Known as the ‘King of Whisky’, Royal Salute is a brand steeped in tradition and inherently proud of its royal lineage — it was first created to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, after all. And yet, it never seems content to rest on its laurels, choosing instead to push the art of whisky blending in new and ambitious directions. At the same time, Royal Salute is perhaps most notable in the world of whisky for setting an extremely high bar for excellence: None of the whiskies found in its blends are aged any less than 21 years; one blend even features whiskies aged for 38 years.
That endless quest for innovation and an unyielding commitment to quality have led to Royal Salute’s two new releases — The Malts Blend and The Lost Blend — the first additions to the 21 Year Old range since the brand’s inception in 1953. Both blends are housed in beautifully made porcelain flagons that have been glazed in hues inspired by the precious stones set within the Imperial State Crown — emerald for The Malts Blend, obsidian for The Lost Blend; similarly, The Signature Blend is housed in a sapphire-coloured flagon.
The new blends are passion projects of Royal Salute’s Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, a legend in the whisky business who recently unveiled his newest creations at a global launch event for international media and whisky experts in Seoul. According to Hyslop, “The Malts Blend and The Lost Blend join our Signature Blend to bring even more choice for discerning whisky aficionados looking for an outstanding whisky experience.”
At a glitzy outdoor dinner event hosted at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, we had a first look at Royal Salute’s new bottles and, of course, a taste of the wonderful whiskies inside. The Malts Blend is the brand’s first-ever blended malt, and it carries of aromas of peaches and pears, with the sweet taste of vanilla, apricots and just a hint of spice. With its sweet profile and pleasant nose, this new blend has a wide appeal and should easily find many fans.
“Working with the finest single malts to create The Malts Blend was extremely special, and from the moment you taste the super-sweet richness of this blend, with its hints of spice, it’s clear that this whisky is nothing short of magic”, says Hyslop.
Royal Salute’s other new offering, The Lost Blend, is something entirely different: a meticulously crafted blend that includes scarce and exceptional whiskies from distilleries that are no longer in operation — “lost” distilleries, if you will. The Lost Blend is the first permanent peated whisky in Royal Salute’s portfolio, so you can expect plenty of smokiness on the palate, along with hazelnuts and orange, while the nose intermingles hints of peach with a bonfire. Complex yet perfectly balanced, this is a whisky best enjoyed by whisky aficionados. “The Lost Blend is a whisky to be simultaneously savoured and enjoyed,” as Hyslop puts it.
The Signature Blend and The Lost Blend from Royal Salute are available at select luxury whisky retailers across Asia for a starting price of US$135 (approx. HK$1,060). The Lost Blend is now available exclusively at Duty Free stores around the world for a starting price of US$135 (approx. HK$1,060).