Chivas Regal is one of the largest whisky brands in the world, so when they announce a new expression, people pay attention. Joining their whisky lineup is the luxuriously packaged Ultis, the first permanent blended malt in the brand’s history.
Current Master Blender Colin Scott says this of the new blend:
By working together, our blending team has masterfully brought five unique single malts from across the Speyside region to create an exceptional blend which is truly the essence of Chivas Regal Ultis. Each individual malt and each individual blender has added an element of expertise to the whisky, which is unique to the blend, ensuring it is the ultimate embodiment of shared success.
The number five plays a significant role in this whisky. Ultis pays homage to the brand’s five master blenders. Since 1895, only five men have held the critical role. Five single malts compose this blend: Tormore, Longmorn, Strathisla, Allt A’Bhainne and Braeva. According to the company, only 1% of their inventory was selected for this blend.
Price wise, it’s positioned between their 18 year and 25 year old blends at a suggested retail price of $200. Some will inevitably scoff at paying so much for a non-age statement whisky, but these are the times we live in. It’s time to stop solely focusing on a number printed on a whisky label and start paying attention to the liquid inside. In other words, reserve your opinion until you’ve actually tasted the whisky.
The nose features sherried malt, vanilla, earl grey tea and burnt orange peel, along with some oak spices. The low bottling proof of 40% abv equates to a smooth entry, though the whisky feels more viscous and oily than expected. A sweet malt note starts things off, followed by waves of toffee, creamy vanilla, dried fruits, and sherry. Cloves and cinnamon ramp up and settle to a bright citrus note. The finish features a touch of rich sherried malt and espresso, followed closely by dry oak tannins.
Colin Scott and his team have created a marvelous blended malt with Chivas Regal Ultis. It’s rich, enticing, somewhat complex and extremely easy to drink. Although minor, my only gripe is the low proof. I wish it were bottled at 43% or 46% to add a bit more body and flavor. Again, minor gripe. I can only judge what’s in the bottle.
So the big question: is Ultis worth $200? That depends on how much money you spend on whisky, but the short answer is yes. Not having tasted Chivas Regal 25 year, I can say Ultis is my favorite blend from the big Scotch whisky brand. Fans of the Chivas Regal style should pick this one up with confidence. Recommended. 9/10
Thanks to Chivas Regal for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.