A drink with Chivas Regal ambassador Max Warner

By Mariam Digges

A drink with Chivas Regal ambassador Max Warner
Whisky is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Global Ambassador of Chivas Regal, Max Warner shares tips on how it is best enjoyed.

Scotch whisky is growing in popularity around the country. What do you attribute this to?

With the success and international recognition of bars like the Baxter Inn in Sydney, it is apparent that while cocktails are still very much leading the way, there is a lot of attention being paid to Scotch Whisky. From my experience, Baxter have created a pioneering movement to make the Scotch category as exciting and approachable as any cocktail program. Managing to reach out to a modern drinker, non-gender specific cool crowd for me resembles the journey of discovery through wine. Different single malts from regions in Scotland are comparable to the different grapes from countries and regions, complemented by blended whiskies which celebrate the finest selection of these areas, a bit like French Champagne. This will breed a reputation which more bars across the country will start to adopt, creating an experience for sophisticated and savvy male and female consumers.

Describe for us the ‘sensory experiences’ that exist within the Chivas Regal range?

The process of making a blend like Chivas Regal truly hones the craftsmanship of the very highest order. The science of distillation is then matched by the artistry of blending the single malt and grain whiskies together to create a masterpiece which is greater than the sum of its equal parts. The Master blender will call upon his skills – which have been passed down from generations and blending mentors –  the aroma to understand whether the whiskies have matured properly. The taste which he uses to confirm that his nose has identified the correct aromas. Then when the blend has been confirmed, it is bottled. Every second around the world, almost two people are opening a bottle of Chivas Regal, the soft sound of the delicious golden amber liquid flowing into the base of the glass coating the sides with treacle-like residue. The touch of the glass when it is raised up to the light, the sights of the clear, radiant colour of the liquid, which presents the nutty, butterscotch aromas with hints of apricot and orchard ‘fresh green apple’ aromas. The taste of soft floral honey and afterwards, the mild spice of ginger warmth followed by sweet vanilla spice. Delightful!

What role does ice play in the drink’s enjoyment?

Providing the quality of the ice is of the highest importance; clear ‘cold draft’ means the ice has be frozen in a speciality ice machine which freezes it slower, allowing the ice crystals to form without being opaque. It can control the drinker’s experience – chilling the drink, but with more controlled dilution. This also softens the alcohol aromas and makes for a more enjoyable multi layered taste experience. This response is entirely subjective because some drinkers prefer to enjoy Scotch Whisky in its natural state, without water or ice.

How should Chivas Regal best be enjoyed?

Chivas Regal comes in three different expressions. Chivas Regal 12yr is the entry level and by far the most versatile expression – popular in 150 countries around the world and very accessible, especially in classic cocktail recipes, soft Speyside house style with honey, hazelnut aromas and characteristics of orchard fruits and vanilla. Chivas Regal 18yr is much more than a blend which has more age, it develops on the palate with much more intensity and indulgence. If used correctly it can harness the base of the most creative and innovative cocktails by leading bartenders and deliver delicious luxury cocktails. Chivas Regal 25yr pays homage and respect to the original blend that was launched as the world’s first Luxury blended Scotch whisky in 1909. When is there not an occasion to enjoy Luxuries in life?

And how should it be stored?

Chivas Regal should never be stored – bottles should be purchased with the intention of consumption with good friends and entertaining stories.


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