Review : Royal Salute Diamond Tribute

A blend that is omnipresent and held with equally high regard, regal not only by name but also by heritage, The Royal Salute is the upper crust from the Chivas Brothers branding. Introduced in June 1953 to honour the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; the Diamond Tribute was released in June 2013 and is an extension, marking the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

The bottling retains its traditional contours, made of quality grade porcelain but with a slender, smooth frame and a large ornamental cork with a diamond implanted at its centre. This expression doesn’t have an age attached, but is matured to a minimum of 21 years. The contents of this Highland bottling are a blend from one of Scotland’s oldest working distillery, the Strathisla, from their Royal Salute Vault.

ABV : 40%

Eye : Tawny

Nose : Caramel and grain, raisins, dried fruits, coupled with hints of nectarines, rose petals and tropical nuances. Smoke and oak with cinnamon shards, subtle bits of leather, pepper and spice.

Taste : Vanilla and honey mixed with raisins and black coffee. Dried fruits, charred wood, plums and mulberries with sherried influences, some zest and a mild dryness on the palate.

Finish : Medium to long |Wood infused with raisins, vanilla and a gentle spice

This expression starts of light bodied and silky, gradually exhibiting a rounder, smoother charachter. Largely sweet with influences from the ex-sherry casks pair with subtler tropical flavours that bounce around the palate. The wood isn’t overly bossy and I believe has muted some of the inherent flavours limiting its complexity and scale. There is however a play with cinnamon that is evident and pleasant. I suspect also caramel colouring in this one, as it does seem overly dark for your average 21.

For over AUD $300, it doesn’t quite fall into what you would call value for money. Having said that, I feel the bottle represents what Colin Scott intended – a balanced and enjoyable tuple offering an experience, not necessarily too complex or condensed. I do have a quarrel with the relatively low abv of 40% and the high price tag doesn’t necessarily reflect good value. All in all, a simple, uncomplicated, colourful whisky is what this is (keeping the price tag aside).

Preference: As is or with a teaspoon of water, not worth further dilution.

Slainte!

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