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Chivas 18 vs Royal Salute 21: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Chivas 18 vs Royal Salute 21 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Chivas Regal 18

chivas-18
NoseApple, vanilla, pear
PalateRipe fruit, oak, vanilla, plum
FinishLong, vanilla, apple, oak
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toChivas Regal 12, Glenfiddich 18

Nose is mild with the apple juice aroma of Chivas Regal Whiskies, along vanilla and pear.

Flavor hits with ripe fruity, vanilla, plum and subtle oak. There is a bit of warmth mid-palate but is not harsh or burny.

The finish lingers with vanilla, apple and a touch of oak spice with a bit of a bite coming late to the party.

Overall, the Chivas 18 is well balanced, not too complex, but a nice easy drinker where nothing really stands out, although a bit warmer than expected.

This is a vast improvement over its 12 YO sibling which has the same apple juice flavor but is way warmer and quite peppery.

Drinks OK neat, but becomes better when adding a drop of water. I would not use it as a mixer when you can use the 12 YO saving good money.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Chivas Regal 18:

  • This whisky is not a single malt but a blend of 20 single malt whiskies, each aged for at least 18 years and crafted in distilleries owned by Pernod Ricard across Scotland.
  • Chivas assures that the core spirit in the blend is single malt Scotch coming from the Strathisla distillery, which was established in 1786 and is the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands.
  • The Wine Enthusiast called the Chivas 18 “one of the finest blended scotches in the world”.
  • The whisky expert Paul Pacult called it: “blended scotch doesn’t get any better than this.”

Royal Salute 21

royal-salute-21
NoseApple, almond, vanilla
PalateOak, caramel, raisin, baking spice
FinishLong, tobacco, oak spice, smoke
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toBlue Label, Glenlivet 21

The nose has the same apple juice aroma of the Chivas 18, along hints of almond and vanilla.

On the palate, the Royal Salute hits with oak are first, followed by caramel sweetness, along raisins and just a touch of baking spice.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, with a bitter note coming from the oak spice, but nothing too severe, a note of tobacco and just a tiny hit of smoke coming late to the party.

The Royal Salute is quite smooth, although flavors are a bit muted with nothing standing-out neither for bad nor for good. Everything is well balanced, with no off-putting notes, yet nothing particularly interesting to make this whisky unique.

This whisky would be immensely better at 92 proof (46% ABV) as it would add more body to it, along making it more flavorful but Chivas Regal likes to keep its releases at low proof.

Royal Salute is a blend of whiskies made from grain and malt aged for at least 21 years in oak casks before bottling in handcrafted porcelain flagons.

Royal Salute was released on 2nd June 1953 as a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day.

The name comes from the 21 Gun Royal Salute, which is fired as a mark of respect for powerful dignitaries.

At her coronation, the crown of Queen Elizabeth II was set in rubies, sapphires and emeralds. These precious stones remain the basis for the colors of Royal Salute’s handcrafted vessels.

There are two facts worth knowing about the Royal Salute 21:

  • This whiskey is crafted using whiskies crafted at several distilleries across Scotland including Glenlivet who is owned by the same parent company.
  • Glenlivet, Chivas Regal and Royal Salute are brands owned by Paris-based Pernod Ricard along other big names such as Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Chivas Regal 18 vs Royal Salute 21: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Chivas Regal 18$58
Royal Salute 21$185

Chivas Regal 18 vs Royal Salute 21: Which is better?

Chivas 18 provides better value for the money

WhiskeyChivas Regal 18Royal Salute 21
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Royal Salute is smoother than the Chivas 18, although not particularly flavorful as tasting notes feel muted providing a somewhat unremarkable experience.
  • For that money I’d rather buy the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which is also a blended whisky, yet quite more tasty and just as smooth.
  • The 18 YO is a bit warm and peppery but a much better drinker than the Chivas 12.
  • The Chivas 18 gets entirely better when served over ice and makes a good choice for mixed drinks especially in high balls as its peppery profile makes the cocktail more punchy.

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