You don’t have to drop $100,000 on an enormous seven-foot sculpture to get a bottle of Chivas 18: You can buy it, sans artwork, straight up.
Chivas, a bit of a grande dame in the whisky world, is far from the shoddy, workday blend common with lesser blends. Particularly at older ages — including this 18-year-old blend that includes 20 single malts — Chivas can be as regal as its name indicates.
This whisky features an easy, classic nose reminiscent of unsherried Speyside whisky. The malt character is clear as a bell, with some gentle heather notes wafting behind.
On the palate, the grain notes speak loudest. Lots of malted barley, honey, hazelnuts and walnuts, and a touch of chocolate. It comes across as a bit hotter than its proof level would hint at — common for blended whiskeys — but the finish is smooth, simple, and almost refreshing. A touch more complex than your typical blended Scotch, but nothing that will knock your kilt off.