Talk about blended whiskies and age and consistency are usually the first two factors that come to mind. 

Chivas, however, is looking to add cask finishing to that conversation with the recently unveiled Chivas Extra 13 collection, a special series of four whiskies that take a leaf from the single malts playbook to also explore different cask types in blends. What sets these 13-year-old whiskies apart from the rest then, really is the enterprising spirit of its founders James and John Chivas, who have always championed the idea of using exotic ingredients to create one-of-a-kind blends not found elsewhere. 

The extra casks used during the maturation process for the Extra 13 collection include Oloroso sherry, American rye, rum, and tequila — the last two of which, quite sadly, aren’t yet available in Singapore. Still, if Chivas was hoping that this would push the envelope for blended whiskies, the Scottish distillery has managed to pull through.

The Oloroso sherry casks, for example, lent a more robust flavour to Chivas’ signature Regal 12 Years Old, which was naturally the blend of choice for this special project. The additional maturation in these casks delivers a richer finish, beginning with delicious scents of sweet ripe pears in syrup, caramel, and cinnamon, before showing off its vanilla sweetness with hints of almond on the palette. If anything, it’s a choice blend for a nightcap, or for pairing with desserts.

The Extra 13 American Rye Cask, on the other hand, borrows the characteristic peppery spiciness and vanilla sweetness from rye whiskey. Its exceptionally smooth and mellow finish comes accompanied by juicy bursts of orange and the creaminess of milk chocolate.

If you were curious about the other two, the Extra 13 Rum Cask boasts a rich sweetness with flavours of ripe citrus, sweet apricot jam, and honey, before culminating by the gentle warmth and spice of cinnamon. This expression was a natural choice considering the increasing popularity of rum cask finishes.

The Extra 13 Tequila Cask, however is the most interesting expression of the lot, simply because tequila-aged whiskies aren’t exactly common. Expect a sweet and round finish, with hints of grapefruit and pineapple. 

Of course, a collection of such boldness and uniqueness should only be accompanied by an equally envelope-pushing design. For this, renowned street artist Greg Gossel was commissioned to reimagine the brand’s identity, blending the brand’s storied history with contemporary designs that pay homage to the finishing casks’ vibrant heritage. 

The Chivas Extra 13 Oloroso Sherry Cask and Chivas Extra 13 American Rye Cask will be available globally from 13 January 2021, but the Chivas Extra 13 Rum Cask will only be available via travel retail outlets. Meanwhile, the Chivas Extra 13 Tequila Cask will be an exclusive to Mexico before launching in other markets later this year.

Each bottle will retail at S$84 at Pernod Ricard’s official Shopee store.

 

Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.