Chivas Regal is one of the bestselling blended Scotch whisky brands in the world but which of their whiskies are the best and for which occasions. That’s what I wanted to know and after some (very enjoyable) research I found the answers.
If you or somebody you know loves whiskey then you might like:
- $5 Off Your First Order of whiskey + Free Delivery with code SAS at Saucey.com
- A list of whiskey gift ideas I put together on Amazon here (affiliate link)
- Expand your palate with Flaviar – a completely personalized online Spirit subscription service that lets people try premium Spirits from the comfort of their homes
Best for Flavor: Chivas Regal 25 Years
The 25 is the best Chivas Regal whisky when it comes to flavor. That’s because it’s the expression where the Chivas profile is at its most flavorful. To better explain what I mean, here are the seven main Chivas Regal whiskies and what they’re like in terms of flavor.
Chivas Regal 12 Year Old
This is a sweet and smooth whisky that’s very easy to drink. Being a blended whisky, it has less flavors than your average single malt but on the other hand, it does have enough flavors to make it better than other blends.
Chivas Mizunara is Chivas Regal 12, parts of which are finished in Mizunara casks. The sweet caramel and vanilla flavors of the 12 are therefore enhanced by exotic herbal and spice notes coming from the Mizunara casks.
Chivas Extra 13 Sherry Cask
Like the 12, the Chivas Extra 13 is sweet, smooth and easy to drink. The extra year doesn’t give this whisky that many more flavors, so it’s still not very complex but there’s definitely a sherry character and sweetness to this whisky thanks to the ex-Oloroso sherry casks it was matured in.
Chivas Regal XV
This is another Chivas whisky that’s sweet, smooth and easy to drink and while it’s still not a complex whisky, because it’s aged for three more years than the 12 and because parts of it are finished in casks that previously held cognac, it’s definitely a more flavorful and fruity whisky.
Chivas Regal 18 Year Old
Chivas Regal 18 is a good improvement on the 12. It has many of the same elements – it’s sweet, smooth and easy to drink, but the six extra years give it a much-needed maturity, which makes it pretty complex for a blended whisky.
Chivas Regal 25 Years
The Chivas Regal 25 Year Old is even better. It’s full of flavors and they’re delicious. It has a good weight on the palate with a soft, rich, and creamy mouthfeel. And it’s smooth. Very, very smooth.
Chivas Regal Ultis
This is a sweet and smooth whisky with a great flavor profile. It’s complex and well-balanced with a medium to full body and lots of depth.
As you can see, the younger Chivas Regal expressions while being pretty good, have less flavors and complexity than the older ones. The 25 being aged the longest is therefore the Chivas Regal profile at its most flavorful. Chivas Regal Ultis is also very flavorful because it’s a blended malt and has a higher ABV, but it has to take second place to the 25 which is the best Chivas whisky when it comes to flavor.
For more information on these whiskies, see my in-depth review of them here.
Best for Price: Chivas Regal 12 Year Old
The 12 Year Old is the best Chivas Regal whisky when it comes to price. To help me explain why that is, here’s a list of the seven main Chivas Regal whiskies and their approximate prices for a 750ml bottle:
|Chivas Regal 12 Year Old||$35|
|Chivas Extra 13 Sherry Cask||$42|
|Chivas Regal XV||$45|
|Chivas Regal 18 Year Old||$83|
|Chivas Regal 25 Years||$363|
|Chivas Regal Ultis||$190|
Obviously it would have been better if the best Chivas Regal whisky for flavor would also have been the best Chivas Regal whisky for price, however, as you can see from the table, that’s far from being the case. Not only is the 25 the most expensive Chivas Regal whisky, it’s the most expensive Chivas Regal whisky by a lot.
Chivas Regal Ultis, which takes second place for flavor, is significantly cheaper than the 25 but it’s also very expensive for what it is. Chivas Regal 18 is in comparison far more affordable, and while at twice the price of the 12 it’s also not exactly value for money, it may be your best bet for a more flavorful Chivas Regal whisky before the gap between value and price becomes too big for most people.
The price of the Chivas Mizunara, Chivas Extra 13 Sherry Cask and Chivas Regal XV are ok but only as long as you like / prefer the extra flavors (exotic herbs, sherry, cognac) that they have.
Which is why I think that the Chivas Regal 12 is best when it comes to price. It may be a less matured version of the Chivas Regal flavor profile but it’s still a good whisky with a decent amount of flavors and a relatively low price for what it is.
Best For Exotic Herb & Spice Notes: Chivas Mizunara
Chivas Mizunara is the best Chivas Regal whisky for exotic herb and spice notes.
That’s because it’s Chivas Regal 12, parts of which are finished in Mizunara casks. (Mizunara is a rare and expensive type of Japanese oak). So as well as the sweet caramel and vanilla flavors of the Chivas Regal profile, there are also exotic herbal and spice notes coming from the Mizunara casks.
If you like the Chivas Regal flavor profile and exotic herbal and spice notes, then Chivas Mizunara will be the best Chivas Regal whisky for you.
Best For Sherry Flavors: Chivas Extra 13 Sherry Cask
The Chivas Extra 13 Sherry Cask is the best Chivas Regal whisky for sherry flavors.
That’s because it’s Chivas Regal that’s been aged for at least 13 years, parts of it in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s only aged for a year more than the 12 so it doesn’t have that many more flavors, but being partly aged in sherry casks does give it a sherry character and sweetness.
If you like the Chivas Regal flavor profile and sherry sweetness, then the Chivas Extra 13 Sherry Cask will be the best Chivas Regal whisky for you.
Best For Cognac Flavors: Chivas Regal XV
The Chivas Regal XV is the best Chivas Regal whisky for cognac flavors.
That’s because as well as being aged for at least 15 years, parts of it are finished in casks that previously held cognac – hence the XV as opposed to 15 because the cognac system tends to use letters rather than age statements. The cognac finishing enhances the fruity flavors in the Chivas blend.
If you like the Chivas Regal flavor profile (that’s been matured for at least 15 years) and cognac flavors, then the Chivas Regal XV will be the best Chivas Regal whisky for you.
Best For Quality of The Blend: Chivas Regal Ultis
Chivas Regal Ultis is the best Chivas Regal whisky when it comes to the quality of the blend.
That’s because it’s a blended malt whisky – containing single malts only, and not a blended whisky like the other Chivas expressions which therefore contain malt and (mostly) grain whiskies.
It’s also because unlike the other Chivas expressions which are a blend of 40 plus whiskies, Chivas Regal Ultis is a blend of five of their most precious single malts: Allt A’Bhainne, Braeval, Longmorn, Strathisla and Tormore.
If you want a Chivas Regal whisky that’s made from the highest quality single malts in the Chivas inventory, then Chivas Regal Ultis will be the best Chivas Regal whisky for you.