Originally created for the coronation of a young Queen, Royal Salute Whisky is a luxurious blended Scotch that tells the story of the English Royal Family.
This brand has “perfection” as its own pursuit, with the royal family story in its background. Every major event in the royalty is honoured by the releasing of a new Royal Salute expression or a new edition of an already existent whisky.
Such an exquisite blended scotch whisky had to be featured in our Whisky Tasting Box and some of our clients had received the 21 Year Old expression in the past.
In this article we’ll tell you a little bit about the brand and go through the most iconic expressions of their range. We’ll present the prices of the expressions as well, but keep it mind that they are the average price, since it might change accordingly to local or online stores.
Table of Contents – Sip this article!
- Royal Salute Whisky – From Chivas to The Royalty
- Royal Salute Whisky Expressions
If you are already familiar with Royal Salute Whisky, chances are that you know this is a brand owned by Chivas Brothers. This well-known blended scotch whisky brand has produced several high-end spirits throughout its history, and Royal Salute is, most likely, the pinnacle of its creations.
The year was 1953, the same year the princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England. The name derives from the traditional 21-gun salute that is being fired on coronation day and on the birthday of the queen.
From that year forward, the Royal Salute Blended Scotch Whisky pays tribute to the major events of the British Monarchy with flavourful whiskies created with high quality ingredients and traditional production processes. All these factors align with the brand’s motto: “We Begin Where Other’s End”.
This motto is also aligned with the production process of this brand’s expressions, in which the 21 Year Old malts are more valuable than ever.
Given that these spirits are produced in the oldest continuously working distillery in Scotland, the Strathisla Distillery in Moray, the Royal Salute is a Speyside Scotch created with the finest single malts and its younger expression has 21 years old of maturation. Plus, to create this fine blend, all single malts had to have aged at least 21 years on its own.
The Strathisla distillery was founded in 1786 and uses the water from the Broomhill Spring, crucial to create the distinguishable flavours of all the Chivas Royal whiskies, and also the Royal Salute whisky expressions.
Another factor that contributes to the uniqueness of Royal Salute is the treasures hidden in Strathisla storage unit. There age distinctive, rare malts to make the most outstanding blends you will find in the market.
To blend Royal Salute whisky, the master blender only uses single malts that have aged, at least, 21 years. And that’s why the brand’s motto is the one described in the previous section. Some brands would bottle and sell expressions that have aged for so long. Royal Salute puts them together to create the pinnacle of blended scotch whisky, or “The King of Whisky”, as it is called.
The Royal Salute crown’s jewel. The 21-Year-Old Signature Blend was the first expression created by this brand and the recipe remains unchanged from 1953 until this day.
Blended to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II coronation, this expression is the foundation of Royal Salute whisky values and the first chapter of the brand’s story. Given that it is a blended Scotch whisky, ‘The Signature Blend’ has several malts combined with a minimum maturation time of 21 years.
You can expect this whisky to be as luxurious and exuberant as the royal family itself. You know it just by looking at the bottle, which is painted with a sapphire-coloured varnish that reminds us the Imperial State Crown.
The ‘The Signature Blend’ was awarded a Gold medal in the International Spirits Challenge in 2022.
This iconic and extraordinary expression was already feature in previously sent Whisky Flavour Tasting Boxes. Get to know more about our Whisky Tasting Subscription!
How does the Royal Salute 21-Year-Old ‘ The Signature Blend’ taste like?
With a fruity, floral and spicy character, the Royal Salute 21-Year-Old ‘The Signature Blend’ surprises who tastes it with aromas and flavours of light smoke in the background. The nose is citric and floral, with sweet vanilla and sherry notes.
In the mouth, it wanders between sweet and citric flavours, with notes of orange, pears and hazelnuts. The spices pop-up before finish, which is long and with subtle smoky notes.
They were lost, but Royal Salute’s Master Blender Sandy Hyslop found them and guided them to give them a new life. We’re talking about whiskies produced in distilleries that are no longer operational – the ‘Lost Distilleries’, as they are called in the whisky world.
The 21-Year-Old The Lost Blend, from Royal Salute whisky, is then composed by rare malt and grain whisky expressions hand-selected specifically to create this blended scotch. One ‘lost’ brand that is used in this blend is the Caperdonich malt, giving it a smoky and fruity character.
The bottle of the The Lost Blend is made of porcelain, just like the Signature Blend and the Malts Blend and its painted black.
This Royal Salute dram was awarded Gold at the World Whisky Awards 2019.
How does the Royal Salute 21-Year-Old The Lost Blend taste like?
The aromas of this Royal Salute whisky expression are sweet and fruity, with smoke on the background. One can smell oranges and peaches, mixed with the smoke of a bonfire.
21 is the lucky number of this expression. Besides being the number of gun salute, which were fired in the coronation and birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, it is the number of Single Malt Scotch whiskies used in this blend. Also, every one of these 21 single malts is aged for 21 years. And it doesn’t stop here: this is the first expression from the brand that is blended with only single malt scotch whisky.
