Those of you who have been paying attention will have undoubtedly noticed that a number of whisky brands are taking cues from the Cognac category when launching new packaging or brand extensions.
Some players in Scotch whisky have begun to shift away from the more muted and pared-back packaging design philosophy traditionally embraced by the category and move toward a more overtly ostentatious concept of luxury presentation. Though flashy cues such as decanter-style bottles and applied decorative seals are no strangers to the world of Scotch whisky, a look back at historic packaging designs shows that such highlights were generally used sparingly and exceptions to the rule tend to stick out.
Today, however, it’s clear that brands are increasingly looking to the Cognac and also Champagne categories, both of which realised long ago that throwing all of these elements into the mix simultaneously delivers bottles that, while in no danger of winning any awards for subtlety, strike a sweet chord in gifting cultures.
That this is the target market of the most recent release from Chivas Regal is no secret. Presented in two styles, one all-gold bottle that ‘stands out from the crowd during moments of celebration’ and another clear bottle with a gold-foiled gift box, the Chivas Regal XV is a 15-year-old blended Scotch that has been ‘selectively finished’ in Grand Champagne Cognac casks.
Bramble Bar’s Michael Lynch noted that while some blends have a tendency to get a little lost in cocktails, the XV’s oaky style was best balanced by the big, bold flavours in the following recipes.
BellotaCreated by Jonny ArthurINGREDIENTS
- 50ml Chivas Regal XV
- 25ml Lustau Rojo
- 2.5ml Averna
- 1 drop of acorn solution
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. GARNISH
CabanaCreated by Mike LynchINGREDIENTS
- 40ml Chivas Regal XV
- 12.5ml oloroso sherry
- 12.5ml Giffard Creme de Banane
- 25ml cashew and coconut orgeat
- 15ml kaffir citric solution
- 3 dashes Amargo Chuncho bitters
Add ingredients to a highball glass and churn with crushed ice. Top up with crushed ice. GARNISH
A banana leaf and toasted coconut.
HedonismCreated by Mike LynchINGREDIENTS
- 40ml Chivas Regal XV
- 10ml Calvados
- 15ml apple and miso syrup
- 20ml Akashi-Tai Yuzushu
- 5ml Lucky Liquor Tonka Bean Liqueur
- 15ml lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain and serve in a chilled Nick and Nora glass.GARNISH
A lemon twist.
Chivas RegalXV (40% ABV)
A 15-year-old blend from Chivas Regal that has been finished for an unspecified period in Grande Champagne Cognac casks. It launched in Global Travel Retail in July 2018 and was rolled out globally from October.
Before taking on the role as Bramble’s bar manager, Mike worked on the opening of various new bars and restaurants for independent owners in Edinburgh. This included the creation of cocktail menus and wine lists for the capital’s prestigious Devil’s Advocate bar and Chop House venues.
After working in Aberdeen, Jonny moved to Scotland's capital to work in Bramble’s sister bar The Last Word Saloon in Stockbridge. Moving to Bramble at the start of 2017, he has subsequently excelled in numerous industry tournaments and become well known for his terrible taste in shirts. Thankfully, his palate is spot on when it comes to crafting cocktails.Bramble Bar
16A Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JEwww.bramblebar.co.uk @BrambleBar
Chivas Regal XV