Chivas 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky Review

let’s begin

With roots in Aberdeen dating back as far as 1801, the Chivas brand has been around for decades and over that time they have perfected their blends.

Chivas 12 is a classic example of one such perfection.

The impressive Chivas roots

James Chivas first began maturing Whisky in their shop’s cellar in the 1840s and soon began to create blends that became very popular.

It was in the 1850s that James and his brother John became innovators in the art of blending Whisky.  They created drams that were known for their smoothness and richness of flavour.

They were creators of taste and refinement and lead the way in luxury with the release of Chivas Regal 25 Year Old in 1909.

This was the first luxury Whisky to be released and the brand was welcomed with open arms into new ports such as North America.

Since then they have managed to survive two world wars and prohibition to become one of the biggest selling Whiskies available.

The Chivas distilery

The company has a base in the Strathisla distillery of Speyside.  This is one of the most beautiful Scotch distilleries in Scotland and is nestled away in the rolling hills of the Highlands, where it holds the Chivas Brother’s recipes in its ornate walls.

The distillery was purchased by the company in 1950 but was built in 1786, making it one of the oldest in Scotland.

It is perched beside the River Isla and is definitely worth a visit.

Their recipes, Chivas 12 included, have been handed down from generation to generation and although they are not owned by the Chivas family today, the brand still maintains its age-old traditions with pride.

Chivas 12 year old tasting notes

Bottle cost: £16.63

Chivas 12-Year-Old is one of the distillery’s biggest selling malts.  This blend has been a popular member of the Chivas family since it was first released post-prohibition.

While it may not be quite as sophisticated as some of its siblings, Chivas 12 is a highly enjoyable malt that is perfect if you just want something easy going.

The nose opens as it means to go on, with plenty of deep, sweet aromas appearing almost immediately.

It begins with a wonderful creaminess with a slight buttery note to it.  This develops into vanilla custard and hints of toffee.

The oak of the barrels peaks through, with a slight cinnamon and allspice note.  These lend a depth to the vanilla and bolster the sweetness to make it more refined and elegant.

The butter becomes more like popcorn, with a subtle hint of malt and cereals.  These are joined by a tangy citrus note, filled with lemon curd and candied orange peel.

These flavours take a backseat on the palate, with the toffee and butter becoming more pronounced.  The spicy vanilla becomes thick, creamy honey that is perfectly complemented by a similar mouth feel.

The oak also becomes nuttier in flavour and texture, with sweet nuts such as pecans and hazelnuts coming through.

The flavours all intersect and melt together and are joined by dried bananas and raisins, adding a little touch of dryness.

The finish wraps everything up perfectly with a long linger and plenty of spice to go around.

Tags: AberdeenChivasDrinkWireJames ChivasSpeysideStrathisla distillery
Picture of Greg


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

You might be interested in

More from the blog

Leave a comment

Login / register