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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.