There are different batches of this ‘royal’ blend from Johnnie Walker, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on a sample from the very first release. This blend is a tribute to the Royal Warrant that was bestowed upon John Walker & Sons by King George V who reigned from 1910 until 1936. Hence the blend is composed only from distilleries that were operational at that time, including some closed ones like Cambus, Glen Albyn and Port Ellen. It will set you back between 350 and 500 EUR.
The nose is a layered mix of white, yellow and red fruit, joined by origin chocolate and a nice floral note. Some roasted nuts and a lovely hint of smoke. Sweeter than the later version in my opinion. Grand nonetheless.
It caresses the taste buds, while being quite oily. Good body. And immediately a grand spiciness in the guise of nutmeg, ginger and some pepper. Then the whole is softened by layers of fruit, with the emphasis on oranges. Some mint gives it a fresh uplift.
The finish is surprisingly long, sweet and mildly drying, in which the mint keeps it fresh, while the citrus fruit slowly fades. A touch of oak lingers nicely.
Luscious and rich. Impressive blend, which is just as well with a price tag like that. But it does prove – as if that is still needed – that blends certainly do not have to be inferior to single malts in terms of complexity.