Review: Royal Salute The Eternal Reserve Blended Whisky
Royal Salute is one of those curious blended whiskies that everyone seems to know about, but no one ever seems to drink. I’ve oddly never sampled a dram from the porcelain (not glass!) flagon, which calls the Strathisla distillery its home.
Beyond the decanter, all expressions of Royal Salute have a gimmick, and a pretty good one: Even though most Royal Salute expressions don’t carry an age statement, no spirit in any Royal Salute bottling is less than 21 years of age. That’s right: Royal Salute 21 is the entry level whisky.
This new release, Royal Salute The Eternal Reserve, is actually the second whisky up the ladder. Here’s what’s inside:
Royal Salute has selected rare and precious whiskies with an exceptionally long finish to blend and marry together in 88 casks to form the inaugural batch. Using a unique process called Circular Blending, Royal Salute has committed to including this original blend in each subsequent The Eternal Reserve release for decades to come.
Each time a new batch is unveiled, half of the blend will be re-casked in the Royal Salute Vault to conserve the precious liquid created in 2015. Thus, the original blend is forever preserved by this perpetual re-circulation – creating a smooth, voluptuous whisky that justifies its original name: uisge beatha (the water of life).
So, for those doing the math, this is going to be a solera release, and this is the first edition. From here on out, every Eternal Reserve bottling (which the company says should be an annual release) will have a little bit of this 2015 release in it… just less and less each year.
So, let’s give the inaugural bottling of The Eternal Reserve a spin, shall we?
Malty, classic blended Scotch notes feature on the nose, plus notes of roasted nuts, a bit of citrus, some mushroom, and some wood influence. On the tongue, more of the same, backed up with a bit of coconut, some graham cracker, and notes of canned pears and baked apples. The finish echoes a bit of that mushroom, impressively lingering with an almost musky, slightly smoky character. All in all, it adds a little nuance to an otherwise well-crafted and enjoyable spirit.
A- / $180 / royalsalute.com