A flagon embellished in gold – an aristocratic crown, a simple yet noble torc and a rather large chest plate. Made with porcelain, handmade from cornish clay and caressed by a plush velvet pouch, figures of smoking cannons and a roaring lion, all packaged in a hard top 22ct cardboard box . This level of detailing can only be defined as regal, and is Pernod’s answer to Royalty – The Royal Salute.
Introduced to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (June 2nd 1953), the flagon features in three colours each representing the stones on the Queen’s crown – emeralds, sapphires and rubies. These shades however weren’t all introduced at once, but were brought into being at various junctures in time – 1953, 1960 and 1985.
The Salute 21 is the youngest of all its siblings, a blended scotch with the primary constituent being from the Strathisla distilleries, which is also owned by the Chivas. What is surprising though is that even with its contents aged to a minimum of 21 years, the distillers still add artificial colouring in addition to chill filtering the spirit to make it more acceptable to consumers. I wouldn’t feel the need for doing so when you have a whisky that is not only matured for this long but also represents such rich heritage.
ABV : 40%
Eye: Deep copper to burnished gold.
Nose : Barley and caramel accompanied by the sweetness of honeycomb, dark raisins with a whiff of smoke. Citrus zest finds itself in the midst of oak wood infused with caramelized banana, coconut, cherries and butter cream biscuits. Spice from that of ginger peels, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Taste: Woody with subtle hints of smoke, interlaced with caramel, coffee and raisins. Some acidity from grapes, pineapples and bits of red apples with traces of berries accompanied by a mild warmth and some spice.
Finish: Medium – Mild spice with influences of sherry coming through.
The Royal Salute is well rounded and silky on the palate with caramel and dried fruits taking center stage. The nose on the other hand features a lovely play of spice together with tropical fruits and some sherry influence.
This 21 year old is a fine whisky with a lovely cohesion between tropical and sherried notes. It might not be a great whisky considering its age and for the price you could get better. It certainly gets a standing ovation for its gorgeous looks and packaging but isn’t breaking any barriers with its flavour profile. All in all, a dram worth the attention but not one you would want to invest for seconds unless you get it for a steal!