It may seem like a strange sport to commemorate, but Beach Polo is definitely a thing that many people in more weather-positive countries enjoy, and that’s all it takes for Royal Salute to release a Whisky edition for it, and in fairness, it’s a pretty amazing dram.
Royal Salute was started to honour the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and since then it has thrived.
Today it is owned by Chivas Brothers and is one of the most luxurious blended Scotches in the market.
Their Beach Polo edition has been created as part of the brand’s annual Polo releases, which celebrates the “sport of kings”. The brand is a major part of the Polo world and supports tournaments all over the world.
They are supported by Malcolm Borwick, a former England Captain and now royal Salute Polo Ambassador.
He says, “Beach polo is experiencing a surge in popularity around the world, driven by the beauty, playfulness and universal pull of the beach as a match day backdrop. As a location, it elevates the spirit of polo for spectators and players alike, bringing them closer together as sounds from the roaring crowds and thundering hooves racing towards a goal travel and mix cleanly across the sand.
“It’s a thrill for me to see this trend in polo be matched by innovation in Scotch whisky, my other passion. It’s been a fascinating journey to see Royal Salute perfectly encapsulate something as compelling as beach polo to develop a luxurious new expression and I feel honoured to be a part of it.”
Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, also said: “Royal Salute has a longstanding affinity with polo; we share values with the noble game of honour, skill and integrity with beach polo embodying all of this in a slightly more fun and playful way.
Creating a whisky that spoke to all of this was a fantastic experience and we worked to capture the personality and the lifestyle of the sport; with each sip, our ambition was to deliver an exotic journey though salty sea winds, warm sands and subtly smoky beach bonfires, while keeping the Royal Salute House style firmly at the heart.”
This blend seeks to capture the flavour of Beach Polo, which involves sand and sea air.
It opens with a nose of salt and smoke, hinting at bonfires and fireworks. It has peat smoke throughout, with a lovely hint of apples and pears.
The blend brims with fruit flavour, with citrus, apricots, peaches and raisins at every turn.
This grows on the palate, where the peat really blossoms and wraps everything up in a mellow smokiness.
The fruits are rich and warming, with oak wood, caramel and cake appearing. There is a hint of sea air and a little touch of brine.
There is also a lovely honeyed note that lends a smooth and soft mouth feel to the overall flavour.
The finish is bold, with lots more smoke and salted caramel.
Whether you enjoy Beach Polo or not, you will definitely enjoy this dram. It is lively and luxurious, with a really interesting flavour profile and a lot going on.