By Emma Briones
Chivas Regal Extra was announced at the end of 2014 and launched in March 2015 as a Travel Retail Exclusive. At that time, this release was the first new blend from the iconic brand since 2007. As a strict blended whisky, it still counts as their latest, since the new Chivas Regal Ultis is a blended/vatted malt.
This expression is a creation from Master Blender Colin Scott, and it was marketed as a quality expression. Bottled at 40% ABV, Extra is a No Age Statement (NAS) blend of whiskies matured in Oloroso Sherry Casks, and reportedly includes some rare malts from the brand. The main difference between Extra and other, similar Chivas Regal expressions is the higher proportion of Sherry Casks in the blend.
After some time as a travel retail-only product, Chivas changed course, and now Chivas Regal Extra has become an addition to the core range.
The whisky is light amber in the glass. On the nose, I found strong oak and sherry notes, followed by fruits (pears, peaches) and caramel. There are also gentle notes of dried fruits with a light smoky touch.
On the palate, Chivas Extra is soft and a little bit viscous, with dried fruits, marzipan and caramel notes. It continues with an explosion of spices, highlighting ginger and cinnamon. Towards the end there are sweet notes of vanilla and almonds, blending with gentle touches of orchard fruits.
There’s a nice balance between the spicy explosion and the later sweet notes. Even though, the finish is short and dry, leaving some gentle dark chocolate notes on the palate.
In the end, Chivas Regal Extra is just another Chivas Regal expression: fresh, light and balanced. The one that won’t disappoint the brand fans, but also won’t draw attention for the rest of whisky lovers.
Now that it is part of the core range and not some Travel Retail Exclusive, the price on Chivas Regal Extra sits between Chivas Regal 12 and Chivas Regal 18. In the UK it’s retailed at £37, with prices in the rest of Europe going from €33 to €42. In the U. S., it was launched with a suggested retail of $40.