I recently had the opportunity to participate in a deconstruction tasting of the Chivas Regal 18 Year Scotch Whisky. Created by Master Blender Colin Scott in 1997, the blended scotch whisky is composed of various whiskies from Scotland including over 20 single malts. The whiskies that are blended are classified into three: Islay 18, Grain 18 and the Strathisla 18. Both Islay 18 and Strathisla 18 are single malts while the Grain 18 is a single grain whisky. The whiskies are not available commercially as they are exclusively used for blending.
We started with the Islay 18. There’s a lot of smoke on the nose with a hint of salt. The taste is what one would expect from the nose; deep smoke and some saltiness to it. Next is the Grain 18. The Grain 18 gives the Chivas Regal 18 its rich buttery notes. It has a creamy caramel nose and tastes like a mellow salted caramel. The last one we tasted is the Strathisla 18. This whisky is produced in the oldest distillery in the Highlands, the Strathisla Distillery. The nose is salty with plenty of oak notes. It is soft in flavor with a hint of smoke and a medium finish.
The Chivas Regal 18 is a well-balanced and pleasing blended scotch whisky. I could clearly make out which whiskies were contributing the flavours. It has the right amount of sweetness and creaminess with notes of burnt orange peel. There’s a nice smokiness to it but never overpowering with spice, wood and chocolate notes. Compared to the Chivas Regal 12 it’s slightly more viscous making it nice to swish around the mouth and works well with a cube of ice. I would recommend drinking it after dinner with sweets such as salted caramel or orange peels coated in dark chocolate.
Everybody seems to be into single malts lately but that doesn’t mean blended scotch should be written off entirely. The Chivas Regal 18 Year Scotch Whisky is easy to drink and many will find it quite appealing. The price point makes it accessible and those looking to taste a wide range of flavours will find plenty in this blended scotch.