British royalty have been embracing Royal Salute, the 21-year-old limited-edition blended Scotch whisky from Chivas Bros., ever since it was unveiled in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Although Chivas Bros. holds a royal warrant originally granted by Queen Victoria in 1843, Royal Salute—which actually contains whiskies much older than 21 years—was subsequently awarded a royal warrant of its own (hence its name) for the coronation year.
In more recent times, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his brother, Prince Harry of Wales—both avid polo players—have made Royal Salute sponsorship part of their various charity matches. It has benefited such causes as the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, which was founded in 2006 by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of the Lesotho royal family and supports the well-being of young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. In addition, Royal Salute has sponsored more than 15 international polo tournaments around the world. To honor this association, the brand has just introduced a limited 21 Year Old Polo Edition whisky ($140).
Blended by Royal Salute’s director of blending, Sandy Hyslop, and endorsed by Royal Salute polo ambassador Malcolm Borwick, the Polo Edition is a lighter style of whisky than the original Royal Salute. Rather than the faintly honeyed smoke and thick, ripe fruit that has become a hallmark of the original 21 Year Old, the Polo Edition is brighter in texture, with notes of honeydew melon, berry jam, and creamy toffee. Easily identifiable visually as well as by taste, the Polo Edition is presented in Royal Salute’s iconic handcrafted porcelain flagon but with a distinctive blue-green glaze. It’s cast with a polo theme, depicting two mounted players astride their galloping ponies in a heated match.
‘‘Polo is a noble game of honor, skill, integrity, and respect—all values inherent in Royal Salute,” said Royal Salute brand director Peter Moore. “We wanted to continue to celebrate the iconic pairing of our ‘King of Whisky’ with the ‘Sport of Kings,’ and this new Polo Edition does just that in a more delicate tasting blend ideal for outdoor, daytime enjoyment.”
As such, it is the perfect dram to enjoy over ice while watching Prince William participate in a winning match for charity at Coworth Park at Ascot and marveling at how well the left-handed heir to the throne has learned to play right-handed, according to the rules of the game.
For other polo-inspired gifts this season, explore these timepieces.