Philippine Daily Inquirer
The art of blending whiskies
Too many ‘smoky’ notes, too few ‘citrus’ flavors—one wrong drop will ruin your concoction
The Chivas Regal bottle is distinct and the design of its emblem is easy to remember. Recently the brand launched its new campaign slogan, “Success Is a Blend,” held at Pernod Ricard Philippines, whose mother company owns Chivas Regal.
The campaign will bring a renewed focus on the storied line of Chivas Regal blended whiskeys. It will also highlight “bringing the proud Filipino trait of resilience to the pedestal as it tells individual and community stories.”
“Chivas believes that the Filipinos’ unique blend of traits and circumstances makes our stories of success more powerful,” says Tony Atayde, head of marketing for Pernod Ricard Philippines.
“We want to express this extraordinary resilience across all our platforms, and inspire others to make their own blend of success—and along the way, celebrate their small and big steps with this perfect combination of the world’s finest malt and grain whiskeys.”
Guests were led to a whiskey-blending master class led by Chivas Brothers brand ambassador Bonnar Fulton.
Members of the media learned about the history of blending, a craft pioneered by the Chivas brothers in 19th century Scotland. The master class included the proper five-step way of using the senses to taste the whiskey: smelling, sipping neat, adding water, smelling again, and tasting it with water.
After demonstrating the special craft behind Chivas’ signature flavor, Fulton encouraged the class to experiment and experience firsthand the art of blending. The challenge was to recreate or mimic the taste of sample Chivas Regal blends by combining whiskeys from different types of single malt and blended grain whiskeys, each representing a different flavor: floral, fruity, citrus, creamy and smoky.
We discovered how difficult it is to blend whiskeys, and acquired a renewed respect for the master blenders who strive to recreate the taste of their famous whiskey brands.
If your nose and tongue are not attuned to sensitive levels, one wrong drop of a whiskey blend will ruin your concoction—as we discovered when we put in too many “smoky” notes and too few “citrus” flavors in our master class blend.
Afterwards, we sampled the different variants of Chivas Regal variants available in the country. There was Chivas 12 (delightfully light and crisp), the popular Chivas Mizunara, and our favorite, Chivas 18. The 18 was full-bodied and has complex flavors and multilayered aromas. Our palate noted distinct dark chocolate, toffee, and fruity flavors.
When asked what’s the best way to enjoy whiskey, Fulton nonchalantly shrugged and said, “Whichever way you want it. It’s your drink.”