Food and Leisure

A Filipino artist gets regal with Scottish whisky

THE X-PAT FILES - Scott Garceau - The Philippine Star
A Filipino artist gets regal with Scottish whisky
Limited-edition Chivas Regal 12, XV and 18 bottles launched locally with packaging designed by Filipino artist June Digan.

While this year has taken its time bringing us back to “normal,” there are still some things to look forward to, like Christmas season, and the hope of a new year.

In that spirit, Chivas Regal decided to hold a “toast to Filipinos” launch of its limited-edition Chivas 12, Chivas XV and Chivas 18 bottles with packaging designed — for the very first time — by a Filipino artist.

She’s June Digan, a UST digital arts graduate who’s been making with her design blogs, ADC Young Guns and the New York Festival Bowery Awards in 2020.

Working with the Chivas Regal team in Speyside, Scotland, Digan came up with three different package designs celebrating the flavor notes of each bottle.

The Chivas 12 is matured in ex-American whiskey casks for 12 years, bringing forth vanilla, ripe apple, pear and honey notes, which Digan conveys in bold red colors with images of apples, cherries and vanilla flower; the Chivas XV, finished in cognac casks for 15 years, releases marmalade, oranges, juicy sultanas, cinnamon, honey and butterscotch, shown in the vivid, creamy tones on the box; and the Chivas 18, blended from the rarest single malts and casked for 18 years, releases dark chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, butterscotch, oranges and almonds, shown in the striking blue imagery on the packaging.

Any of these boxes would make great gifts. As Chivas Regal Philippines notes, “June’s artwork, with the whisky and their main ingredients front and center in a vibrant and colorful piece, evokes both the glow of the whiskies and the fuzzy warmth everyone feels when they have a sip.”

One thing that’s clear about the design: it’s truly Filipino. As Pernod Ricard head of marketing Tony Atayde told us, “During the festive season, to deliver a packaging story, we focus on flavor notes — that story has always been told through Scottish eyes. So this is first time to do it through a Filipino artist.”

“I was shocked, excited, honored,” Digan said. “I’d never done a packaging project for a liquor before. It’s an honor, collaborating with the Chivas Regal team.”

We learned a bit about the Chivas backstory: brothers James and John developing and refining the art of blending whiskies on a farm in Aberdeen in the 1830s, to adopting the “Regal” in its name after becoming the official whisky supplier to the Royal Family in the early 1900s. Digan says she took inspiration from the brand’s iconic history, each bottle’s tasting notes, and used cool stickers to convey the message of each variant.

“I was inspired not only by the experience of having good whisky, but also by Chivas’s spirit of success being a blend of many different things, which is something that’s easily applicable in my own life and career.”

So far, the Pinoy-flavored packaging is for the local market. But the Chivas team sees more local design team-ups like this in the future.

As new Chivas Regal brand ambassador Owen Roberts (Scottish, now based in Manila) led us through constructing a whisky mainstay — the classic highball, made up of one shot whisky, three parts apple juice and a healthy spritz of soda water over a tall glass of ice with added dried apple or orange slices — we started to see possibilities unfold, for the coming season and the new year. As well as new possibilities for Filipinos to shine.

June Digan was on hand to talk about the first-time Chivas Regal collaboration.

* * *

The Chivas Limited Edition Packs are available at supermarkets for P899 (Chivas 12 1L), P1,499 (Chivas XV 700ml), and P2,399 (Chivas 18 700ml), as well as on e-commerce sites for P1,649 (Chivas 12 1L), P1,799 (Chivas XV 700ml), and P2,949 (Chivas 18 700ml), while supplies last.

For more info and updates on Chivas, visit https://www.chivas.com/en-PH, and follow Chivas on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chivasregalphils/ and on Instagram at @chivasregalph.

Follow the author on Instagram @scottgarceau.


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