The founders of Chivas Regal John and James Chivas were not driven like many by a love of the whisky trade but more by their business which was to provide only the best product for their discerning (and wealthy) clientele. Their upmarket store in Aberdeen on the north-west coast of Scotland provided fine French Brandy and exclusive rum as well as rich coffee and spices from around the world but they were unable to provide a fine whisky as only single malt was available at the time and much of it was rough. They decided to tackle this head on and blended whisky themselves until they had created a product fit for their wealthy clients, the product created was Chivas Regal.
This clientele by 1843 included Queen Victoria and Chivas Brothers were awarded the Royal Warrant and supplied the Queen at her Balmoral estate. Although the reputation of Chivas regal was growing amongst the landed gentry in the UK it would be across the pond in a booming New York that Chivas Regal would really take off. The Chivas brothers were exporting their whisky in 1909 and by 1910 it was the must have drink at high end New York parties. It was the American whisky market that Chivas Regal exploded in popularity and Chivas followed the American dream. This really was the land of opportunity for the Chivas brothers and they aimed their marketing at the Americans love for the ‘old world’ with a luxury edge. The silver packaging and Scottish symbolism struck a chord with the Americans.
A more difficult period followed with World War 1 and Prohibition however after World War 2 Chivas was back and America was booming again. Famous names such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra were drinking Chivas Regal ‘scotch’ and the rat pack were showing Americans the good life. Chivas also started making bigger inroads in the European market and sits proudly at the top table to this day.
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