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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Old and Rare Whisky

Royal Salute adds two whiskies; revamps look

Royal Salute is toasting a couple of delightful additions to its signature 21 Year Old range with its first ever blended malt and permanent peated whisky, as well as a…

Royal Salute is toasting a couple of delightful additions to its signature 21 Year Old range with its first ever blended malt and permanent peated whisky, as well as a fancy new makeover.

Back in May, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Aynhoe Park, a Grade I listed, 17th-century country house in the Cotswolds, by Royal Salute, who promised big news. But before we get to that, we need to discuss the venue. It’s like the Mad Hatter’s summer house. There are stuffed giraffes with bow ties and bowler hats. A herd of (unstuffed) white stags roam in the fields outside. There’s even an underground nightclub. Somehow, none of this was the most exciting part of our adventure, however. That was to come in the form of delicious Scotch whisky, as Royal Salute revealed the reason why we were all assembled was so it could show off its brand new look and two delicious drams: The Lost Blend and The Malts Blend.

We’ll get to the makeover later, but we know you really want to hear all about the two additions to the signature 21 Year Old range. Master blender Sandy Hyslop was visibly excited about them himself at the event. “As master blender for Royal Salute, there is no greater honour than protecting the continuity of the blend that was first created in 1953 and has remained exceptional ever since,” he explained. “But to have the opportunity to create something entirely new for this sensational portfolio – an elevated Scotch evoking the signature Royal Salute style but with its own unique characteristics – that’s truly the dream.”

Without further ado, let’s take a look at them…

Royal Salute

Aynhoe Park: it’s wild.

Royal Salute The Lost Blend

Our first newcomer is The Lost Blend, which includes scarce whiskies from distilleries no longer in production such as Caperdonich and Dumbarton (much like the Lost Distilleries Blend). Whisky from the Imperial Distillery is said to be at the heart of the blend, which is a fitting choice for Royal Salute, a brand that has obvious connections to royalty. Imperial was named in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, while the distillery itself topped with a gilded cast iron crown in tribute to the momentous event. Available exclusively at Duty Free stores around the world, the Lost Blend is the first permanent peated whisky to join the Royal Salute range alongside The Signature Blend. The expression is, of course, presented in Royal Salute’s new-look packaging and housed in a crafted porcelain flagon. “Including some of the scarcest whiskies in our inventory, The Lost Blend celebrates the legacy of some of the best whisky distilleries in Scotland which I am proud to immortalise in an exceptional new 21 Year Old blend”, Hyslop said of the whisky. In the press notes we were told to expect notes of sweet, juicy pears, orange rind, hazelnuts and aromatic peat from The Lost Blend. Here’s what we thought of it:

Royal Salute

Royal Salute 21 Year Old The Lost Blend

Royal Salute 21 Year Old The Lost Blend

Nose: Bergamot, banana milkshake and crème brûlée initially, then ripe barley, some drying ginger and sharp Granny Smith Apples. An aroma of incense and charred pineapple add depth underneath.

Palate: Through bonfire embers, cinder toffee and conference pear there’s light oak char, freshly baked gingerbread and earthy vanilla. There’s a note of lemon and orange sherbets present in the backdrop.

Finish: Caramelised tropical fruit and aromatic peat linger.

Royal Salute The Malts Blend

The second addition is The Malts Blend (my personal highlight), which was crafted with more than 21 single malts aged for a minimum of 21 years from the five whisky regions of Scotland. Royal Salute’s hot new makeover is also present in The Malts Blend’s packaging, which is housed in a crafted porcelain flagon. Because consistency is key. “Like a symphony, each of the single malts ‘performing’ in this blend complement and enhance one another’s unique flavours and together create the final composition,” commented Hyslop. “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. Royal Salute says that The Malts Blend is an “indulgent and profound Scotch whisky” that’s bursting with notes of orchard fruits and enriched by subtle spices. Once again, here’s what we think:

Royal Salute

Royal Salute 21 Year Old The Malts Blend

Royal Salute 21 Year Old The Malts Blend

Nose: Ripe nectarines, homemade blackberry compote and crème brûlée, then stem ginger and cardamom ponds. The nose then develops into notes of apricot yoghurt, marzipan icing and vanilla ice cream with golden syrup drizzled on top. It’s a deeply beautiful, nostalgic nose.

Palate: More baking spice, ginger powder this time and a rush of tannin oak initially, followed by sticky sultanas, toffee apples and sponge cake drenched in honey. Delicate florals and a little black pepper heat are present underneath.

Finish: Stone fruit in syrup, which lasts an age, with a hint of cooked banana.

