The Legacy of Chivas Regal
Chivas Brothers traces its roots to the opening of a grocery store at 13 King Street, Aberdeen in 1801. The store sold luxury food items such as coffee, exotic spices, French brandies, and Caribbean rums to a wealthy clientele. In 1842, Chivas Brothers were retained to supply provisions to the royal family at Balmoral Castle upon Queen Victoria’s first visit to Scotland.
In 1843, Chivas Brothers were granted a royal warrant to supply goods to Queen Victoria. In 1890, Chivas Brothers was described as ‘undoubtedly the finest purveying business in the north of Scotland’ by Scotland Magazine in their May edition.
During the 1850s, James Chivas decided to respond to his affluent customers’ demands for a smoother whisky by blending whiskies to create a proprietary blend for Chivas Brothers. Their first blended Scotch whisky named ‘Royal Glen Dee’ was launched, followed by their second blended Scotch whisky, ‘Royal Strathythan’ in the 1860s.
In the 1880, the Phylloxera epidemic devastated French vineyards, crippling the supplies of wine and brandy. Wine drinkers seeking for an alternative turned towards the growing Scotch whisky industry.
In the early 1900s, Chivas Brothers decided to create their most aged blended Scotch whisky and export it to the U.S. The decision was made because of its booming economy after the turn of the century, which fuelled the demand for luxury goods. The whisky was named Chivas Regal.
Chivas Regal 25 Year Old was launched in 1909 as the original luxury Scotch, and became a leading brand in the U.S. Chivas Regal continued to succeed until the Prohibition Act in the 1920s. The whisky practically disappeared due to the Prohibition and World War I.
In 1950, the company Chivas Brothers was able to buy the Strathisla Distillery which produces the Strathisla Single Malt, which is used within the Chivas Regal blend.
The Chivas Regal range was expanded with the launch of higher aged whiskies: Master Blender Colin Scott created Chivas Regal 18 Year Old in 1997, and Chivas Regal 25 Year Old in 2007.