Review: Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

18 years
Scottish Malt and Grain Whiskies
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This blend, originally produced in 1989, is very well respected among connoisseurs - indeed, I originally sought it out because of Whisky Advocate's 96 rating of the blend. I've read elsewhere that many bloggers said this was a game changer for them - I have found that with many blends, particularly the older ones, that complexity is very high and patience is rewarded if you take time nosing and tasting (as can be easily seen through other old blends like Ballantine's 17). I like that you can often find mini bottles of this (200 or 375 ml) which make terrific gifts.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: LKPG 0648 2015/02/20 09:42

  • Bottling Date: 2015

The nose is rich, with lots of apple, pear, and vanilla. Lots on the nose – typical fruitcake spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove), oak, grape, stewed pear, toffee, nut brittle, confectionary coconut, and some beautiful malt as well.  Light bitterness, and ever-so-light floral notes as well.

The palate shows lots of malt, raisins, with a bit of earthy barley coming in before the oak takes hold of the end. Light cloves in the background throughout. Some very nice stewed apricot in the background as well. Decent mouthfeel, and the grains come in quite nicely providing a nice elegant base – but the malt is still driving the flavour. And the more I have this, the more I am appreciating the malt in it. The finish has oak, spices, raisins, malt, and the earthiness of the barley coming through as well. And a touch of asparagus. Complex on the finish. Elegant.

The nose shows a lot of complexity – very terrific. The palate just doesn’t quite punch enough flavor. Still, very well blended and complex. If it had a bit more body on the palate, it’d do much better. Oh for 46%...a whole lot better than the 12.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: The lower end of average, based on $100.