Royal Salute

Royal Salute showed off its new look at Aynhoe Park

The new-look Royal Salute

The makeover, meanwhile, was created in collaboration with artist Kristjana S. Williams. “We wanted to create something special for our Signature 21 Year Old. This is, after all, a whisky first created for royalty. The result is a fun, vibrant take on our rich heritage that brings to life our royal legacy with a colourful depiction of the British Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London, and it’s unlike anything we’ve seen from a Scotch whisky,” commented Mathieu Deslandes, Royal Salute’s marketing director. “There has never been a more exciting time for our brand. With a bold new look across our packaging that speaks to our unique quality, craft and personality, we’re raising the bar for Scotch whisky. And we’re only just getting started.” The packaging really is something, especially the Royal Salute lion, crooked crown and all, looking over his colourful kingdom. It’s quite the scene. There are patriotic fluttering tartan butterflies, one very fashionable owl and plenty of nods to the production process of Royal Salute whisky like oak casks, a rushing river and Speyside distillery. It’s a quite a departure from the classic Royal Salute look. It also has to be said, the more you look at the design, the more Aynhoe Park makes sense as a venue. It literally had a lion with a crown in the dining room. I want to go back.

Things are certainly looking good for Royal Salute, in and out of the bottle. We’re looking forward to seeing what they do next.

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#WhiskySanta’s Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar Super Wish!

This week #WhiskySanta’s giving away an Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar Super Wish to one lucky wisher! Season’s greetings, fans of all things Christmas and tasty drinks! As I’m…

This week #WhiskySanta’s giving away an Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar Super Wish to one lucky wisher!

Season’s greetings, fans of all things Christmas and tasty drinks! As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m back to give away over £250,000-worth of the finest booze-based gifts to Master of Malt customers and those placing wishes on social for anything available on Master of Malt! I’ll keep doing so right up to Christmas! A whole bunch of fortunate folks have already got their hands on some spirited treats, and there’s much, much more where that came from!

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Midleton Very Rare 2017 and Cask Circle – own a bottle or a cask!

Midleton Very Rare 2017 launches in Ireland The distillery also launches The Midleton Very Rare Cask Circle, its new cask ownership club Jake tastes Midleton Very Rare from every decade,…

  • Midleton Very Rare 2017 launches in Ireland
  • The distillery also launches The Midleton Very Rare Cask Circle, its new cask ownership club
  • Jake tastes Midleton Very Rare from every decade, including some of these newly available whiskeys
  • Lots of Irish whiskey to talk about here, as well as a bit of a sign off from yours truly, but feel free to skip ahead to the 2017 release, or to find out about more the Cask Circle

    First off, a bit of housekeeping. Yes, I’m still alive! You’ll no doubt have noticed a plethora of posts from our awesome new content team hitting the blog lately. It’s a team made up of our new editor Kristiane Sherry, fellow new faces at MoM Towers Annie Hayes and Adam O’Connell, and the one and only Sam Smith (he of Tom Hanks’ Big fandom and aversion to flying).

    You’ll notice that my name didn’t feature on that there list. Ooh, mysterious. Suffice to say that I’m still busy doing all sorts at MoM Towers. Emphasis on the busy – that’s how I’m keeping (especially with national present day fast approaching!*). I may chip in with very occasional blog posts going forward (so what’s new, exactly?), but it does rather feel like a passing of the torch moment as I’m typing this. Fitting, then, that this is a post about Irish whiskey, which you may have noticed over the years is one of my favourite topics (see older posts such as Irish Whiskey – Everything You Need To Know! as well as the more recent Spotlight on… Redbreast and interview with Master Blender Billy Leighton).

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    Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish is back in the building!

    We’ve received an allocation of three bottles of Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish direct from the supplier, and we’re going to split the bounty between a two-bottle lottery and 30ml drams!…

    We’ve received an allocation of three bottles of Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish direct from the supplier, and we’re going to split the bounty between a two-bottle lottery and 30ml drams!

    The exciting news that three bottles of the single malt Scotch whisky are currently in stock does come with certain realities. While all of us here at MoM Towers are thrilled the bottles are back, it does mean that, with thousands of interested customers, there will be some disappointed people whatever we do.

    Acknowledging the price and availability of the product, we decided that splitting the stock up between a lottery (see timeline below) and drams was the fairest way to proceed. While there’s no age-statement, the whiskies that were blended for this release were distilled in the 1990s (so they are between 15 and 25 years old) and Mizunara is a highly unusual cask finish. Individual bottles are being sold for a considerable price (£1,195.00, RRP). Given this is the case, there will be no auction.

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    The world’s best boozy Advent calendars are ready to rock and roll!

    Drinks by the Dram’s delicious range of spirits-filled Advent calendars are ready to ship – snap yours up today! Our friends over at Drinks by the Dram announced details of…

    Drinks by the Dram’s delicious range of spirits-filled Advent calendars are ready to ship – snap yours up today!

