Strathisla Distillery is, without question, the prettiest distillery in Scotland and is the heart and home of Chivas Regal. Set in the picturesque medieval town of Keith, on the banks of the River Isla and with its distinctive twin pagodas, water wheel and gabled granite buildings, Strathisla is well worth visiting.
To safeguard the critically important component of the Chivas blends, Strathisla single malt, Chivas Brothers bought the distillery in 1950 and in 2001 The Chivas Group was bought by the French multi-national Pernod Ricard, who have maintained Chivas Regal as one of the top five bestselling blends in the world.
CHIVAS REGAL 12 YEARS OLD BLENDED WHISKY 43%
On the nose a mixed fruit cornucopia of dark berries, toffee apple swirling with caramel and toffee custard, with some Islay peat misting in the background.
Velvety sweet on the tongue initially, then hot peppered spice drying to a woody charcoal finish.
Water mutes the stunning nose and does nothing for the mediocre palate.
Best neat or straight on ice. 82
CHIVAS REGAL 18 YEARS OLD BLENDED WHISKY 43%
Rich vanilla with loads of sweet spice, cardamom and toffee on the nose.
The palate is silky smooth with a hint of the vanilla, then a rush of spicy pepper, finishing with a bitter, short, dry aftertaste of old sherried oak. 80
CHIVAS ROYAL SALUTE 21 YEARS OLD BLENDED WHISKY 40%
Almonds, Oloroso sherry, a hint of mint, dark toffee and a touch of anise, richly spiced stewed dark fruits with a hazy trail of smoke...what an astonishing nose!
Sweetly oily and viscous, coating the tongue with sweet toffee essence, light pepper 'n spice with sherried wood on the finish.
Despite the gorgeous, moreish nose on all three expressions the palate always disappointed, unbalanced with short finishes that went nowhere, which leads me to think that this Chivas range is highly over-rated. 83