The Royal Salute line of super-premium luxury Blended Scotch whiskies are produced by the Chivas Brothers. The very first Royal Salute blend was created in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, and was presented to her on the day of her Coronation in June, 1953.
Since then, Royal Salute have produced many other luxury blends to commemorate momentous events and occasions celebrated by the British Monarchy such as the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, the anniversary of the Union of the Crown and more.
The Royal Salute 21 Year Old blend was created for the first time on the orders of Sam Bronfman, then owner of Seagram’s. Bronfman wished to create a luxury Scotch whisky that was fit to be presented to the Queen herself. He commissioned the blend be created from the rarest and finest whiskies from the legendary Strathisla Distillery. The Scotch was bottled in hand-crafted porcelain flagons, and the name Royal Salute 21 was inspired by the 21 Gun Salute, a sign of respect at Royal events.
The Strathisla Distillery, established in 1786, is the oldest functioning distillery in the Highlands and Speyside region of Scotland is home to the exclusive Royal Salute Vault. This vault holds some of the rarest vintage Scotch whiskies known to mankind
All Royal Salute expressions are bottled in Wade porcelain flagons, except for the Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute which was released in a special Dartington blue crystal decanter with 24 carat gold used to inlay the designs.
Royal Salute, The Eternal Reserve is a limited-edition expression released recently. It was created using the all-new Circular Blending Method, developed by the Masters at Royal Salute, creating ‘a whisky that will live forever’. You can find more information about the revolutionary Circular Blending Method here.
Today the Royal Salute range of luxury blended Scotch whisky contains many different expressions such as the 21 Year Old Signature Blend, the 32 Year Old Union of the Crown blend, the 38 Year Old Stone of Destiny blend and the Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute. The brand has also released a number of limited-edition expressions from time to time, but they have not been made part of the brand’s core range.
A recreation of the first ever Royal Salute blend that was created in 1953, the Royal Salute 21 Year Old is a super-premium luxury blended Scotch. It is quite amusing that a whisky of this magnitude is the entry-level expression for the Royal Salute range, wherein every next release is more opulent than the other.
At the core of the Royal Salute 21 Year Old, much like all the others, is the fantastic Strathisla single malt. There are multiple coloured versions of the beautiful porcelain decanter including sapphire, emerald, ruby and more. The whisky within is the same, consistently delightful Speyside elegance that you would expect from a whisky with this amount of hype. Bursting with rich fruity aromas of sweet pears and citrus fruit and floral notes, and sweet vanilla followed by Sherry and soft smoke. The palate is deep and very complex, with intense flavours of sweet oranges, creamy hazelnuts and tantalizing spice with just a hint of smoke. Excellent, excellent stuff from the Chivas Brothers! They really know how to blend brilliance.
The most recent, and part of a historic release of two Royal Salute expressions – The Malts Blend from Royal Salute. It is a luxury blended malt Scotch whisky, the first ever to be released under the Royal Salute line of luxury Scotch whiskies! Crafted by none other than Sandy Hyslop, the exalted Master Blender at Royal Salute, this exciting blended malt Scotch took the world by storm when it was released in 2019.
The Malts Blend from Royal Salute was created by painstakingly marrying more than 21 prestigious single malts from the five different regions of Scotland. The youngest single malt in the blend is 21 years old, and many could be far older which explains the decadent smoothness of this blended malt Scotch. The nose of the Royal Salute 21 Year Old the Malts Blend is fruity as can be, with delicious wafts of ripe pears, sweet peaches and mandarins followed by blackcurrant jam and gentle floral notes. The palate is creamy, sweet and deep, with apricots, vanilla and bananas making way for soft spices and boiled sweets. The finish is long and breath-taking, for the lack of a better word. What an experience.
The second most recent release from Royal Salute, this is a 21 Year Old blended Scotch whisky that contains rare whiskies from distilleries that have shut their doors forever. These ‘lost’ distilleries, also known as ‘ghost’ distilleries only have a limited supply of their spirit available. The core of this extraordinary blend is formed by the single malt from Imperial Distillery, established in the same year as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Royal Salute Master Blender Sandy Hyslop married source whiskies from such lost distilleries with the fabulous malt and grain whiskies at his disposal to create The Lost Blend. The nose on this blended Scotch is complex, and well-balanced with aromas of sweet oranges and peach fruit mingled perfectly with intense smoke, and the flavours are mouth-watering. Sweet, juicy ripe pears, hazelnuts and smoky peat form a fantastic congregation of flavours, followed by the signature lingering finish that Royal Salute Scotch whiskies are known for.
Just as the first ever Royal Salute expression was created to honour the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, the Royal Salute 32 Year Old was created to honour the Union of the Crown. It is the day when the unification of Scotland, Ireland and England took place in 1603, consolidating the British monarchy’s reign over all three regions. It was a major event in British history, and has been commemorated with a blend that fits the magnitude.
Bottled in a black porcelain flagon adorned with a black rock set in a silver crown, the Royal Salute 32 Year Old is a blend created by marrying hand-picked single malts and grain whiskies. A few whiskies from ghost distilleries such as the Lochside and Caperdonich have also been used to create this splendid expression. The nose is fruity, full and very rich due to the higher proportion of Speyside malts, and there is lots of sweet peach syrup, buttery caramel toffee and dark chocolate with a hint of cinnamon spice. The exquisite and smooth palate brings flavours of ripe pears, fruit cake, soft ripe pears and candied ginger with an exceptionally long finish.
The Royal Salute 38 Year Old is called the Stone of Destiny in honour of the ‘Red Sandstone’ that was used at the Coronation of Scottish monarchs, and the British monarchs after the Union of the Crowns. At 38 years of age, this is one of the oldest Scotch whiskies in the world. It is just as special and decadent as you would expect from Royal Salute, and every bit of this Scotch is luxury redefined.
Not only do Royal Salute blend a magnificent Scotch whisky, and bottle it in a hand-crafted porcelain flagon, owners of this bottle are also being granted special access to the Royal Salute Vault at the Strathisla Distillery, a place you could call the Buckingham Palace of Scotch whisky. The 38 Year Old Royal Salute Stone of Destiny has a deep, rich aroma of nutty almonds, sherry and cedar wood. The palate is creamy, full of dried fruits, spice and floral character with a long, long finish. It is not easy to find and purchase this whisky, but if you ever get the chance, you could be a monarch in your locality.
The most premium expression from the Royal Salute stable, this is the stuff of dreams for many whisky lovers and collectors. Super-expensive, very old and named after the highest ceremonial honour in the British monarchy that is reserved only for royal occasions of the utmost importance! The Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute carries an age-statement of 40 years, and holds the title of the oldest expression from the Royal Salute core range.
Bottled in an elegant blue Dartington crystal, this whisky is not just rare and expensive but also a limited edition release from Royal Salute. It embodies all the characteristics that one would associate with the aforementioned ‘royal events of utmost importance.’ The crystal blue decanter comes inlaid with 24 carat gold, and if that’s not luxury, we don’t know what is! The nose on this expression is luscious, rich and fruity with aromas of ripe plums, sherry sweetness, dark chocolate and warm cinnamon. Explosions of sweet fruity orange flavours, nutty goodness and a whisper of smoke are followed by a luxuriously long finish. This truly is the pinnacle of the Royal Salute core range, and must always feature on any whisky enthusiasts’ ‘Top 5 Scotch whiskies to try before you die’ list.