell Speyside! What is it?"

"Chivas Regal"

My wife is then gobsmacked!

She then takes a sip and comments

"Yep that's not any of our whiskies!"

The reason she says this is for a couple of reasons.

First off the flavors are apple, hints of sultanas, hints of smoke and cinnamon, and quite a bit of that orange rind and oak.

None of our whiskies have those flavors in that combination.

But the deal breaker where my wife went that's not ours...

The finish.

Pretty much non existent. A faint lingering of cinnamon and orange rinds with the oak, but it's pretty much like I'm drinking whisky water.

The experience I've had with the last three whiskies is I hate to say it, different flavors of whisky water, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Chivas flavored.

Thankfully Chivas is priced as such, roughly around $40-50 AUS and easily purchased in any bottle shop.

I was happy with my trip down memory lane, seeing how my palate has improved and changed how I perceive the whiskies I drink.

Two more whiskies to go and they're the two that have me the most interested in this series of tastings.

Johnnie Walker Red and Black Label!


This week I've been tasting what one would consider as entry level whiskies. Those being Jim Beam White Label, Jack Daniels Old #7, Chivas Regal 12 yr old, Johnnie Walker Red and Black Labels.

Now the reason I'm tasting these whiskies is twofold. The first reason is that I need sample size bottles for a whisky exchange. The second reason is that to honestly be able to appreciate good and great whiskies for their full worth, you should have an understanding of bad and basic whiskies and what makes them basic. Now I've had Chivas and Jack Daniels before, the rest of these whiskies it was my first time trying.

On top of everything else there is an amusing story that occurred surrounding these whiskies that just happened a couple days ago. That story will be recounted in my final review of the series.

So tonight's whisky is one I was familiar with, it being the very first scotch I ever had or tasted. That would be ...

Drum roll please!

Chivas Regal, specifically the 12 yr old!

Now like I said, my first introduction to scotch whisky was with Chivas Regal and the reason I bought the bottle...because the box was in the infamous words of Malcolm Reynolds "To pretty to die!"

Now as this was my early days in the whisky world as soon as I'd get my bottle home, I'd promptly crack it open and pour it into coke.

Yum! I'm drinking real scotch! I'm a connoisseur of whiskies! Hahaha....ah the joys of being me.

It was bad enough that when I first met my brother in law and we'd been hanging out at a whisky bar I introduced it to him as being a very good whisky....along with Crown Royal.

Yeeeeeah it took a little while for my whisky credit to go into the black again. HAHAHAHA. But now that's all good :D Several awesome recommendations and all is forgiven.

But back to Chivas!

This was the first time I'd ever sat down and analyzed Chivas and I was looking forward to it and seeing how it and my perceptions had changed.

You might ask why I mean changed? I used to drink whisky and cokes all the time, It would be Chivas and coke, Jack and coke, Jameson and coke, Crown and coke, Etc.

You get the idea.

But I haven't done that in like two years now. And there have been a lot of whiskies since then.

But I digress, back to Chivas!

So I give it a faint nose as I crack the bottle and I get the faint familiar smell of Chivas Scotch, which is to say what I used to associate with alcohol and scotch.

Sigh that's no good, nothing cool.

Then I pour it into my glencairn and nose it, at which point I giggle.

I smell Speyside! Holy Kitty Litter Batman!!!

It's a 180 difference in nose.

Apples come through, lots of orange rind, caramel, vanilla, and bits of oak.

Wow. It's sorta weird being able to put an actual nose to a long term memory of drinking a whisky, other then coke I mean.

I bring the glass over to my wife who gets the orange rind from across the room and then while nosing it asks me if it's The Macallan, or another of our Speysides.

When I inform her of it being Chivas she looks at me and blinks.

The taste when I finally take a sip out of it was, and I hate to say it, fairly bland.

What comes through on the palate is apples, hints of cinnamon, a bit of citrus notes, and possibly a hint of sultana.

But sitting at that 40% ABV it feels so very very watered down.

The finish is pretty much non existent, which is actually how my wife identified what we were drinking as not one of our normal bottles.

Like the last 3 whiskies we'd tested this week, it was like drinking whisky water more then whisky, albeit different flavors of whisky water.

This bottle retails for around $40-50 AUS, which while not too expensive, I can happily buy a Aberlour 10 yr old for close to the same price. Much more drinkable in my opinion.

Tomorrows review!

My first Johnnie Walker Red!! Holy cow I can't wait!!


Rather than relaxing in my chaise with a feeling of completeness, I am comparing this experience to Erectile Dysfunction!