    Our friends over at Drinks by the Dram announced details of their bumper range of booze-filled Advent calendars earlier this month. The stash has arrived at MoM Towers, and the heavenly haul is shipping now!

    From whisky and gin to rum, Tequila, Cognac, and many, many more, each fabulously festive box is filled to the brim with 24 different wax-sealed drams, one tucked behind each window. There’s literally no tastier way to count down to Christmas!

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    This is not a drill – spirit-filled Advent Calendars available to pre-order now!

    Drinks by the Dram has released its 2017 range of brilliantly boozy Advent Calendars into the wild – pre-order yours now! Drinks by the Dram has unveiled its bumper range…

    Drinks by the Dram has released its 2017 range of brilliantly boozy Advent Calendars into the wild – pre-order yours now!

    Drinks by the Dram has unveiled its bumper range of Advent Calendars for 2017 – and the range is bigger and better than ever. From whisky and gin to Cognac, Tequila and many, many more, every calendar is filled to the brim with 24 different 30ml samples of deliciousness. What’s more, you can pre-order yours right this very moment with but a mere click of the mouse!!

    Every calendar contains 24 different wax-sealed drams, one behind each window, collectively adding up to an Advent Calendar of much magnificence. We’ve got The Whisky Advent Calendar, The Ginvent Calendar, The Rum Advent Calendar, The Tequila Advent Calendar, and many more up our sleeves to make sure the Christmas spirit is well and truly flowing this December.

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    Macallan Lalique & Bowmore Black Charity Auctions: Own Whisky History!

    We’re auctioning the final and oldest releases in two legendary ranges: Bowmore Black 50 Year Old 1964 – The Last Cask and The Macallan in Lalique 65 Year Old –…

    We’re auctioning the final and oldest releases in two legendary ranges: Bowmore Black 50 Year Old 1964 – The Last Cask and The Macallan in Lalique 65 Year Old – Peerless Spirit with everything over RRP donated to our nominated charity Malaria No More UK.
     
    Following the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection auctions (which raised well over £4k for an excellent cause) and another update to our auction system, it’s time for our first charity auctions of 2017! And, well, just look at the extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime bottles we have available.

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    2016 Whisky Advent Calendar – Available for Pre-Order!

    Drinks by the Dram have launched their 2016 range of Advent Calendars, and you can Pre-Order yours right now! Drinks by the Dram revealed their selection of spirit-filled Advent Calendars…

    Drinks by the Dram have launched their 2016 range of Advent Calendars, and you can Pre-Order yours right now!

    Drinks by the Dram revealed their selection of spirit-filled Advent Calendars for 2016 last week, all of which you can pre-order right this very second! Every calendar contains 24 different handmade wax-sealed 3cl drams, one behind each window, so you count down to Christmas while exploring spectacular whiskies, gins, rums, tequilas and more.

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    Diageo Special Releases 2015

    It’s that time of year once again and last night Diageo invited us to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to taste the 2015 Special Releases! There are nine this year. That’s…

    Diageo Special Releases 2015

    It’s that time of year once again and last night Diageo invited us to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to taste the 2015 Special Releases! There are nine this year. That’s two less than last year, which as I’m always up against a bit of a time limit (two hours) to scrawl down some meaningful tasting notes for you all (as well as fight through the crowds and also try to avoid notes from elsewhere – ham, butter, bread, candles, aftershave…) was fine by me! There was, of course, still plenty of stunning whisky on show.

    Before we go on, however, I should probably point out that the Special Releases are available for Pre-Order now! You may want to head straight over there. If you do miss out on any of them then keep your eyes on the @MasterOfMalt twitter feed over the next couple of weeks as there may be more available once the bottles land.

    Ranging in price from £80 to £2,400, Nick Morgan has gone on record to say that even amongst Special Releases “This year is a special one”. Exciting.

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    2015 Whisky Advent Calendar – Now Available for Pre-Order!

    Ah yes, it’s that time of year once again when Drinks by the Dram reveal their selection of fantastic spirits-filled advent calendars! The Entire Range is Now Available for Pre-Order…

    Whisky Advent Calendar

    Ah yes, it’s that time of year once again when Drinks by the Dram reveal their selection of fantastic spirits-filled advent calendars!

    The Entire Range is Now Available for Pre-Order here. (Estimated despatch late October.)

    As well as all your favourites such as The Whisky Advent Calendar and Ginvent Calendar (from the dream team of Drinks by the Dram and Gin Foundry), which are both back for a fourth year, 2015 sees the range extended with a dedicated Bourbon Calendar plus Rum, Cognac, Armagnac, Tequila, Mezcal, Vodka, Absinthe and erm… Naga Chilli Vodka calendars (the latter getting hotter each day!)

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