Well, its holiday season for a lot of folks (and the first day of winter for half of us), and that means that folks are giving all manners of whisk(e)y gifts. Most common in the Scotch-giving arena among such gifts are popular single malts like The Glenlivet and The Macallan and upscale blends like Chivas Regal 18 yr. What? I haven’t reviewed Chivas 18 yr. yet? No worries, my friends.
Chivas is one of the best-selling Scotch brands in the world, which means that Chivas is often shunned in the blogosphere. We hipster bloggers like to review what is new, cool, and not yet popular. Well, Chivas is not new, it is only cool in some circles, and it is most certainly popular already. However, that does not mean Chivas is bottling a bad product or that it does not make a great gift. Chivas 18 year-old is reasonably priced for its age, and it is beautifully packaged, making it a great present to unwrap under the tree. But, what of the liquid in the bottle (80 proof, 40% abv)?
On the nose, Chivas is pleasant and welcoming, yielding a lot of malty and citrusy components. I get notes of orange marmalade, pineapples, potpourri, and a hint of wood smoke. The palate is soft and seductive, with warming oranges, dry oak, white chocolate, and a hint of wood smoke. The finish is medium in its length, with drying oak, wood spiciness, and a drying citrus note most reminiscent of grapefruit.
Overall, this is a good gift because most people will think you paid more for it than you actually did. As for the whisky in the bottle, it is not bad at all, but there are definitely better single malts on the market at the same price point. Then again, the simplicity and the silky seduction of Chivas 18 make it the perfect introduction to older Scotches without breaking the bank or getting too much complexity and body. If you’ve got a whisky lover on your list that has expressed trying some older whiskies, this would probably be a very welcome gift under the tree. My grade: B. Price: $70-80/750ml. There are definitely better drams for that money, but not many of them have 18 years under their belt.