The taste neither bad nor good, but one thing is certain and that is the feeling of being completely underwhelmed. With a price tag and package promising an instant cure to my angst!

sip and wait... sip and wait and yet nothing to follow. I understand taste is subjective but this is too generic for my liking. Give me someting I love or hate and I will thank you for that experience!

I was going to write my own review until I read yours; I couldn't have said it better myself.


Distiller is Chivas Brothers, Aberdeen, Scotland.

The Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whiskey has a chardonnay color with a mellow fruity aroma. The flavor is clean with a smooth taste of mixed fruit peel with a touch of smokiness. This 12 year old finishes with a smooth transition to a subtle blended taste of scotch whiskeys with a slight almond taste. It is a wonderful blend that is regal enough to be served in an event or to be enjoyed in a quiet sitting.


What happened to this whisky? Medium amber in the glass; nose of orange zest and oak commands immediate attention; medium body; subtle grains are dashed by myriad of flavors: toffee spice, golden raisins, and finally subtle oak, but the flavors are way off balance; nice warm finish of oaky malt. Still a good dram, and don't make the mistake of tasting just once; there tends to be much ado here, but somewhat wrecked by the havoc of random flavors making no particular statement.

Not what I recall from my previous tastings.


I have always taken a rather blinkered view of blended Scotch on my assumption that a single malt distillery wouldn't sell a barrel at trade price to a blender if that barrel was good enough to sell at retail price to the public.

Also I have tried most of the "general public" blended Scotchs (Bells, JW Red, Grouse) et cetera and I find them to be universally terrible.

Therefore my view of blended Scotches like this one which come in stupidly over-adorned silver boxes and have price tags the same or higher than single malts that I know are decent has therefore been to file them in the "not worth the bother" category. (Albeit I make an exception for JW Blue which I will also review soon).

However a pre-Christmas offer in a supermarket put a half bottle of what I have previously referred to as the "Regal Chav" at not much more than a tenner, so I thought I'd give it a go and see if my predjudice was warranted.

So, first impressions after taking it out of stupid silver box - fairly dark whisky, almost certainly caramel, although I can't find that written on the bottle anywhere in the usual German(why don't they force distillers to do it in this country?). Screw cap - not a good sign. Standard 40%.

Right, neat test first. Nose of citrus and I think apricots. Very sweet. Taste is very heavy caramel although with quite a light feel. Again, very sweet. No noticeable finish, just the same citrus/caramel, a bit like orange fudge in fact.

Ice makes it cold, water makes it weaker, but niether make any noticeable changes to the taste. Mixing it with ginger ale is a waste of time as its flavours aren't robust enough to come through. Would imagine mixing it with Cola would be equally pointless so didn't bother to try.

Best just to drink it neat then, and, even if I do say this of a blended, it is worth drinking neat. It's not JW Blue, it's not that Aberlour with the gaelic name I can't spell and it's certainly not Glenlivet Nadurra, but it is an eminently drinkable whisky. The sweetness and the caramel taste lead it to lack a certain subtltlety and I would have preferred a better finish, but for the money you can't really complain...

...except for the fact that it costs the same as Glenlivet's ordinary 12 YO which is in the same general taste area but for my money (and that is, after all, what I would spend, that is what I would buy in future).


This may be strange to you but, I was given an open Chivas Regal 12 year old by a close friend of mine. I have similar full genuine bottles which i bring with me from the uk and i compared the case and bottle to the ones i bought from the uk. I would like to know if there is a43% vol on the Chivas Regal aged 12 years as all the ones i have are 40 %? who could advise me on how to check if this is an original? The taste is slighlty different on the 43 % which could be a result of the 43% volume assuming it is an original?


nose- citric sense mixed with some bitter chocolate and caramel

taste- smooth serve, no-alcohol tingling at nose while sipping,

after taste- feint, leaving no remark, only citric however not lemon.

nothing complex nor any 3D adventures


Chivas is one of the top blended scotch whisky from Perno-Ricard along with Ballantine's. Originaly blended by yet another early 19th century grocer. Actually, a pair in this case: the Chivas brothers. Along with the Walkers and Andrew Usher, they started the whole blending thing, to insure quality and consistency. The Regal part came from the fact that they were appointed by Her Majesty the Queen Victoria, initially as providers of groceries to Balmoral castle, and later as whisky providers.

The 12 YO is you regular heavily branded stuff. You know, one of the bestselling one, for many the synonym of scotch. Ok, at best.

But the 18 YO is quite another story altogether. The Russian Gold liquid is full of character and surprises.

The nose is complex and inviting: sherry, black chocolate, leather, tobacco, plantation or demerara sugar and nuts. It's speyside at its best.

In the mouth it's a vanilla and fruit cake party. The chocolate and the leather are also both invited.

Adding a bit of water bring forward some very nice maltiness and some good chewy caramel.

