Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Royal Salute - Tweet Tasting - Review

Back in December last year I took part in fantastic Tweet Tasting, hosted of course by Steve Rush of "TheWhiskyWire.com", in which all involved were presented with 4 samples from the ultra exclusive "Royal Salute" brand.

The samples on show were the 21 year old, Diamond Tribute, 38 year old Stone of Destiny and 62 Gun Salute.

First released in 1953, as a tribute to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Salute brand epitomises luxury with the entry point for the range being 21 years old.  In their own words they begin where others end.

For a full run down of the whiskies I'm about to cover feel free to check them out on the Royal Salute website by clicking right here.

Royal Salute - 21 year old blend - 40% ABV

Nose - Tropical pine sap, fresh cut wood, mashed banana with intense orange oil combined with lemon and honey.  Fruit salad sweets and a light buttery note that coats everything nicely.  Oak vanilla is highly evident.  Slight menthol and with time darker notes appear in the form of fruit cake and dried fruit.  Freshness holds up very well.

Palate - Intense fruit and spice arrival which is extremely juicy and quite warming.  Citrus bitter lemon, sweet orange, red apple and clove.  Smooth woodiness keeps everything soft and mellow.  Creamy buttered gingerbread.  Aged wood starts to dry into the finish.

Finish - Slightly short but drying with light spice and red apples.

Overall this is a fine blend with a great marriage of flavours.  As with all these whiskies time is required to fully appreciate the quality that lies within.  Not sure I'd pay the RRP for any of these whiskies but if you have the money then by all means splash out.  Whilst you will be buying something that looks good and tastes good I can't help thinking that there are other bottles out there that would offer better value for money.

Royal Salute - Diamond Tribute blend (21 year old) - 40% ABV

Nose - Not dissimilar to the 21 year old, which is no surprise due to the same age, but this has a much more fresh green feel via some fresh cut grass and a touch of a mineral note.  Orange oil and lemon are still here and now with a distinct brown sugar sweetness.  As with the 21yo, this becomes more "sherried" and rich with mixed spice, Christmas pudding, vanilla cream and indulgent banoffee pie.

Palate - The mineral note on the nose is still apparent on the arrival and this is not as spicy as the 21yo with everything being a bit sweeter and softer.  Sweet and sour lemon drops, light apple and some more oak feel but, as with the spiciness, this is not as drying as the 21yo.  This is more of a fruit juice dram.  Just as it develops, there is a faint hint of dry smoke lingering in the background which is not so much peat but possibly from the cask.

Finish - Longer than the 21yo but just the same with spice and apple.

Overall this just edges the 21yo due to an extra level of flavour and complexity. 

Royal Salute - 38 year old Stone of Destiny blend - 40% ABV

Nose - Intense and tangy with a fine sense of age, wood sap and old dusty leather bound books.  This is a serious step up and you just don't get whisky made like this anymore.  Menthol, milk chocolate and orange oil combine to give a Terry's chocolate orange feel.  Some redness in here too with strawberries and redcurrants coming to the fore.  Light clove spice with a delicate wood spice that's extremely well balanced in the make up of all the flavours.  Some more light wood smoke. Rum and raisin ice cream.  Loads going on here.

Palate - Sharp arrival that instantly gives way to old dusty malt that still packs a serious punch when it comes to flavour.  Wood influence is instantly obvious as the dryness begins early and continues throughout.  Dark fruits, peppermint, stewed oranges and blackcurrant jam.  Extremely rich and indulgent.  The wood influences asserts itself further with tingly spice and some more dry smoke.

Finish - Medium with rich dark fruit and winter spice.

Overall this is a brilliant blend.  For a whisky of 38 years of age to retain so much freshness and flavour is a marvel.  The age is quite obviously there but balances so nicely with the spirit and cask flavours.  In honesty though I, again, wouldn't pay the RRP which appears to be the high side of £550.

Royal Salute - 62 Gun Salute blend (40 year old) - 43% ABV

Nose - To be fair this is not as obviously old as the 38 year old.  Sweet tobacco, coffee beans, cocoa, dark chocolate orange, banoffee pie and cinnamon snaps.  This is slightly perfumed and the wood smoke again flirts in the background.  Soft pine, wood polish and a sense of some really old sherry wood which is quite simply fantastic.

Palate - Damp, old dusty wood that's packed with spice and tannins.  Sweet intense orange, pine sap, ginger cake, lemon oil and dry spice.  The spice holds back just enough before moving onto thick brown sugar syrup and melted butter.  More Christmas pudding, butter biscuits and light dry smoke that moves towards a lip smacking finish.

Finish - Longish with an excellent feeling of luxurious red apple.

Overall this is a serious glass of whisky and something everyone should try at least once.  Again far too expensive to justify but the experience of sampling something so old, and so different to modern day whiskies, is one that should be sought out.

Throughout this range there is a clear style of flavours running alongside some serious cask influence and to that end the master blender has done a great job.

All I have to say is a seriously huge thank you to Steve Rush at TheWhiskyWire.com for the opportunity to sample something so unique and another thank you to Chivas Regal / Royal Salute for the samples.

Until next time,



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