Chivas Regal Austria has selected five Bartenders of Top Bars in Vienna to be trained and act as Chivas Regal Brand Ambassadors over the upcoming months. Those Viennese bartenders will get the unique opportunity to experience the Chivas Regal Whisky brand in depth. For the Kick-Off, the team got the chance to travel to Scotland and explore all the special features of the premium Chivas Regal Whiskys; including a visit to the Strathisla Distillery one of Chivas Brothers production sites of Whisky in Keith, Scotland. Being inspired by the deep knowledge of International Chivas experts like Tristan Campbell, they could learn enough to be able to act as Chivas Brand Ambassadors and share their experiences… and inspire their colleagues at their bars in Vienna.
The Team – The Bartenders from Vienna, Austria
Andrea Hörzer, Josef Cocktail Bar, Vienna
Michael Reinhart, D-Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna
Steven Daevel, Graben 30, Vienna
Marius Willenbücher, Dino’s American Bar, Vienna
Feng Liu, Birdyard, Vienna
Stephanie Madacs, Pernod Ricard Austria
Christoph Stocker, Pernod Ricard Austria
Michael Simmer, Journalist
The Linn House, Keith, Scotland – Chivas Regal
After arriving at Aberdeen Airport in the afternoon, we drove to the impressive Linn House. The Linn House is a 19th century Scottish Baronial Mansion sitting on the banks of the River Isla, which Chivas Brothers purchased in 1993, and after a few years restored it to its grandest glory. – the style, craftsmanship, furnishings and decoration are wonders to behold, wooden paneling, luxurious carpeting and four poster beds were simply amazing. After dropping of our bags in our rooms we headed down to the large extravagant dining room for a home made delicious dinner….
The Strathisla Distillery, Keith
The Speyside distillery of Strathisla is one of the most photographed distilleries in Scotland – for a good reason! Nestled in between the region’s rolling hills, Strathisla is beautiful and compact with gardens that the Royal Chelsea Flower Show would envy! In addition to being a prolific single malt, Strathisla is used as one of the major components of the Chivas Regal blends. The distillery names itself the Home of the Chivas…..!
Originally established in 1786, Strathisla is the oldest continually operating distillery in the Scottish Highland and arguably the most beautiful – located in the Speyside region of Scotland, Strathisla Single Malt is at the heart of each and every Chivas Regal blend!
The Whisky Production – Strathisla Distillery
Strathisla distillery draws its water from the Broomhill spring, which is located close to the parking lot. Local legend says that Kelpies, which are shape-shifting spirits that can appear as horses and as humans and have been known to pull people down to a watery grave, use to occupy the spring. If there are Kelpies there though, they’ve done an excellent job of keeping the water clear so that brilliant Whisky can be distilled! Hard fact is that the production capacity of the distillery stands at 2.4 million liters a year….by the way…..
The distillery used its own malting floors up until the 1950’s, but since it has been acquired by the Chivas Brothers, the malt is now sourced from nearby industrial maltings.
The Chivas Whisky Celler
Strathisla has both dunnage and racked warehouses that it uses to store its single malt, and it uses a combination of American oak and European oak (sherry casks) in which to age its Single Malt Whisky.
The Chivas Cellar Tasting, straight from the Cask
We got an exclusive tasting and enjoyed drams drawn straight from the casks in front of us inside the Chivas Regal Cellar within Warehouse 3 at Strathisla Distillery. All the drams are at natural cask strength and they include a Bourbon barrel of Chivas Regal 12 years old, a sherry butt of Chivas Regal Extra, a hogshead of Chivas Regal 18 years old, a sherry butt of Chivas Regal 25 years old and a barrel of Chivas Ultis. The tasting was led by the experienced International Chivas Brand Ambassador Tristan Campbell and was an unforgettable experience. Tristan provided us many insight of the complexity of blending a luxury Whisky. Production takes place 7 days a week – so you should get the sights and sounds of the distillery in operation!
At the end we enjoyed a glass of the 12yr old Strathisla or the 25yr old Chivas Regal, which is served to you in a luxurious wood paneled “Dram Room” …….
The Chivas Regal Visitor Center
Respecting the age of the distillery, the visitor center has retained a strong sense of tradition and has not opted for the modern look that you will find in many other distilleries – and you can buy many sorts of Chivas Regal Whiskys here.
Chivas Regal Whisky Tasting
Tristan, our Whisky Expert, provided us with a lot of information about the production and the blending of the Chivas Regal Whisky. We also got an opportunity to learn how to best taste Whisky. In an upcoming Blogpost I will provide you all insights about “How to taste Whisky”, all I have learned from Tristan here in Scotland.
The Speyside Cooperage
The origins of the cooper’s craft goes back to prehistoric times over 5000 years ago. The highly skilled coppers still use many of the traditional age-old skills to restore and repair tired, damaged casks.
Oak is the only wood that can be used for casks as it prevents seepage and allows the contents to breathe. A cask can have a lifespan up to 60 years, re-visiting the Cooperage several times for inspection and repair.
The Traditional Scottish Dinner at the Linn House
A traditional Scottish dinner requires traditional clothing – well – yes – we gathered together wearing real kilts, black shoes, white socks and a black jacket! For me it was the first time dressing up and feeling what traditional Scottish clothes are all about! A heavy wool kilt, a belt, a sporran, thick leather shoes and a neck tie. How lovely – being transferred into a world of dreams!
After a photography session, we entered the living room where we could enjoy local tunes.
Let’s talk about the food …. another part of the Scottish tradition is the food – Haggis is the dish to be mentioned! It is a savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach. The bagpipes started playing as the chef brought in the Haggis – to be honest it looks like a stomach filled with a mix of meat. Our host Tristan recited the story of the Haggis – stories from the land of myths.! Although its description is not immediately appealing, Haggis has an excellent nutty texture and a delicious savory flavor!
During the upcoming months theviennablog will further explore the world of Chivas Regal premium Whisky and provide you with a special coverage of the five Bartenders/Bars in Vienna.
If you want to learn more about Chivas Regal Whiskys
In wonderful cooperation with Pernod Ricard Austria