This Royal Salute Stone of Destiny is named after the slab of rock that was used between the 9th and 14th Century to crown Scottish (and later British) kings. In 1296 the Stone was moved to London, but in 1950 four Scottish students stole it and left it on the altar of the Abroath Abbey (where the Scottish declaration of independence was signed in 1320). The stone was returned to London until Queen Elizabeth II gave it back to Scotland in 1996. You can now visit it at Edinburgh Castle. So much for the history lesson. Now on to the whisky. The Royal Salute series was launched by Chivas on 2nd June 1953 as an homage to the ascension to the throne of the Queen. The stopper op this 38 years old edition is inlaid with gold and inspired by the hilt of an ancient Scottish sword. It is perceived as a super-premium blend; hence the price tag of 650 EUR (and I’ve found it at 1.000 EUR and more… ah, the laws of supply and demand).
Wonderful dark and sweet notes of figs, candied plums and even some chewing tobacco. Lots of walnuts and some almond liqueur. A touch umami, although I cannot quite pinpoint it. A truckload of muscovado sugar. The nose takes me to seventh heaven.
It struggles to keep up on the palate though. The body is light (damn you, 40% ABV!), but still offers lovely notes of walnut, raisins, sweet malt and pipe tobacco. Midpalate some origin chocolate and baked apples kick in. Nutmeg and baker’s spices give it some punch. I’m still quite impressed.
The finish is long, spicy with a fantastic note of sherry at the death.
My god, what a whisky! Very impressive. Chivas does not often appear on my radar, but this one is truly out of this world good!