And the finish is a nice vanilla sotness.

This whisky is built on top of the Strathisla single malt from the oldest higland distillery, dating back to 1786. And it's an amazing cornerstone malt, one of the best to build upon, along with Cragganmore.

Saying that I loved it would be an understatement. I tasted it during a session with about a dozen of friends and familly members, and we all agreed that this was THE surprise of the evening.

Put it out at 43-46 and it would be a cracker.

@jfpilon...great review, however, it appears that is was meant to be for the 18 y.o. and not the 12 y.o. that it has been assigned to. Just a friendly heads up.

you're absolutely right. As there's no way to modify it, I will write a new one.


The first thing that meets you when you open a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Years Old, is from my point of view, vanilla, brown sugar and possibly some citrus fruits.

However when the content is poured into a glas, my first thought is to spit it right out. The dryness from the citrus fruits combined with the alcohol makes it burn your mouth, and remove all the traces of vanilla and brown sugar which is an excellent combination.

The reason why I bought this whisky was because of the fancy looking box which the whisky came in, and unfortunatly the content of the bottle did not match up with it's fancy wrapping.

@VictorLausten Everyone is entitled to their point of view - and I'm not going to pretend that this whisky is the best in the world - but I wonder if your score is a little harsh. I quite enjoy the citrus edge to the nose and there is a nice little smoky bump half way through the finish. For me it's a pleasant aperitif whisky and surely worth more than your score?

Perhabs it is a little harsh. But this whiskys quality does not live up to it's price. Therefore, a low score. When it comes to taste, which is completely individual, I am not a big fan of citrus edge, or at least not such a powerful citrus edge.


I am not sure how this Chivas 12 found its way into my cabinet! I think it was an old gift a friend a few years ago. In any case I dug it out this afternoon and had two drams as an aperitif with my neighbour...

Nose: Spicy, fruity like Apple peels and vanilla...a strong biting overtone of Alcohol. Not very pleasant.

Body: Thick and creamy. Some more apple and a tad spicy, yet nothing to write home about.

Finish: Medium length finish with some more spice and a bit of sweetness.

Overall impression: Not a bad blend, but does not impress. There are far better blends out there.

agree. I opened a bottle of Chivas Royal Salute (blue bottle) and it was harsh as heck!

I agree... there are many other better blends... I think Chivas Regal is too much spicy and there's no space to other tastes. It burns my throat like hell, even the 18 y.o..


A mate of mine (Jimmy) and I have this arrangement that whenever we get something new we always invite each other over to have a glass. He recently had a birthday and was gifted a few bottles - a Haig Dimple 15 year old, and Chivas Regal 12 year old and a Bruichladdich 18 year old.

Second up was the Chivas Regal 12 year old.

The nose has a bit of an alcohol bite, but is still smooth and sweet. Not a lot going on, with the only interesting part was that when you take a short sniff, the sweetness is caramel in nature, but when you take a long, deep sniff, it's more like vanilla. Pleasant, but not anything of note.

The taste is similarly smooth, pleasant and one-dimensional. Notes of caramel, maltiness and cinnamon with the occasional barest fruity hint every now and again.

The medium-length finish starts with a fading tingly spiciness, and slowly rolls through a gentle malty sweetness.

A nice malt, nothing wrong with it, but not a lot to recommend it either.


I think that Chivas Regal 12 y.o. is one of the best blended I ever taste. A taste of vanilla and apple, very good on the rocks.

My rewiew is in Blended ambient, I don't want to compare a blend with a single malt. This is one of my favourite quality/price commercial blend (17€ in italian superstore), better than ballantines, william lawson and others.

this is a very mediocre (Bland) blend ;) yuo are better off buying a single malt for the same price.


Today, I tried the Chivas Regal 12 Year Old (which contains quite a bit of Strathisla, the most pittoresque distillery in Keith - Speyside).

The nose is very soft with citrus and apples, but also mild herbs and honey.

It’s rather creamy and somewhat nutty, but you’ll also discover some lavender and vanilla. The smokiness (very faint) can be attributed to the Strathisla.

The finish is not long, but quite pleasant, warm and sweet. It leaves your mouth dry and clean.

This is quite a nice blend indeed. Much better than for example Johnnie Walker Red Label or William Lawson’s. Oh, for those who wonder where the silly title of the review came from: ‘chivas’ is Gaelic for ‘The Small Place’. I couldn’t think of any other ‘snappy’ title (not that this one is snappy, I admit).

Sounds quite reasonable. I've never liked Chivas Regal, but that might be due to the fact that as a young man I over-indulged on this particular dram in a somewhat extreme fashion. Since then I've been somewhat repelled by it... ;)

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