chivas regal

Review: Chivas Regal Mizunara

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Chivas Regal’s latest addition to their US portfolio is Chivas Regal Mizunara.  Mizunara is a Japanese Oak.  It’s generally not used outside of Japan, which makes Chivas one of the first wave of Scotch whiskies utilizing the oak.  In this case, a portion of this blended whisky is finished in Mizunara.  You might recall a Bowmore Mizunara a couple of years back.  It too was finished in this eastern oak, which tends to add some spice notes.

This new expression from the big blending house is bottled at 40% ABV and available for a suggested price of $45.  Chivas has always been an approachable whisky.  Let’s see how this one fares.

The somewhat muted nose features hints of vanilla, cloves, light toffee, and a greenish grain note, suggesting some young whisky in the blend.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially given the price.  The palate fares a bit better with waves of spiced toffee, sweet grain,  anise, and dried apricot.  The mid-palate does come across as a bit thin.  Chivas Regal Mizunara carries a short, clean finish.

It was interesting to taste spicier notes than what I usually find in a Chivas Regal blend, and that’s thanks to the Mizunara oak finish.  However, the brand only finished part of this whisky in said oak.  What’s in the bottle is pleasant enough, but at the same time non-offensive and maybe a bit bland.  A slightly higher ABV might have made for a better tasting experience.  Chivas Regal Mizunara should appeal to people who don’t like bold whiskies.  7/10

Chivas.com

Thanks to Chivas Regal for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Chivas Regal Extra Blended Scotch Review

Chivas Regal Extra

The latest offering from Chivas Regal is Chivas Regal Extra.  What’s extra about it?  It’s got a higher percentage of whiskies aged in sherry casks.  I happen to like sherried whiskies… then again I happen to like all whiskies.  Something else of note: this new blend from Chivas Regal has no age statement (NAS), and is positioned (price-wise) between the 12-year-old and 18-year-old expressions.  So, how is it?

The sherry influence comes across in the nose.  There is lots more fruit here than the standard 12-year-old Chivas Regal.  Underneath is creamy vanilla, crisp fruit and cinnamon spice.  The body is a little thin.  I suspect the low proof (40% abv) is the culprit.  Despite the mouthfeel, it does seem rich.  Beyond the sherried fresh fruit (apple, pear), some cinnamon spice comes across in a refreshing way, providing a welcome little kick.  I also detect some vanilla, toffee, and the slightest hint of peat.  The finish here is not quite medium in length, and carries over that candied cinnamon note.

I’ve got to hand it to Chivas Regal.  They’ve put together a really nice NAS blend here.  I think their 12-year-old expression is a bit on the bland side, but that’s not a concern here.  The extra sherry casks breathe some life into the signature Chivas Regal flavor profile.  Priced at about $45 a bottle, this whisky comes recommended!

8/10

Chivas Regal 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch Review

Chivas Regal 12

Chivas Regal is one of the best selling blended whiskies in the world.  Just like its largest competitor, Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal was founded by a grocer.  It can be traced back to the mid-1800s.  In the early 20th century, Chivas Regal finally found its way to the U.S., where it enjoyed tremendous success.  Sinatra even called it one of his favorite Scotch whiskies.  It’s available just about everywhere.

On the nose, there’s toffee, orange peel, apple, and raisin.  I get a little fruitiness that borders on sherry.  That note is easily picked out on the palate.  There’s a creaminess, malt, honey, vanilla and a touch of peat.  The flavors are a tad muted overall.  It could be due to the low abv, which here clocks in at 40%. The finish is medium in length, with a sweet maltiness becoming dry.

Chivas Regal 12-year-old is a quality entry-level drink that many people around the world enjoy.  It’s non-offensive and a little muted for me.  If you want to try a decent “beginner” scotch, give this one a go.  It’s also a great deal for an aged whisky at about $25-$30 for a bottle.

7.5/10