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Chivas Regal 12 vs Black Label: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Chivas Regal 12 vs Johnnie Walker Black Label in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better for You!

Chivas Regal 12

  • Nose: Apple, vanilla, lemon curd
  • Palate: Apple, malt, oak, caramel, pepper
  • Finish: Short, pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Highball
  • Similar to: Glenfiddich 12, Crown Royal


The nose is full of apple juice aroma, along notes of vanilla and lemon curd.

On the palate Chivas 12 is quite light with not much body, it has oak notes with a touch of caramel and hints of green apple, cinnamon and black pepper.

Finish is short and light with peppery notes and a bit of heat to it, but not harsh.

Is it Good?

Nothing special or remarkable about the Chivas 12 but nothing terrible.

I would not drink it neat as I feel it somewhat peppery and bitter but it makes one of the best whiskies for highball.

The taste is not bright, but everything that is needed from a Scotch is present and its price makes it appealing.

If you are new to Scotch whisky you are likely to find It harsh, hence I suggest to look into easier drams such as the Monkey Shoulder, the Glenlivet or Glenfiddich.

Chivas 12 facts:

  • This whisky is a blend of grain and malt whiskies crafted in an undisclosed number of distilleries across Scotland. 
  • Each one of the whiskies in the blend was aged for at least 12 years before bottling.
  • The Chivas brand belongs to Pernod Ricard from France, who also owns a zillion brands including Glenlivet.

Johnnie Walker Black Label

  • Nose: Vanilla, orange zest, nectarine
  • Palate: Smoke, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla
  • Finish: Long, fruity, peppery, smoke
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Gold Label, Glenfiddich 12


On the nose, there is vanilla off the gate, followed by orange zest, nectarine and a whiff of alcohol.

On the palate, body feels somewhat thin lacking in texture. Johnnie Walker Black Label has a mildly sweet taste, with a flavor rich in peat. There are also hints of caramel and vanilla coming coming late to the party.

The finish has some pleasant smoke, black pepper, salt, caramel and a bit of warmth but is not harsh.

Is it good?

Overall, the Black Label is a reliable whisky, striking a good balance of smoke and sweetness, with peat smoke and charred oak barrel smoke.

Quite smooth but with a warming finish that does not overwhelm. Nevertheless, on the rocks, as it is commonly served it totally hits the spot.

The Black Label serves as an introductory bottle to peated Scotch, those with a hint coming from the peats used to dry the malted barley.

If you are curious about Scotch peaty whisky this is a good starting point due to its affordable price before trying the peaty monster from Islay.

Overall, Black Label is one of the best age statement blends in the market in its current price range and a good choice for an “everyday Scotch”.

Black Label facts:

  • The Black Label is a blend of 40 whiskies made from grain and malts aged for at least 12 years from all over Scotland.
  • The blend includes peaty whiskies from Islay, sweet and salty whiskies from Speyside along some malts coming from the Scottish Highlands.
  • Johnnie Walker is the best-selling whisky brand in the world doubling the sales of the closest competitor. The brand was started by a Scottish grocer, John Walker, in the early 19th century.
  • Now it belongs to Diageo, the British drinks giant who also owns Don Julio Tequila, Casamigos among several other brands.

Chivas Regal 12 vs Black Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Chivas Regal 12$36
Johnnie Walker Black Label$40

Chivas Regal vs Johnnie Walker Black Label: Which is better?

The Black Label is a more interesting dram than the Chivas Regal 12

WhiskeyChivas Regal 12Black Label
  • The Black Label is the baseline for most people who take whisky tasting seriously.
  • JWBL is sweet with a nice citrus note and a mild peaty note making it the introductory bottle to the world of peaty whisky. Ideal starting point before tackling the heavyweights of this category (Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Talisker).
  • The Chivas is not bad, but it is a bit thin, peppery and warm making it not the best option for newbies. There are several better 12 year old whiskies in the market and several blends that make better sipper for newbies.

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