You’d be hard pressed to find a whiskey as popular as Chivas Regal. Frank Sinatra was a fan, and so are a million other drinkers around the word today. So what is it about Chivas Regal that has struck a chord with a lot of folks?
There is this mistaken belief that a popular whiskey isn’t any good, but nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that Chivas Regal is so popular only proves how exquisite the taste is.
The Distinct Chivas Regal Taste
there’s no better way to get an idea of how Chivas Regal tastes than by sipping. But since we’re putting it into words, the best way to describe it is smooth. There are no rough edges, no bitter aftertaste and no unpleasant bite either.
The Chivas Regal 12 year old – and the other variants for that matter – don’t have the graininess found in ordinary blended scotch whiskey. This graininess is the bitter, alcoholic taste that’s all too common in cheap whiskey. Nothing like that is in Chivas Regal.
Compared to other blended scotch whiskey, Chivas Regal more than manages its own. Not surprising therefore, that it is preferred by a lot of connoisseurs and regular drinkers. In fact there are those who opt for this instead of a pricier single malt.
A Smooth Blend
Chivas Regal exemplifies what smooth, rich, blended Scotch should be. Strathisla single malt pervades the blend and that’s to be expected. If you’re not familiar with Strathisla that’s understandable since Chivas Regal doesn’t promote it. The main reason why the Glenlivet group – the company that owns Chivas – runs Strathisla is to provide a dependable supply of single malt for Chivas.
So what does this all mean when it comes to the taste? Well for the noise it means apples and citrus, and the undiluted palate is hazelnut, applesauce, and smooth, sweet honey, and the mid palate is more like heather with ocean sea salt and creamy vanilla.
Chivas regal has a sweet taste in the beginning and a dry finish. There is a bit of sherry in the taste, a lingering sea salt, smoke, peat and heather. It dries on the palate and the taste lingers nicely.
Neat or Blended?
Keep in mind we are talking about Chivas Regal here straight up. Even adding a bit of water will change things up. But mix it up in a cocktail and you’ll get different flavors. For purists, though, the best way to enjoy Chivas Regal 12 or 18 is to take it with some water or on the rocks (add some ice).
The debate whether it is best to drink whiskey neat or blended has been going for years and is unlikely to end anytime soon. Purists point out that adding ingredients takes away from the original flavor.
Take Chivas Regal 18 for instance. There are 20 to 30 different blends in it, and that translates to 20 to 30 flavors. If you add more ingredients, you’ll lose some of the flavors.
Cocktail and blend lovers disagree. They point out that cocktails enhance Chivas Regal. However there’s no need for you to choose as you can try them both.
Chivas Regal Cocktails
- Hot Toddy: add 50 ml Chivas Regal, 25 ml lemon juice, 2 tsp honey and 5 cloves. Skewer the cloves in the lemon and put in a heat resistant glass. Add the honey, lemon juice and whiskey. Add boiling water and cinnamon stick as garnish. Stir and serve.
- Coke and whiskey: pour whiskey in a glass. Add some ice cubes and top it off with Coke. This is a tried and tested blend.
- Rusty nail: put a few ice cubes in a low ball glass. Pour 2 o of Chivas Regal and 1/4 oz Drambuie. Stir and serve.
- Comte de Sureau: you need 1 oz of whiskey, 0.3 oz of Campari and 1.3 oz of gin. Just pour everything in a mixing glass with ice cubes. Mix and strain. Serve with orange peel as garnish.
- Rob Roy: you will need 1 1/2 whiskey, 1/4 sweet vermouth and a dash of angostura bitter. Put all the ingredients in a mixing glass and strain in another glass. Give it a nice stir and serve.
As has been shown here, there is no lacking of ways to drink Chivas Regal. Whether you take it on the rocks, with water, Coke, green tea or cocktail, the point is you’ll have a lot of options to enjoy this famous blended scotch.