Whiskey or whisky (as it is spelled by the Great Scots) has never been my drink of choice, but world renowned Scottish master blender Colin Scott, opened up a whole new world to me with his historical tales of Chivas Regal and the art of blending. The newest member of the Chivas Regal whisky family was celebrated at Sadie restaurant in Hollywood. This luxurious blend Chivas Regal Extra is the first to hit the US in 8 years.
Colin Scott’s signature can be found on every bottle giving the customer the guaranteed promise that each bottle will have a consistent quality. He says it is about balancing the flavor, taking the past into the future to maintain the consistency and flavor. There are 6 million casks in Scotland to support all of the Scotch whisky brands, and each year Mr. Scott tells us 2% get lost to the angels.
The hit show Mad Men has brought the resurgence of whisky cocktails as well as the cold east coast weather has obviously skyrocketed sales. As I enter Sadie I have flashbacks of some of the wildest celeb nights 7-10 years ago since this place was once Le Deux. I am greeted by a roomful of suits and an elegant table glowing with endless whisky glasses. The bartender serves me my whisky drink of choice – a Sweet and Sour (see recipe below). Airborne Toxic Event’s latest album “Songs of God and Whiskey” is on repeat in my head.
As we take our places, I happen to sit right next to Colin Scott and the hip manager and girl DJ from Houston Hospitality Group’s Dirty Laundry. Colin Scott shares with us details such as how he has been blending whisky for 25 years and has created a unique and outstanding blended Scotch using some of the rarest malt whiskies from the Chivas inventory.
Mr. Scott carefully takes us through the tasting process. First, we sample Chivas Regal 12 (didn’t know that meant it has been aged 12 years), Chivas Regal 18, and the new Chivas Regal Extra. We learn after a sip or two, to “add the water to release the giant,” because with water you can taste all the flavors. Mr. Scott describes each flavor experience as we sip the whisky. I can taste the smokiness he speaks of at the end of the Chivas Regal 18.
“The rich and generous taste of Chivas Regal Extra has been created by using some of our rarest whiskies that have matured in Oloroso sherry casks. The mark of its quality lies in its rich and generous taste,” exclaims Scott with pride. “The new blend has a fruity, sweet nose with notes of ripe pears, creamy toffee and a hint of ginger. The ripe pears continue on the palate, with sweet tropical flavors of melons and soft notes of vanilla and caramel, blending with spicy notes of cinnamon and hints of almonds.” After smelling the whiskey deeply, and letting it swish so softly around my mouth, I could really understand what he meant.
I think I may prefer whisky solo now after experiencing all the flavors, but if you want to blend, try some of these cocktail ideas.
After receiving a raft of complaints from some serious Scotch whisky drinkers, the NY Times and many journalists re-tooled their editing approach. Once they chose to spell all whiskeys “whiskey,” but now to follow that of many specialized spirits publications, this major publication and more online sites now spell each type of spirit according to the way favored by its country of origin. So, while American-produced varieties such as bourbon, rye, and Tennessee – as well as the Irish stuff – kept their previous NYTimes-styled “whiskey” spelling, the stuff from Scotland, Canada, and Japan now are referred to as “whisky.”
BLOOD & SAND
1 1⁄2 parts Chivas Regal Extra 1 part Sweet Vermouth
1⁄4 part Cherry Brandy
1 part Orange juice
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, shake, and strain into a martini glass.
EXTRA OLD FASHIONED
2 parts Chivas Regal Extra
3 dashes Orange Bitters
1⁄2 teaspoon Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon Water
1 Maraschino Cherry
Add sugar, whisky, bitters, and water to an old fashioned glass and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add maraschino cherry, orange slice, and rocks. Stir and serve.
EXTRA SWEET & SOUR
1 1⁄2 parts Chivas Regal Extra 1 1⁄2 parts Organic apple juice 1⁄4 part Lemon juice
1⁄4 part St. Germain
2 dashes Angustura Bitters Sparkling water (top off) Garnish with an apple fan.
For more information or signature recipes, please visit CHIVAS REGAL.
Always remember to enjoy your whisky and drink responsibly. Take an Uber.
Chivas Regal Extra Blended Scotch Whisky is 40% Alc./Vol. (80 Proof).
CHIVAS. LIVE WITH CHIVALRY.