We are partial to a drop of whisky now and then (if ‘now and then’ means every couple of days), so naturally, we were among the first to try Royal Salute’s eagerly awaited Snow Polo Edition, dubbed the world’s ‘perfect winter scotch’, on the sunny slopes of Aspen during the St Regis World Snow Polo Championships. The scotch whisky is different from your average malt—what with it being a blend of the finest and rarest grain whiskies from Scotland, aged for a minimum of 21 years in oak casks before it is born in a bottle. Before you blow those hard-earned SGDs at Changi, here are some notes for your Moleskine liquor journal.
It’s super strong
Not for the faint-hearted—this all-new scotch has a higher ABV than all other whiskies in the Royal Salute collection, at 46.5%. “One glass, therefore, has so much flavour, that it takes longer to drink than the average whisky”, adds Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop. Longer lasting = better value for money = we are a cheaper date after all! Win, win.
So you definitely should add ice, specifically one large block
“Royal Salute is best enjoyed with a large block of ice, rather than small blocks because you want it to melt slower for a more consistent release of water” continues Sandy. Many also enjoy it with water, but in Singapore, we definitely recommend ice, since our winters are basically mountain summers.
Highball fans should use chilled soda instead
Use chilled soda rather than both soda and ice, in order to preserve the richness of flavour. However, if you don’t have soda chilled then go with the large block of ice and use less soda.
It smells like dessert
Our noses were runny with Aspen chills, and so expert Barnabé Fillion described summed up the smell for us, “It’s a balance of light, floral, fruity toffee nut, with the body of orange marmalade. The base notes are sweet—a combination of rum and toffee.” Noses unclogged, we’d have to agree with Mr Fillion, and actually, the finishing taste is rather in line with its scent too—creamy, sweet peach and vanilla ice cream will rest on your tongue. OK, now we really want a cake…
We like it best with dessert, actually
Only because we’re the whisky and cake kinda guy. Cheesecake, chocolate cake, moon cake… but you don’t have to have it with cake if you don’t want to. We’re just saying that cake and the Snow Polo Edition will blow your mind.
The royals have been drinking it for decades
In case you hadn’t guessed by its name, Royal Salute has a strong affinity with the British royal family. It was created in 1953 for the actual Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and more recently, sporting champion and Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador Malcolm Borwick even gifted a special edition for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Did drinking this whisky makes us want butler service and a crown? You bet it did.
And therefore it’s super close to polo
If you didn’t already know that, then it’s time to take a break from Singapore Social and intersperse a couple of Charles and Diana docs with your Netflix list. You’ll soon see that polo is all the rage with those ball-loving rich Brits, and is actually referred to as the ‘Sport of Kings’. Royal Salute, being the ‘King of Whisky’ that it is, naturally collaborates with more than 10 international polo tournaments worldwide, and of course, the royals are obsessed. Did we spot any in Aspen? Sadly no, but we did see Rebel Wilson, and she’s basically royalty.
Polo stars (who aren’t related to Queen Liz) drink it in celebration
“We definitely enjoy Royal Salute with special moments. I have a bottle of a 42-year-old blend at home, and when we win a tournament I like to enjoy a glass of that with water.” Says Borwick.
Where can you watch pros play snow polo?
The sport began 35 years ago on the frozen lakes of St Moritz, Switzerland, and now, snow polo is enjoyed worldwide, but namely in from Aspen, USA, Cortina, Italy and Tianjin, China. Playing in such unique locations requires heightened dexterity, courage and concentration from elite players. The chilly air certainly creates a need for warming scotch. Spicy!
The bottle is mantelpiece ready
Collectors rejoice—the limited edition is presented in a fancy gift box inspired by vintage Alpine scenes, and features Malcolm Borwick’s signature red helmet. Inside, the liquid is elegantly housed in a Royal Salute porcelain flagon, dressed in white and silver tones that evoke the style and grandeur of the winter sport. In other words, it’ll look damn sexy in your liquor cabinet or on the accent table in the study.
It’s pricey but worth it
A bottle RRPs at just over SGD200, but would you expect anything less from Prince William and co? Plus with such a rich, long-lasting flavour, we’ll take this over a cheaper whisky any day—just don’t forget the cake.
Royal Salute’s Snow Polo Edition is out now for a limited time at select luxury retailers.