The latest addition to the Chivas Regal stable, Chivas Regal Extra is also the first in the lineup to try its hand at adding a higher proportion of sherry-matured malt into the mix, following a craze that seems to be pretty popular right now. What sheeple.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your take), it’s also the only non-Duty-Free member of the lineup to ditch the age-statement, and in true Highland Park and Diageo style it’s also strangely more expensive than the 12-year-old. Ouch. Cue heated arguments and conspiracy theories.
Anyway, once the enraged spittle has stopped flying and the friendships have been restored, let’s see firsthand if this Chivas Regal’s “extra” cost is accounted for in those sherry casks… or if they’re just pulling a Gold Label Reserve on us:
Extremely well integrated sherry. Distinct, but without the Oloroso bulldozer that other sherry-inclusive-blends or single malt finishes suffer from. Fruity and spicy, and… silky. Well integrated and inviting as hell. Yoh.
I wanted to hate this – but the
hips tastebuds don’t lie. Wow. Silky, complex and shockingly well blended. The sherry taste lives up to the nose – present but not overpowering. Raisins, dark chocolate, cherries, grapefruit. It has a creaminess I associate with grain whisky – and young at that – and some earthy, mossy notes at the back. The finish is a pleasant Christmas-cake ride out.
Although it’s a different kind of drink to the 12-year-old, if you held a gun to my head and forced me to choose I think I’d pick the Chivas Regal Extra. It’s not wildly more expensive, and despite the lack of an age statement this is definitely the more enjoyable – an extra R100 certainly justified. Score 1 for team NAS!