Throughout the world, the name Chivas Regal is synonymous with luxury, prestige and superior quality. It is considered to be the Holy Grail among Scotch whisky lovers and stands tall on centuries of tradition and excellence.
Whether it is the who’s who in the whisky world, or even a beginner, the Chivas brand is revered like no other but not many people know too much about the brand that has helped shaped the Scotch whisky industry since the very beginning.
From a modest grocery store in King Street, Aberdeen in 1801, the Chivas Brothers oversaw the birth of a gargantuan Scotch whisky empire that came to be known as Chivas Regal. If you love Chivas Regal as dearly as some of the most respect whisky connoisseurs, these fascinating facts about the brand will surprise you.
Chivas Regal is one of the world’s most prolifically selling Scotch whisky brands, clocking in 4.5 Million cases in sales in 2018.
The Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Moray distils the single malt Scotch that forms the heart of every Chivas Regal blend. The distillery is one of Scotland’s finest, and was established in 1786, more than two centuries ago.
Not only is Strathisla one of the oldest distilleries, it is also the oldest functioning distillery in the Highlands region of Scotland.
Blending whisky was not the Chivas Brothers started out as. Believe it or not, the Chivas Regal brand initially started out as a grocery store that dealt exclusively in luxury goods such as exotic spices, rum from the Caribbean, coffee and more.
The Chivas Brothers were so good with their luxury products that Queen Victoria awarded them with a Royal Warrant in 1843. This enabled them to supply goods directly to Queen Victoria’s palace and castles.
The Chivas Brothers are also credited with pioneering the blended Scotch whisky segment during the 1850s, creating some truly remarkable blends. Did you know the first ever Chivas blends were called ‘The Royal Glen Dee’ and ‘The Royal Strathythan’?
The ‘World’s First Luxury Whisky’ was the Chivas Regal 25, launched by the brand in 1909! It took the American high society by storm, taking over as one the biggest brands in the country at the time.
Chivas Regal blends were so popular in the United States of America, the even ended up earning the loyalty of none other than Frank Sinatra who is said to have shared a particular fondness for Chivas.
It wasn’t just Frank Sinatra but many other celebrities and iconic personalities who swore by their love for Chivas. Acclaimed author, Hunter. S. Thompson was one of Chivas’ most famous enthusiasts, and mentions the brand frequently in his works.
Even Hollywood has found it difficult to endure the charms of Chivas Regal as the brand has been notably mentioned in some classic cinematic and television masterpieces such as The Exorcist, Mad Men, Only Fools and Horses, House of Cards and American Dad.
The Chivas Brothers recently launched an expression that is truly one of its kind. Named ‘Chivas The Icon’, this blended Scotch was created by legendary Chivas Master Blender Colin Scott, and contains single malt whiskies from rare casks and distilleries that are closed doors years ago. These distilleries are also known as Ghost Distilleries.
The impact of Chivas Regal on popular culture is such that it has one of the world’s most peculiar and interesting phenomena named after it. It is called The Chivas Regal Effect, and came to be known worldwide after the brand increased their prices during a time when whisky sales were not doing too well in the markets. While their competitors resorted to lowering their prices, Chivas Regal doubled their prices and witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity and sales.
The next time you pour out a wee dram of Chivas Regal in the company of fellow whisky lovers, these interesting Chivas Regal facts will help you wow the people in the room with your knowledge. Cheers!