Originally Posted by Billiardpro18
My grandfather has been drinking Scotch for a long time and keeps Old Smuggler around because it is cheap and was good for a quick snort while smoking a cigar. Recently he purchased a bottle and noticed the color changed. A friend had given him a bottle of Chivas Regal 18 year. He noticed the two now seem to have a similar taste, with the Chivas being slightly more viscous and smokey than the much cheaper Old Smuggler. I would say it has to due with the overall aging and that the Chivas would be better with soda than the Smuggler but straight seem to be similar on the nose and overall finish. Has anyone noticed that Smuggler seems to have an improved formula? Or could it be that the bottling company messed up and put the wrong Scotch in the Old Smuggler bottle?
It is highly unlikely that the two were mixed in bottling as Chivas is owned by Chivas Bros. and Old Smuggler by Allied Distillers. Some of the similarity in taste and finish is probably because each blend has predominately Speyside malts in their respective recipes. Smuggler is a standard blend and Chivas is a deluxe blend. Differences in color are probably changes in the caramel content when coloring. As recipes change due to availability of malts, master blenders must continuously be on top of their game to keep presenting their product consistently in taste.