Simon Wittenberg attends the UK launch of Chivas Regal The Icon on behalf of Luxurious Magazine
Chauffeur driven in a pristine burgundy Rolls-Royce Phantom to the magnificent penthouse of The Connaught hotel in London’s Mayfair, it was a fitting start to witness something truly special – the birth of an “Icon”, in this case, the official UK launch of what is now the pinnacle of the Chivas Regal Scotch whisky range.
Overseen by the brand’s highly-esteemed Master Blender, Colin Scott, “The Icon” combines the distinct characteristics from some of the rarest and oldest whiskies emanating from more than 20 distilleries. This includes those originating from sites which no longer exist, such as Caperdonich (closed in 2002) and Inverleven. At the heart of this luxurious and ultra-blended Scotch whisky, designed for the most discerning of connoisseurs, are hand-selected single malts from Strathisla – dating back to 1980, Longmorn (the hidden gem of Speyside) and a 1990 Glen Keith, although the actual composition remains a closely guarded secret. During the tasting, we were fortunate enough to savour some of these which will never be commercially available in their own right.
In fact, Colin Scott, a humble genius, has to ensure that, when selecting and combining single malts in his luxury blended whiskies, every bottle of Chivas is always the same as the next. From personally undertaking a very swift class in the art of blending, where the nose is more important than the tongue, this is no easy task, which explains why it takes between 15 to 20 years to become a Master Blender.
Luckily for Colin, Scotch whisky is today in a very good position – it’s the world’s favourite spirit, and Chivas Regal has 23 million casks going through the ageing process this very second.
Chivas Regal The Icon has a distinctive and refined long finish, and features notes of runny honey, ripe pears, dark chocolate and orange fondant creams. The full, fruity and sweet whisky flavours are balanced to perfection with hints of subtle hazelnut originating from the cask.
As exclusive as it sounds, just 1,500 bottles of this true masterpiece will ever be made available per annum, with only 30 examples set aside for UK buyers each year. The precious liquid is housed in a hand-blown, hand finished and fairly weighty crystal decanter produced by the Devon-based Dartington Crystal, complete with precision crafted metalwork to capture the eye. Paying homage to the original Chivas Regal 25 bottle which was launched in New York in 1909 (the world’s very first luxury Scotch whisky), it comes with a noticeable green tint, especially when holding it up to the light.
Lying at the summit of the beautiful decanter is a highly decorative stopper which features the Chivas Regal seal inspired by a Luckenbooth, a traditional Celtic symbol of love that also adorns the gates of the Strathisla distillery in Scotland.
Chivas Regal The Icon – Where and How?
Chivas Regal The Icon will be available in the UK to purchase exclusively from Harrods, Harrods.com and The Whisky Exchange at an RRP of £2,000 in March. For more information, visit www.chivas.com.
About Simon Wittenberg
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