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Chivas Regal is a premium Scotch whisky produced by Chivas Brothers, owned by Pernod Ricard. According to the bottle label it was founded in 1801 in Aberdeen, Scotlandmarker. The Chivas brand's home is Strathisla Distillerymarker at Keith, Moraymarker in Speyside, Scotlandmarker.

Chivas Regal is one of the best selling premium whiskies in the world. It is the best selling premium Scotch whisky in Europe and Asia Pacific and is rated one of the world's most powerful spirits brands. Chivas Regal is one of the best performing spirits brands globally, with sales having grown by 61% between 2002 and 2008.

It is not commonly drunk in Scotland, where blended whiskys are considered of poor quality.

Chivas Regal Family

Chivas Regal whiskies are blended in a distinctive house style of a mellow, honeyed flavour.
  • Chivas Regal 12 Year Old: Blended from whiskies matured for at least 12 years. A smooth whisky with a honeyed, mellow taste.
  • Chivas Regal 18 Year Old: Blended from whiskies matured for at least 18 years. Chocolate and orange notes, some citrus and spice on the nose and a full, fruity, citrusy and spicy palate, with sherry notes to finish.
  • Chivas Regal 25 Year Old: Created using whiskies aged at least 25 years; available only in limited quantities with a retail price of c$300. The blend has tasting notes of apricot and peach.


History

1640: The House of Schivas, a large mansion, is built at Schivas in Aberdeenshire. The name is derived from the Gaelic 'seamhas', meaning narrow place. For centuries, people nearby took the name of Chivas.

1801: Chivas Brothers traces its roots to the opening of a grocery store in Aberdeen. The store sold luxury foodstuffs such as coffee, exotic spices, French brandies, and Caribbean rums to a wealthy clientèle. Chivas Brothers started to produce a smooth blended whisky as an alternative to the whiskies available at that time, which were often harsh and poorly matured.

1843: Chivas Brothers were granted a Royal Warrant to supply goods to Queen Victoria. Chivas Brothers was described in 1890 as 'undoubtedly the finest purveying business in the north of Scotland' by 'Scotland of Today' magazine.

1909: Chivas Regal 25 Year Old was launched as the original luxury Scotch, and soon became a leading brand in the U.S, where the booming economy after the turn of the century was fueling demand for luxury goods. Chivas Regal continued its success until prohibition in the 1920s.

1949: Chivas Regal was purchased by Seagrams, a Canadian company which had extensive dealings with American bootleggers during Prohibitionand which provided a much wider distribution and marketing system.

1950s: Chivas Regal was re-launched in the U.S following the disruption of both prohibition and World War II, and became a fashionable drink of the era. According to Chivas press releases, it became a firm favourite with Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, but no independent source has ever been cited to support the claim. Sinatra requested Chivas Regal as well as many other booze brands backstage at performances, and Chivas sponsored Frank Sinatra's Diamond Jubilee Tour in 1990.

Owing to this success, The Company Chivas Brothers was finally able to buy the Strathisla Distillery which produces the sweet, honeyed malt whisky which is a small element of the Chivas Regal blend.

1997: Master Blender Colin Scott created a new blend of aged whiskies to produce Chivas Regal 18 Year Old.

2000: Chivas Regal was acquired by Pernod Ricard upon the break up of Seagrams Group.

2001: Chivas Regal becomes widely available in China, whereas with the U.S in the early 20th century, the economic boom is driving demand for luxury goods. Chivas Regal is now the most popular premium spirit brand in China.

2007: Chivas Regal 25 Year Old, created by Master Blender Colin Scott is launched at an event at the New York Public Library, attended by stars such as Julianne Moore, Lucy Liu, Diana Krall, and others.

2007: Chivas Regal sales reach a record high of over 4.4 million 9 litre cases.

2009: According to "Jim Murry's Whisky Bible 2009", p248, Chivas Regal is "not remotely in the same league as in the '70s and early '80s... how on earth can a 12-year old blend with so many whiskies for inclusion be so unremittingly dull?"

The Strathisla Distillery



A small quantity of the single malt whisky that is included in Chivas Regal is produced in Speyside, in the oldest working distillery in the Highlands of Scotland - Strathisla Distillerymarker.

Strathisla Single Maltsmarker have a natural sweetness and help to provide some taste to Chivas Regal. Sadly, according to experts such as Jim Murray, Chivas Regal lacks the strong character of a single malt.

