|Chivas Extra and Colin Scott Master Blender|
With a launch of Chivas Extra looming, Chivas Brothers Master Blender, Colin Scott was out in Australia to promote its release. Not just any release, be it the global release. I had the opportunity to attend a afternoons tasting, Thursday the 9th of October 2014, with Colin Scott at Sydney's legendary bar Eau De Vie Sydney. Colin, a tall man in his senior years, holds himself as proud custodian to the Chivas Regal family. Since becoming Master Blender in 1989, Colin oversees a hand full of blenders in the continuous production of Chivas to meet world demands. Clearly passionate about his job, Collin mentions though these days he is doing more and more PR touring world wide but he still gets his hands dirty in the blending rooms so to speak. In 1997 Collin developed the iconic Chivas Regal 18yo and then in 2007 topped it by developing the aclaimed Chivas Regal 25yo. Collin had commented that on average between 30 to 50 types of whisky at any one time go into batting a blended expression. He continued on to say the technique of blending requires a keen nose to continually tweak the blend as you never ever know what barrels are coming in from all over Scotland so sometimes it is more of this and less of that. He noted of course the importance Strathisla plays in the Chivas blends but said it is only one of many whiskies overall.
|Dr Phil and the Silver Fox Fizz|
Manning the bar was Dr Phil, champion of the newly detached sibling business come alchemists workshop Eau De Vie Apothecary (at the time closed off as I entered but certainly something I made use of later in the afternoon). Dr Phil was working up a light and refreshing Silver Fox Fizz followed by a more palate saturating Gentleman’s Agreement. Made on a Chivas Extra base the Silver Fox Fizz was a great cleansing starter delivering a lemon sherbet punch laced with lime and sugar.
|Another Silver Fox Fizz? Don't mind if I do... and what's this? A Sunset Boulevardier.|
A very fine indulgence of canapés of oysters, salmon, duck liver, and blue cheese made the rounds also to compliment the cocktails. I was very fond of the oysters but then when am I not? They went down very well with a couple more Silver Fox Fizz's. During the tasting the oysters made another appearance and complimented the Chivas Extra extremely well. Later on we also saw the appearance of a Sunset Boulevardier tipping the hat to the classic Rob Roy.
|Canapé's, cocktails, sliders and more|
Taking our seats Colin began by introducing not just himself but also the brand that is Chivas Brothers. He spoke about his time working within the company and how being a Master Blender now has him traveling the world promoting a brand he has helped create and maintain. Colin likes to always water his whisky down by 50% as this is the method required for nosing and testing when blending. Though this watering down is a requirement when on the job, he says any other time this is how he likes to have his whiskies anyway. By reducing the whisky down that far the alcohol is effectively neutralised from the senses allowing the finer elements of the whisky to shine through. Colin also mentioned about how he also tends to leave a whisky for a good 20min after adding so much water so that the whisky returns back to room temperature, another important fact when nosing and tasting during the blending process.
|The animated Colin Scott and baratone tenor Ben Davidson|
Distiller/ Blender: Chivas Brothers
Location / Region: Scotland
Alcohol / ABV: 40%
Nose: Sweet sherry creams, butter, floral fruits and nut chocolate with dry wood notes.
Taste: Creamy on the first sip a fresh ripe fruitiness appears that is complimented by spicy ginger tannins that give a prickle on the lips and tongue. Soon the palate becomes much more saturated and a cinnamon sticky date pudding effect develops
Finish: Long, drying and spicy but not too hot. Floral notes with ripe fruits do also tend to return to the palate.
Overall: The dryness will put anyone off that is hard set on how they like their Chivas Regal but then, as I said earlier, this is its own beast to contend with. The sherry is not overpowering nor is the wood and all the hallmarks are there of a Chivas but just with something extra to deliver intriguing uniqueness. If I was to give a dram 5 3/4 out of 7. It is good value, well rounded and sure to impress anyone wanting to diverge from the traditional Chivas routes. When someone ask do you feel like a Chivas Regal why not ask for something extra and ask for a Chivas Extra.
|Colin signing that bottle. Why do they all have awesome signatures?|
Thanks to Colin Scott, Chivas Brothers, and Cav Con for the opportunity to sit down and listen to such an influential individual to one of the worlds biggest blended whisky brands.