Still deciding what you will be drinking this New Year’s Eve? Well, it should be the new release Chivas Regal XV blended scotch whisky. Aged 15 years and finished in Grand Champagne Cognac casks – it is sweet, smooth and satisfying.
Chivas claims this sweet spirit embodies the high-energy spirit of celebration. Richard Black, Global Marketing Director at Chivas Regal, explains:
“Enter Chivas Regal XV – the perfect expression for those who want to celebrate life with a truly luxurious and unique spirit specifically with the energy of the consumption occasion in mind. A disruptive move for the category, Chivas Regal XV presents a more contemporary side to Scotch and encourages whisky drinkers to create memorable experiences that live on long after the celebration.”
Ah yes, disrupting convention. If you’re experiencing a little déjà vu reading this, you’re not alone. Like many of its peers right now, Chivas are seeking to craft new experiences to appeal to scotch whisky fans, namely the lucrative brand-hopping, experience-chasing millennial market.
We were kind of hoping it would shoot confetti when opened, but sadly this was not the case. No, this is still a serious whisky, but Chivas want you to enjoy it in non-serious settings. You won’t be needing the Hugh Hefner robe, pipe, or crackling fireplace for this one.
With that in mind, let’s get to celebrating.
Similar to our earlier review of the Allt-A-Bhainne single malt, Chivas Regal XV comes from the Speyside region of Scotland. Unlike Allt-A-Bhainne single malt, Chivas Regal XV is a blend of complimentary grain and single malt whiskies to produce the final product.
All Chivas Regal blends call the Strathisla Distillery home. It is also the oldest operating distillery in the Scottish Highlands, producing whisky since 1786.
The main product of the distillery, Strathisla Single Malt, is at the heart of every Chivas Regal Blend. Thanks in part to the distillery’s unique small copper stills, Strathisla Single Malt is known for possessing a rich, full-bodied, and fruity flavour once given time to mature.
Once the whiskies are blended, Chivas Regal XV matures for 15 years, before being placed into Grand Champagne Cognac casks for finishing. Chivas claim that this finishing technique results in a rich, refined, and velvety interpretation of the traditional Chivas house style, making it perfect for everything from shots through to scotch-focused cocktails.
Tasting Notes: Chivas Regal XV
Due diligence: I am merely a dedicated fan of scotch whisky. Although with the many reviews of late I may look into getting a professionally trained palate.
We did things for this review a little differently. We fleetingly thought of visiting a celebratory environment (a bar or a nightclub) to order a couple of different Chival Regal XV drinks, before remembering the horrors of personal space invasion and terrible dance music — hard pass.
Instead, we opted for a small celebration with Chivas Regal XV shots, an Old-Fashioned cocktail, and a nip on the rocks to get a range of impressions. But first, the official tasting summary:
“Chivas XV is a refined, fruity and velvety interpretation of the Chivas house style. The taste is incredibly smooth and fruity with flavours of poached pears intermingled with butterscotch and caramel toffees all rolled up in a wonderful velvety texture. The finish is rounded off with a touch of vanilla.”
Chivas Regal XV on the Rocks
The aroma is very sweet and oaky, with strong citrus and fruit notes cutting through. To the taste, the scotch is very light and fruity, with a sweet creaminess throughout, rounded out by an incredibly smooth and sweet vanilla finish.
It’s very pleasant to drink and won’t set your oesophagus on fire.
Chivas Regal XV ‘Old Fashioned ‘Cocktail
In our Old Fashioned, the smoothness of the scotch made for a very pleasant mix with the sugar and bitters, resulting in a very smooth, sweet cocktail. We would recommend this If you are looking to mix, and you are happy to pay a little more for your spirits.
Chivas Regal XV Shot
Chivas suggests that XV is perfect for shots, which is curious. Scotch does not come to my mind, nor my peers, as a popular choice for shots, When you consider that the enjoyment of scotch is in savouring, taking your time, it seems odd to suggest you’d consume it in this way.
Should you decide to go down this path, it goes down smooth, and the brief taste you’ll get is pure, smooth scotch.
Packaging and presentation
Chivas Regal branding is all about gold. Sharing the same iconic bottle shape as the rest of the Chivas family, Chivas Regal XV comes packaged in a solidly constructed metallic gold outer carton. Yes, it looks expensive and sufficiently flashy.
The bottle is weighty, and decals kept to a minimum. Sporting the black and gold insignia on the front, it has a very formal in appearance, except the handwritten roman numerals XV. This is a nod to both the age of the product and a reference to traditional Cognac classification. It is a nice deviation from the formality of the rest of the package.
This passes both of my regular tests: I would happily display this on my liquor shelf, and I wouldn’t hesitate to give it as a gift.
And, on a serious note
It has 40% alcohol which means a nip (25ml) has 55 calories, no fats, carbs or proteins. Dieters take note!
The current Chivas Regal product portfolio does NOT contain any of the EU recognised allergens. Although alcohol is made using cereals, gluten protein does not pass distillation – there is no gluten in the finished product.
And, if you were wondering what the EU recognised allergens are
|Cereals containing gluten||Crustaceans||Eggs|
|Milk (including lactose)||Nuts||Celery|
Chivas Regal XV is part of the Chivas Regal Range of blended scotch whiskeys.
This blended scotch whisky is wonderfully smooth, with the added sweetness from the Cognac casks giving it that special little something to set it apart. Great for cocktails or consumed on its own, it’s something you could take to a party to please multiple people.
As was the case with previous brands which seek to rattle the convention of scotch drinkers, we are still not convinced.
This is a blended scotch whisky. It looks and tastes like one. It will continue to be a scotch whisky whether at a party or from a coffee mug at the office. This is not a disruptive move for the category, but it doesn’t need to be. It is a great scotch whisky without the marketing hype.
Would we recommend this? Definitely, if you like a sweeter profile to your scotch, or are looking for a sweeter, smoother entry point to start enjoying scotch whisky.