As Manchester United gears up for the European Cup, Chivas has announced the release of the Chivas Icon 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, aged for 50 years, to celebrate the team’s renowned cup victory in 1968. Only four bottles have been created, to commemorate the 4 goals scored by Manchester United during the European cup final. This is also the oldest Scotch whisky to ever be released under the Chivas Regal brand.

As the ‘Official Spirits Partner’ of the football team, this rare release by Chivas marks a great step forward in this new relationship. Sad news for drinkers, each of the bottles will be released in a unique way, meaning that not all will make it into the hands of whisky fans. The first bottle will be gifted to a passionate Manchester United fan; details on entering the draw will follow on the team’s social media platforms. Only one bottle will be available to the general public, to be sold through an auction with Sotheby’s. This will take place between the 23rd to the 30th of November, and as the only bottle to be sold, one can only imagine how huge the final price tag will be. All of the auction proceeds will be put into the Manchester United Foundation, which aids young people in creating a better life with football coaching, educational programmes and personal development. The third bottle will be placed in the Manchester United museum, and once again sold privately at the end of the season, with the proceeds going to the team’s foundation. The final bottle will be showcased at the Chivas Brothers Strathisla distillery in Speyside, Scotland, which is the home of Chivas whisky.

The crystal decanters were created by Dartington Crystal and feature a metal plaque adorned with the victory of 1968 on the bottle’s crest. Going further, each plague has been painted in the colours of the team shirt worn during the famed final. According to Chivas, ‘the liquid is perfectly smooth with an intense concentration of sumptuous flavours, with rich notes of honey, vanilla and dark chocolate, balanced by subtle hazelnut influences from the cask that develop into an exceptionally long, lingering finish.’ The bottle has been photographed with players of Manchester United, and one thing is clear – it’s gorgeous.

Sandy Hyslop, the Chivas Brothers director of blending speaks of the collaboration. ‘At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life, football and Scotch – so we wanted to use our vast expertise to craft a truly unique blend that embodies the values of a truly unique team. To taste this whisky is to experience some of our oldest, most luxurious and rarest whiskies, some from now lost distilleries, hand-selected and brought together for their exceptional richness and fruity character. Ever since Chivas’ founding brothers, James and John, first perfected the art of blending, Chivas has never released a whisky more than 30 years old – this limited edition 50-year-old blend really is an iconic piece of history.’

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