Royal Salute’s 21 Year Old World Polo Edition 2017 is the newest release by Chivas Brothers. Masterminded by Sandy Hyslop, Royal Salute’s Director of Blending, the striking turquoise porcelain bottle is certainly easy on the eye. The whisky pays homage to the impressive heritage and universally recognised glamour of Polo and contains a beautifully balanced blend of single malts and grains. The age statement on a bottle of Scottish whisky is a guarantee that all of the constituent whiskies which comprise the end product are no younger than the stated age, in this case, 21 years no less.
For Royal Salute’s 21 Year Old World Polo Edition 2017, the underlying concept was to create a sophisticated blended whisky which is conducive to a slightly sinful, but simultaneously highly appealing, daytime dram which will won’t scorch the palate but slip down with ease. Royal Salute has achieved this desired effect effortlessly.
A popular misconception which is rife in the whisky consuming community is that ‘old equals good’. All too often I see people pouring over well-stocked whisky shelves, greedily fondling a bottle of whisky with a marginally more aged content than the cruelly overlooked knockout sitting right next to it for half the price. Age, put simply, does not equate to a guarantee of ‘goodness’. What it does mean, however, is that more of the alcohol content has evaporated through the wood of the barrel, or barrels, in which the spirit was aged in a process whimsically referred to in Scotland as ‘the angel’s share’ (1.5% to 2% per annum of evaporation for those who are curious).
The gradual wicking away of alcohol and the added time that an aged whisky spends in contact with the wood of the barrel does tend to mean that the flavour profile is smoother and more sophisticated than the raw, fiery, arresting flavours of a younger whisky. In the instance of Royal Salute’s newest offering, this is certainly true. The whisky is designed to be enjoyed outdoors and during the day to fit around high octane sporting endeavours, so the subtler flavours of the Royal Salute Polo edition are precisely what the doctor ordered.
On the nose the whisky gives off a subtle scent of milk chocolate and summer berries. It’s light and fragrant, fruity and delicate. It enticingly lures you in for just a little more as you take in the aromas. The flavour is immaculately smooth, which is most certainly a result of the (at least) 21 years in the barrels. There are sweet fruity flavours and dark sugar with a long lasting finish. Effortlessly a well balanced and harmonious whisky that will garner appeal across a range of palates.
Royal Salute 21 Year Old World Polo Edition 2017 (70cl) is available for £150 worldwide.
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