Chivas Regal Whisky Blending Kit (The Whisky Series)
Updated: Mar 27
As I'm writing this, The UK is still in lockdown, therefore I can't go to Scotland to visit glorious distilleries or to attend any type of whisky tasting events, and I'll be honest with you, I do miss them dearly. A few days ago, I was minding my own business browsing the whisky section (as you do) and this wonderful Whisky Blending Kit from Chivas grabbed my attention. It's not the same as being in Scotland, trying all the good stuff and having expert guidance, but given the pandemic situation, it will have to do.
If you're new to the whisky world, you might still be unfamiliar with some of the terms you see on these wonderful bottles or the process itself so I will try to explain and summarise them to the best of my knowledge.
Single malts, meaning whiskies made in one distillery, using malted barley, tend to have quite powerful flavours.
Single grains are whiskies made in one distillery, often from corn, rye or wheat and are usually less flavourful, or lighter than the malts (but that doesn't mean they're not delicious). The term 'single', for both of the abovementioned, does not mean that the whisky comes from a single barrel or batch, but rather from a single distillery.
Single cask on the other hand is malt whisky matured, as the name suggests, in a single cask (aging barrel) and it's not blended afterwards with any other barrels.
Andrew Usher, a Scottish brewer, started experimenting with whisky blending in Edinburgh, in the middle of the 1800s. Combining single malt and grain whiskies (in the right proportions) resulted in a mild-flavoured Scotch which ended up being more popular at the time than the single malt-whisky, with its full-bodied aroma. This led to whisky being exported to even more places around the world, and it has definitely impacted the popularity of this fantastic drink throughout the years.
You can now find Blended Malt, Blended Grain and Blended Scotch Whiskies, depending on what exactly is being blended ( meaning two or more malts, two or more grains or malt and grain together) the key element in this being that the different whiskies used need to belong to different distilleries.
Coming back to our kit, this one contains one Pipette, one Beaker, one empty bottle, one bottle of Chivas Regal 12, one blended grain whisky and four single malts to have fun with.
All bottles contain 5cl of 40% vol whisky.
I would recommend you try them all individually first and then blend them as you wish. If you have a better idea of what exact flavours you're blending, the result might be closer to what you're expecting.
The blended grain is floral and the single malts are: fruity, citrus, creamy and smoky. I only added a tiny (almost non-existent) drop of the smoky one as it's not on my favourites list, but a hint of it can certainly be beneficial.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of these whiskies and how well some of them go together, at least for me.
I think this sort of kit makes for a nice present, even for a whisky lover with a preference for single malts (I for one would undoubtedly enjoy receiving one).
It's a fun activity in itself, and as a bonus, through blending, you can discover your affinity towards different types of flavours, aromas and the like.
You don't usually know what your favourite sort of whisky is until you try quite a few types (at least that's what I tell myself after buying another kit 'for research purposes').
Feel free to find a quirky name for your blend and write it down on the bottle, or, if you're not too bothered, just enjoy!
As always, please drink responsibly, don't drink and drive, and for my sake, maybe don't add too much smoky whisky in your first batch of blended whisky.
I hope life is treating you well.