Chivas Regal Marketing

In 2009, Chivas Regal launch a new global advertising campaign, to run across all continents. Live with Chivalry was created by the Euro RSCG advertising agency. The campaign features TV, press, and outdoor advertising.

Chivas Regal recently sponsored The Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams, Beyonce’s, and Christina Aguilera’s tours in Asia. This was a step up from previous sponsorship deals arranged by the gray men of Seagrams, who had sponsored concert tours by the unfashionable Brian Setzer and the superannuated Frank Sinatra.

In Popular Culture

In the television show Boston Legal, Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) and Alan Shore (played by James Spader) can be seen at the end of every episode drinking Chivas and smoking cigars on the practice's balcony. While they never mention Chivas by name, the bottle is often in plain sight.

The Australian rap group, The Hilltop Hoods, mention Chivas Regal in their song What A Great Night (DNR). "Chivas Regal you rock the house...".

American singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson pays tribute to the drink on her third album "My December". The song "Chivas" is a hidden track which can be found after the song "Irvine." Clarkson wrote the song on bar napkins on the same night, before going for a concert by Los Angeles based band Metal Skool where she was famously seen drinking Chivas Regal, in a popular YouTube video when the singer was brought on stage to sing with the band.

In the restaurant scene of the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) and his boss order double Chivas on the rocks during their dinner meeting.

Edward Norton, in the film American History X, refers to Rodney King as having been "hopped up on Chivas regal and PCP" during the time of his famous beating given by the Los Angeles Police in 1991.

Rappers The Beastie Boys also mention Chivas Regal in their song "Brass Monkey," with the line, "We're offered Moet we don't mind Chivas, wherever we go with bring the Monkey with us!"

The brand is also mentioned in Scottish rock band The Almighty's song Bandaged Knees from their second studio album Soul Destruction.

American singer/songwriter Tom Waits mentions Chivas Regal in his song "Downtown" from the album Heartattack and Vine. "Drinkin' Chivas Regal in a four dollar room.". DJ Quik also frequently mentions the drink on the album Rhythm-al-ism.

In the film and book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson (Raoul Duke) orders a bottle of Chivas Regal from room service whilst staying at The Flamingomarker. Chivas was a favourite spirit of Thompson's and, according to E. Jean Carroll, he consumed large quantities of the Scotch each day, while smoking Dunhill cigarettes and taking copious quantities of cocaine and other drugs.

Father Damien Karras is seen drinking Chivas in The Exorcist.

Chivas was the favorite drink of private investigator Travis McGee, in the John D. MacDonald series of novels.

Chivas was also said to be one of Jim Morrison's favorite drinks.

Chivas Regal can be seen in the movie Risky Business where Tom Cruise blends it with coke, the bottle is clearly visible.

Chivas Regal can also be seen in at least one episode of the TV show Frasier, referred to as a "12 year old scotch, the bottle is unmistakable."

In the television show Queer as Folk, Brian Kinney often orders Chivas Regal by name when in the nightclub Babylon.

Chris 'The Golden Greek' Karamesines, the first dragster to reach 200 mph, and still racing Top Fuel at the age of 80! When ESPN asked him at Topeka in 2009 how he does it at his age, Chris said, "Chivas!"

In the hit sitcom Cheers, they mention Chivas many times. Once Norm gratefully offers to buy Cliff a drink, and when Cliff orders a Chivas rocks, Norm says "a 12-year old scotch? I was thinking a beer."

References

  1. The Power 100
  2. Annual Report 2007/8, p.24 [1] and Annual Report 2006/7, p.20 [2].
  3. Royal Mile Whiskies Review
  4. [3]
  5. Peter C. Newman, Bronfman Dynasty: The Rothschilds of the New World (1978; U.S. title: King of the Castle: The Making of a Dynasty) ISBN 0-7710-6758-5
  6. Catering company dishes out fine food and gossip in 'Backstage Passes'
  7. HST Books, A Day In The Life Of Hunter S. Thompson


General references:
  • "A Double Scotch" by F. Paul Pacult. ©2005 John Wiley & Sons ISBN 0-471-66271-2
  • "Cool Brands: An insight into some of Britain's coolest brands" ©2006 Superbrands Ltd ISBN 1-905652-03-8 * History of Chivas Regal from Superbrands.com
  • "Scotland of Today" Published May 3, 1890.


External links




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