There’s a new Chivas Regal in town, and it’s a global travel retail exclusive – the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish, the first of three in the blended Scotch whisky brand’s new ultra-premium Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection.
Created by Chivas Regal master blender Colin Scott, the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection is positioned by the Pernod Ricard-owned Chivas Brothers as a collectible limited edition that’s developed exclusively for global travel retail.
The first of the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection range is the First Fill American Oak Finish, a reinterpretation of its wildly successful Chivas Regal 18, and bottled at 48% ABV and is non-chill filtered. “For this new Scotch whisky collection we wanted to create unique blends that accentuate the most iconic notes of our original creation Chivas Regal 18 Year Old. Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish has been finished in hand-selected American oak casks to highlight the distinctive notes of caramel and vanilla,” says Chivas Regal master blender Colin Scott (pictured below, right).
For this range, Chivas Regal has worked with London-based experimental chef Jozef Youssef – the creative mastermind behind the gastronomic project Kitchen Theory hosting multi- sensory dining experiences – to create a set of sensory guidelines in order to make the most out of tasting these whiskies. Chef Youssef (pictured above, left) has discovered that when our senses become magnified, different flavour notes and levels of sweetness and bitterness are revealed. Environmental factors such as the liquid being served at varying temperatures, or listening to soundscapes featuring different orchestral instruments or even the weight of the glass in which the whisky is served, can all alter our ultimate taste experience.
“The surrounding environment and our state of mindfulness has the power to completely augment our perception of taste. By magnifying our senses we shift our cognition which allows us to discover the true depth of a product, and in this case to enjoy Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish to its fullest potential”, Chef Youssef shares.
He recommends that when tasting the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish, you can try to:
- Set the desired atmosphere via special lighting. Green hues have been proven to bring out whisky’s freshest notes, while warm amber light will bring oaky notes to life. Soft white light is best for inducing a peace of mind from which to fully appreciate the whisky.
- If you are hosting an occasion at a private venue, awaken the senses by creating diverse light settings around the venue, and tempt your guests to explore their varying taste experiences in each.
- To bring out 79 notes of this complex and sophisticated blend, try putting on a thoughtfully planned playlist. When opting for the sweetness of the blend’s vanilla, caramel and fruity notes, play light-hearted pop music sung in the soprano or classical music from a composer who favours wind instruments, such as a flute concerto from Mozart.
- To emphasise bitter elements like orange rind and burnt sugars, put on music with a rich timbre and uneven rhythm; for example, the deep, classical sounds of a dissonant Beethoven composition.
- Integrate touch and texture into the whisky experience with selected table linens. Velvet and silk bring out smoother, creamier and sweeter notes, while tougher fabrics bring out more bitter and astringent flavours.
- Experiment with weight and temperature by tasting from smooth versus coarse, heavy versus light and tall versus short glasses. Be playful too with glasses chilled at -2° to 13° while serving the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish. Invite guests to discover how these affect the sensory whisky experience.
- Magnify your sense of smell with aromatic vanilla aromas to highlight the blend’s sweeter side or amber aromas to highlight the smokiness.
You might want to give this a try after you pick up a bottle from travel retail. The Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish is available exclusively from Singapore Changi Airport DFS stores at US$126 (1 litre).
Those who have made a purchase of this new bottle and have also registered at the website are entitled to a Chivas 18 50ml miniature (valid at Terminal 2 Departure Transit Lounge Central, Level 2).
The next edition in the series after the First Fill American Oak Finish will be launched 18 months later, followed by another 18 months for the final third in the range.
Official Tasting Notes
Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish (ABV 48%, 1 litre)
With its deep golden hue and rewarding caramel and vanilla notes, the expression pairs beautifully with the elegant and cheerful festivities of the season.
Upon tasting, the first experience brings a welcome scent of rich sweet notes of ripe plums, caramel, toffee and creamy vanilla. The taste is rich and fruity with orange marmalade, milk chocolate, raisins and delicate smoke flavours. The finish is long, sweet and unbelievably smooth.