Chivas Brother's Blend Review

“Purple Grain”
Country : Scotland
Brand: The Chivas Regal Brother's Blend
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol: 40%
Chill-Filtration: Yes
Whisky Review # 567

Colour: Full Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: I'm not a big fan of the original 12 Years so I'm really curious to see if there's any significant difference here. There's still a lot of young, indifferent Grain Alcohol around but I do get some Sweet Barley as well. I would assume that the Malt for this Blend matured in a mix of Refill Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry casks. I tasted the "old" 12 years back in 2011/2012 and I must admit that today I'm more able to recognise what I'm nosing and tasting. Next to the Alcohol and Barley, I find Caramel, Toast and Margarine, light Vanilla, light Honey, Straw, Artificially-Flavoured Tropical Fruit Candies (Papaya, Pineapple, Banana), Dried Apricot, Nut Shells, Pencil Shavings, Citrus Peel, light Peanut Butter, Bread Dough and the faintest hint of Smoke. There's a bit more to discover here than in the "old" 12 years and it feels less aggressive but I still can't get excited about this Chivas Regal Blend.   

Taste: The delivery is quite Thin and Sugary Sweet. The Grain Alcohol is very noticeable and so are the Wood Spices like Pepper, Clove, Cinnamon and Ginger. I also find Sugared Cereals, Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, light Vanilla, Dried Apricot, Citrus Peel, Herbal Tea, Refill Oak, Artificially Flavoured Fruit Candies (Banana, Papaya) and light Licorice.  

Finish: Short, Sugary Sweet, Spicy and with a light Alcohol bite. I find Cereals, a little Toasted Barley, Toffee, Caramel, very light Honey, Refill Oak, Hazelnuts, light Vanilla, Salt, Pepper, Clove and light Licorice. Slightly Bitter towards the end. A very faint hint of Smoke.     

With added Water, the Chivas Brother's Blend becomes too Thin although I find some additional Floral notes. 

Rating : 77.5  

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19.5 – Finish: 18.5 - Overall: 19.5

General Remarks:The Chivas Brother's Blend 12 Years was launched in October 2012, originally as a Travel Retail Expression. In the meantime it forms part of the Chivas Regal core range. It was created as a tribute to the two founding brothers James and John who started Chivas back in 1801. It is based on the "old" 12 years but it received a higher proportion of Malt Whisky, mainly from Strathisla and Longmorn. It sells at around 50 US Dollars (October 2016).   
Drinking Experience Neat : Okay  

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay. It gets a bit Thin over Ice.
Conclusion: Despite the slick presentation and packaging, the Chivas Regal Brother's Blend only improved slightly when compared to the "old" 12 Years. It's a little less Sharp and a little more rounded thanks to the higher Malt content. But the Young Grain Alcohol is still in control and the same type of Refill casks is used to mature the Malt for this Blend. Sugar, Spice and Artificial Fruit Flavours are the main drivers. If you find it at around 30 US Dollars it's an okay buy but at 50 US Dollars it's way too expensive for what it offers.
Jan van de Ende                                                                  October 17, 2016


Unknown said...

You are a snob.

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Charles, sorry for the late reply but I was traveling. Without any further details it's hard for me to comment on your remark. I try to give my honest personal opinions on all sorts of Whiskies in all price classes. My opinion can of course differ from yours or anybody else for that matter. I did taste over 600 different whiskies in the meantime however so that gives me at least an idea about Prices vs. Quality! Feel free to add some more specific items to your comment!