After taking a look at Chivas 18 towards the end of last year, we decided to take another look at the blended whisky. And yes it’s actually that good, though this time we looked at it from a slightly different perspective. Being a blended whisky means that the final bottled spirit is made up of other whiskies, and in this case we decided to look at a few of these other whiskies to see how they combine to form Chivas 18.
A great blended whisky could be compared to a great meal. When a chef at an award-winning restaurant is creating that masterpiece of food your about to enjoy, they take care and pride in selecting each ingredient that goes into what your about to eat, down to the smallest detail. A master distiller is the same way, taking pride and care in hand selecting each spirit that is blended to create that final product. If either the chef or master distiller cuts even the smallest corner, the end result you’ll receive could be lacking.
Luckily in the case of Chivas 18, this isn’t the case.
Master Distiller/Blender, Colin Scott utilizes several whiskies that on their own are all equally impressive.
Once you begin to sample some of these contributing whiskies, you begin to understand and appreciate the flavor that each additional whisky imparts into the final spirit.
A sampling of these include whiskies such as:
Strathisla 18 year that begins with ripe cherries, smoked cinnamon, apricot, coconut cream melon and subtle hints of black licorice.
An unspecified grain whisky that’s been aged 18 years and is brimming with flavors such as candied apple, hazelnut, and sweet elegant milk chocolate.
Longmorn 18, a specimen of Longhorn whisky that’s currently not available on retail shelves(though a 16 year old offering is). Full of notes of banana, kitchen spices such as cardamon, allspice and cinnamon that are followed up subtle hints of cocoa with herbal notes such as lavender and grass that finishes with the presence of vanilla.
And last but definitely not least, the little guy that’s responsible for the smoky undertone that plays with all that sweetness Chivas 18 exudes, Islay 18.
Before you ask, the origin of what Islay whiskies go into this 18 year old specimen is top secret. When inquiring with the Chivas Brand Ambassador, Alex Robertson we were advised that even he isn’t told what Islay whiskies go into this, however he assured us that it’s more than just one Islay whisky.
Opening with the expected peatiness and hints of smoke, more than just this is at the heart of the Islay 18. With characters of subtle burnt orange, cocoa, pear, ripe strawberries with a finish that introduces some creme de menthe.
While these four whiskies are only a small part of what goes into the blend that is Chivas 18, as you taste through the final spirit you can detect the contribution that each one of these whiskies make.
In its simplest definition, Chivas 18 is smoked cherries, sweet milk chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut with hints of basil on the finish.
As you delve deeper into each sip you slowly unravel the complexity that is Chivas 18. Cardamon, cinnamon, allspice give way to grapefruit, touches of peaches and apricot with the occasional hint of grass.
Chivas 18 is one of those rare spirits that are so precise that every sip will introduce new flavors into the experience.
Final Score: 9.5/10