Tasting: Chivas Regal 18 yo blend

Chivas Regal 18 yo blendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Chivas Brothers Ltd.
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: 18
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chillfiltered and coloured
Whiskybase link

The bog standard Chivas Regal 12 yo blended Scotch is being quaffed in unbelievably huge quantities all around the world, but then there’s also the older, and more expensive, yet still affordable sipling (about 50€ at the time of writing), the 18 yo. I’ve never tried it – about time I did so, I guess…

Tasting notes:
Colour: E150a-caused dark red-orange hue
The nose starts off light enough with an unexpected dominance of light alcoholic notes, but there’s more lurking in the background. Lots more, a very dense, interwoven nasal experience and malt-dominated, as is to be expected from a blended whisky in that price range. Honey, vanilla, sweet fruits (mango, apricots, peaches, sweet grapes, honey melon, lychees and many more) paired with palm honey, old spicy grain whisky, a light grassy note and a pinch of mulled wine spices. Background notes are provided by a layer of fragrant, but not overwhelming oak. Very well put together, complex yet light enough to be mass-compatible. Nonetheless, it’s able to speak for itself, not just a base for a mixer! On to the palate now! Ho-hum. Light on the arrival with a few sweet and fruity notes, before the alcohol kicks in (there’s not too much alcohol, but the initial notes are even lighter.) Pleasantly mouth-coating and even oily despite the lightness and so densely blended, it is almost impossible to dissect. Dark honey, mulled wine spices and a mix of lighter summer fruits (apples, pears, white peaches, lychees and apricots) on a base of slightly dry and a hint bitter grain whiskies from maybe re-re-refill casks (not too fond of the hint of wormwood). The grain base is much more noticeable on the palate. Pleasant enough, but not nearly as interesting as the nose – sip, swallow, start over again. Which is what a blend is supposed to be – I am reviewing this from a perspective of an advanced whisky lover and that clientele is looking for a bit more than just a “smooth experience”. Smooth is a great descriptor here – one I rarely use, but in this case it fits! On the second and third sips the bitter wood and “grainy” aspect is much more pronounced, especially in the retronasal experience. The short to medium finish is slightly spicy upon swallowing, mellow, with undeniable dry and slightly bitter old-cask grain whisky influence underneath the aforementioned top layer of light fruits.

Hmmmm… hmmmm….. hmmmm…. This started out so promising on the nose – not spectacular, but I liked it! Palate and finish, however, were not able to keep up – much simpler and a much higher influence of so-so grain whisky. In the end it is perfectly sippable for the novice whisky drinker, as a base for a mixer or on the rocks. For neat enjoyment by the discerning whisky lover, however, there are much more interesting options out there in the same price range, even though they might carry a younger or no age statement at all…

Score: 74/100
(Nose: 82 Palate: 73 Finish: 75)

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