Pigeon race. If you asked me which of the English royal family’s favorite sports, I would never say pigeon racing. But according to Vogue magazine, the activity has been appreciated by british royalty since 1886, when King Leopold II of Belgium presented them with some of these (not so) gallant and swift birds. What intrigues me is that such an interest is considered a sport. After all, the only one who makes any effort is the pigeon.
But the English royal family also practices other sports, say, less sedentary. Such as Rugby, played by Princes William and Harry; and snow skiing, Charles’s favorite. But perhaps the most essentially royal game – the one that most encapsulates the sophistication of the world’s most beloved nobles – is horse polo. Again, according to Vogue, Philip, Charles, William and Harry practiced the sport. They love horse polo so much that even little George has one of those funny little mallets.
So it is only natural that a British-royalty inspired whisky brand such as Royal Salute, that shares with such royalty values such as sophistication and elegance, pay tribute to the beloved royal pastime. Hence the Polo Collection – a series of commemorative limited editions from the brand, inspired by horse polo. Including the Royal Salute Snow Polo Edition, which has just arrived in Brazil.
The Royal Salute Snow Polo Edition is a type of whisky which is totally new to our market – and very rare even in Scotland. It is a blended grain scotch whisky, produced only from grain whiskies, in column stills. But quite special grain whiskies. Following the tradition of Royal Salute, the Polo Edition has 21 years of minimum maturation. It was created by Sandy Hyslop, director of blending at Chivas Regal – who, incidentally, has already been interviewed by this Bottled Dog.
Royal Salute’s Snow Polo edition is the third expression of the Polo Collection, a range of limited edition whiskies that celebrate the sophisticated equestrian game. The first was the (simply) Polo Edition, a sweet and fruity blended scotch – and the second, the smoky, maritime Beach Polo.
For Brazil, the launch of the Royal Salute 21 Snow Polo Edition could not have happened in a better place. In a horse polo match organized at Fazenda Boa Bista, in the countryside of São Paulo, with the participation of the brand ambassador and polo player, Malcolm Borwick. During the event, the whisky was served in drinks, pure and with ice, and in cocktails.
In Borwick’s words “When we started developing the third edition, we looked at the snow polo. There are two or three places where you can play polo in the snow all over the world. (…) But if we were to pick just one, it would have to be St. Moritz – they’ve been playing polo there for over thirty years. We (Royal Salute) have participated in the last five years. So we thought ‘why not do something that reflects our participation in the event and create something different?’ That’s when we came up with the idea of creating a blended grain whisky with 21 years of age. ”
“Snow polo is probably the epitome of a luxury sport. You take the horses up the mountain to play polo on a frozen lake at 2500 meters. It is an extremely ambitious thing to do. And Royal Salute is a luxury product. It is created for enthusiasts who appreciate the difference. It reflects (the sophistication) of St. Moritz in both flavor and bottle, ”continues the ambassador. Incidentally, the alcohol content of 46.5% is a reference to the latitude of St. Moritz.
Sensorially, Royal Salute 21 Snow Polo Edition is a delicate and floral whisky that brings notes of coconut, vanilla, caramel and citrus fruits. With a little water, it becomes more floral, and the coconut note intensifies. Though his heart has not been revealed, this Dog’s educated guess is that it is Strathclyde – a grain whisky distillery belonging to Pernod Ricard. Or, perhaps, the precious and silent Dumbarton.
There are several reasons to buy and try the Royal Salute Snow Polo Edition. You may be curious about the taste of excellent blended grain, so rare in the world of whisky. Or, perhaps, look for a delicate, floral and sweet yet very complex blend. Or maybe be in love with the equestrian pole. Or finally, you might just like the royal family and look for a bottle that celebrates your favorite sports. In this case, Snow Polo Edition will be your best choice, after all, the pigeon race doesn’t have the same appeal.
Oh, and if you drink, don’t ride. But if you don’t ride, try it!
ROYAL SALUTE 21 SNOW POLO EDITION
Type: Blended grain whisky
Brand: Royal Salute
Region: N / A
Aroma: Sweet, with honey and vanilla.
Palate: Sweet, honey, coconut, vanilla. Delicate, with a medium finish that brings vanilla, ripe fruits and coconut.
Availability: Brazilian Stores (Price to be defined)