Even if you love Scotch, it can be a mysterious thing, full of multisyllabic names from the highlands and origin stories more complicated than any superhero (except the one who was bitten by a radioactive Scotch bottle). But even if you don't know your Johnnie Walkers from your Lagavulins, you know Chivas Regal. It's one of the world’s most popular Scotches, its gilded labels as easily recognizable as the name. But did you know it has roots that date back to Queen Victoria, or that those roots found their way into the Rat Pack? Peep the things you didn't know about Chivas Regal... until now.
It's blended malt, but that doesn't mean it's cheap
A lot of fans of Scotch/crotchety grandpas claim that the only quality stuff is single malt, and tend to look down on blended Scotch. But the obsession with single malts is relatively recent, and the mass majority of Scotch sold worldwide is blended. Chivas Regal is one of those blended Scotches, and just because it is doesn't mean it’s low quality -- or cheap. Even the 12-year-old, the youngest bottle, will set you back around $50.
The Chivas brothers started out as grocers
Before they started blending and selling Scotch, the Chivas brothers had a grocery in Aberdeen, Scotland. The shop opened in 1801, and they wouldn't start producing whisky for almost 50 years. They sold rum, brandy, whisky, and foodstuffs to the masses, and even more importantly...
They earned a royal warrant to serve Queen Victoria
Chivas products, including French brandies and Caribbean rum, were so well regarded that they were responsible for providing goods to Queen Victoria upon her first visit to Scotland in 1842. Apparently Her Majesty was impressed, because a year later the grocers were granted a Royal Warrant, so they might continue to provide their goods to the Crown. It's no wonder they called themselves Chivas Regal later.