With ‘The Malts Blend’ expression, you know that Royal Salute whisky is not just about creating outstanding scotch whisky: it’s about playing with symbology and adding extra value to a blend.
The bottle of this Royal Salute expression is quite similar to ‘The Signature Blend’, in exception of the colour, which is Emerald instead of Sapphire.
How does the Royal Salute 21-Year-Old ‘The Malts Blend’ taste like?
The overall character of this expression is rich and full-bodied, with sweet and fresh fruit notes.
On the nose, this Royal Salute expression is rich in fresh fruit, such as pears, blackberries, citrus, peaches and apricots, while having a floral background aroma.
Regarding its taste, ‘The Malts Blend’ is sweet and creamy, with flavours of vanilla, crème brûlée, banana and light clove. The finish is long, sweet and lightly spicy.
An exquisite expression made with only blended grain whisky matured in American Oak casks. Sandy Hyslop, the Master Blender from Royal Salute, created ‘The Blended Grain’ expression to be the king of this type of whisky. Our opinion on this is that he completely nailed it.
Created with whiskies with an age over the 21 years, this is a subtle, sweet, spicy, and lightly peated expression, perfect for celebrations.
How does the Royal Salute 21-Year-Old ‘The Blended Grain’ taste like?
The Royal Salute 21-Year-Old ‘The Blended Grain’ is fruity with a highly sweet flavour profile and a creamy mouthfeel.
One can detect aromas of apples, peach, almonds, vanilla and honey. In the mouth, there are notes of caramel, vanilla, white chocolate and honey. It is also possible to find fruit flavours, such as apricots and pears. Notes of oak and sweet nuts linger smoothly in the finish, with honey re-appearing right in the end.
With a 25-year-old malt being the youngest whisky in this blend, this Royal Salute whisky was created to honour the brand’s “crown jewels”: several rare whiskies locked down in the Royal Salute vaults.
The result of this blend fine whiskies is an outstanding expression, worthy of its name.
The bottle of the Royal Salute 25-Year-Old ‘The Treasured Blend’ has a cleaner look, comparing to the “Signature Blend”, “The Malts Blend” and “The Lost Blend”. Although it maintains the porcelain as its raw material, the sapphire blue and the varnishing for a shinier aesthetics, the bottle is less crafted.
How does the Royal Salute 25-Year-Old ‘The Treasured Blend’ taste like?
Given that it is a 25-Year-Old expression, ‘The Treasured Blend’ has a bolder character regarding its 21-Year-Old peers.
The aromas are fruity and sweet, with notes of cinnamon in the background. Relatively to the palate, it has a well-rounded body, with sweet notes of prunes, figs and toffee, as well as dark chocolate.
The wait was long, but it was worth it. Made with whiskies aged for 30 years or more, the Royal Salute ‘Key to the Kingdom’ is an elegant and exceptional dram that was only launched by the end of 2022.
The name of this 30-Year-Old expression comes from the ceremony held in Edinburgh every Year – the “Ceremony of Keys”, as it is called. With the purpose of honouring that ceremony, this blend was created by combining rare grain and single malt whisky from all whisky-producing regions of Scotland. All of these expressions spent at least 30 years in barrel to mature to perfection.
The bottle of this Royal Salute whisky is black and the label is emerald green. It is quite similar to the ‘The Treasured Blend’, having a cleaner aesthetic, but maintaining the varnishing. One detail that stands out of crowd is the stopper, that has a crown crafted.
How does the Royal Salute 30-Year-Old ‘Key to the Kingdom’ taste like?
The Royal Salute 30-Year-Old ‘Key to the Kingdom’ is an elegant expression, made to go along with a ceremony. One can only expect its character to be delicate and smooth, but exuberant in a way only Royal Salute knows how to make it.
The overall character of this blend is sweet and fruity, with a notes of pears, oranges and hints of honey. The finish is long and smoky.
The highest ceremonial monarchy ritual deserves the highest honouring whisky. And that is why we chose to end this list with the most luxurious Royal Salute whisky expression.
The ’62 Gun Salute’ is the uppermost monarchy celebration and it is only performed in royal anniversaries. This whisky celebrates them accordingly, as well as the four master blenders that worked for Royal Salute whisky since the day the first whisky was launched – 1953.
Although this is a No Age Statement whisky (and won a gold medal in that category), we found out that the youngest expression in this blend was aged for 40 years. And that by itself says a lot about how impressive this blended scotch whisky is.
The bottle is another factor that makes this Royal Salute expression truly luxurious. The decanter is hand-crafted by Dartington Crystal, painted with a see-through midnight blue and crafted with 24-carat gold. The stopper is a cut crystal.
How does the Royal Salute ’62 Gun Salute’ taste like?
This Royal Salute whisky has a rich and powerful character, worthy of a 62 Gun Salute just by itself.
The aromas resemble plums and sherry, with notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon. In the mouth, it is possible to taste oranges, nuts and sweet oak. The ’62 Gun Salute’ has a long and smooth finish, with notes of smoke in the background.