Chivas Regal Royal Salute 21 yo blended Scotch Whisky. 750ml, Ceramic decanter bottle available in various colors, box and velour bag packaging, about $140-160, available nationwide.
I wanted to do something somewhat normal for my hundredth review since many of the future ones will be fairly esoteric as I try to fill in the collection. To that end I selected the famous Chivas Regal Royal Salute.
Royal Salute was created by the Chivas Brothers to celebrate the Corination of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 and at 21 years old is normally the top of their line. A 50 year old version was released in 2003 for the Queen's 50th anniversary on the throne. 21 was picked to symbolize the 21 gun salute (The Royal Salute) usually reserved for Monarchs and Heads of State. Chivas packages Royal Salute in a ceramic bottle made by Wade of England and on it they put an embossed scene on the front depicting a knight on horseback with a sword, accompanied by a banner displaying: 'Chivas Treibhireas Bho 1801 Bunaiteachd' - the Chivas motto. Besides being Gaelic I have no idea what that actually means.
The wife and I had a great dinner of Lemon Pepper Chicken and after letting that sit for almost an hour I poured a good dollop of Royal Salute into my glass and sat down in front of my computer to write you this review. The color is a dark straw yellow in the glass and this is noticeably darker then most blends. The nose is soft with fruits and a bourbon-vanilla background mixed with some soft spices. Tasting brings out a smooth ginger along with the nosed fruits and the faintest touch of cinnamon. The finish is long with muted spices, a touch of maltiness and a soft fade at the end. This bottle is truly a great dram.
I have found over the years that this blend changes ever so slightly with some being a bit better then others. Luckily this bottle was one of the better ones but even if it is on the other side it would still be very, very good. Another question I'm asked is if the extra 3 years is worth over double the price of the Chivas Regal 18 yo. Both are excellent blends and the Royal Salute is obviously climbing up the scale of diminishing returns but it is different and not just 3 years older then the 18 and as such provides a different drinking experience.
Like Johnnie Walker Blue and The Whyte & Mackay 30, The Royal Salute is one of the top blends you can buy.
Edited by AVB, 16 December 2006 - 07:19 PM.