Review: Chivas Regal Ultis

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Chivas is a venerable blended Scotch whisky brand, and after over 100 years in business, the company is releasing its first ever blended malt — a vatting of single malts, with no grain whisky included.

Chivas Regal Ultis is a premium offering composed of just five single malts that represent the “signature” of Chivas. The quintet are all Speyside distilleries: Strathisla, Longmorn, Tormore, Allt A’Bhainne, and Braeval. No aging information is provided, however, and Ultis does not carry any age statement.

And never mind any of that, because it’s a glorious whisky, showing that Chivas is a perpetually underrated producer that really knows its stuff. On the nose, you’ll find some unusual and exotic notes — Eastern spices and incense, sandalwood, flamed orange peel, and some dried flowers. The body kicks off with a core of sweetness — nutty malted milk, brown butter, some seaweed, and sesame seeds. The finish sees more of a fresh floral element, a touch of mint, and some almond notes.

That’s a lot to try to pick out, and indeed Ultis is a complex whisky with a big body and lots of depth. There’s a little bit in Ultis for everyone, but I don’t think master blender Colin Scott was being populist in creating it. I think he was merely looking at the five single malts he had to work with and said, “What’s the best whisky I can make out of this group of spirits?” Well, job well done.

80 proof.

A / $200 / chivas.com

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7 Responses

  1. Sean Middelkamp November 11, 2016 / 5:43 am

    This looks like a good one Christopher…I am a fan of Chivas. I once had a bottle of Chivas “Century of Malts”, which I thought was also a vatted malt whisky ( containing no grain whisky )…though I could be mistaken.

  2. Christopher Null November 11, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Sean – you may have found a loophole! Checking with Chivas…

  3. Christopher Null November 11, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Sean – turns out you may be correct, but Century of Malts was not an international release and was only available in the UK, so I guess to Chivas it doesn’t really count…

  4. MadMex November 13, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Century of Malts was sold here in Texas. I bought one in San Antonio for I think $50 around 10 years ago. It came with a cool little booklet describing all the 100 malts used. I saw another in El Paso last year with a huge markup that I can’t remember.

  5. Christopher Null November 13, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    Madmex – good to know; not sure why Chivas is not including it then as its “first blended malt…”

  6. PAUL LONDON November 14, 2016 / 2:45 am

    Actually if you check carefully, that is “Chivas Brothers Century of Malts” written on the bottle and not Chivas Regal.
    Chivas Brothers is the actual whisky distiller selling multiple whisky brands. And Chivas Regal is one of these actual brands / trademarks.
    Hence that musts be why Chivas Regal Ultis is the first blended malt, I guess!

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