Inspired by a passion for tradition, born as a tribute to a queen, crafted with a desire for perfection. The story of Royal Salute is unlike any other whisky.
History and Heritage
In 1953, the young Princess Elizabeth ascended the throne. The occasion called for a tribute fit for a queen and so an exquisite blend was created using whisky from Strathisla, the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands. It was given the name Royal Salute – after the famous 21-gun-salute – and so began the story of a remarkable whisky.
To this day, Royal Salute has marked each significant event in the lives of the British Monarchy and is unique in having only ever used whiskies aged at least 21 years in its blends. It is this unique commitment to quality and tradition that has given rise to the informal motto, “We Begin Where Others End”.
Behind this drive for perfection lies the true secret to the success of Royal Salute – its legendary storehouses across Scotland.
Over the decades, Royal Salute master blenders have collected and stored whiskies of immense distinction. Behind locked doors, these liquids lie in wooden casks, ageing, maturing, patiently waiting for the moment they are ready to make magic.
The Evolution of the Royal Salute Bottle
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 1953
The Royal Salute 21 Year Old was launched as a coronation gift for Queen Elizabeth II in a striking green porcelain flagon, and housed in a hand-crafted Indian velvet pouch. Buckingham Palace granted special use of the Royal Coat of Arms on the first production run only.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 1959
The Chivas Brothers crest replaces the Royal Coat of Arms, bearing image of Robert the Bruce and a Gaelic motto which translates as Fidelity, Stability, since 1801.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 1960
The blue flagon is introduced and quickly becomes the most popular colour.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 1984
The burgundy flagon is introduced. For the first time ever the flagons are available in four different colours: blue, green, red and brown.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 2003
The colours are enhanced and renamed Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby to reflect the gem stones of the crown jewels.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 2007
Several changes to both neck labels, the shape and size of main crest label, cannon design, bottle shape and base crest are implemented.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 2014
The bottle shape gains height and the label is simplified to give a more contemporary silhouette. Royal Salute’s signature lion replaces the Chivas Brothers crest.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 2019
Royal Salute sees the end of the ruby and emerald flagons, along with the velvet pouch, but welcomes The Malts Blend and The Lost Blend into the core range.
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 2021
In tribute to Royal Salute’s affinity with polo, the ‘Sport of Kings’, a limited edition series is released inspired by the different polo-playing surfaces – grass, sand and snow, with flagons designed in corresponding vibrant colours. This collection quickly became an exciting, lifestyle platform, and has since expanded into whiskies inspired by iconic polo destinations.Discover More About Polo
Royal Salute Bottle Evolution | 2022
The transition from porcelain to glass flagons begins for the core range expressions, as the first step towards a more sustainable future. While maintaining the quality and flavour of the whisky, and retaining the signature Royal Salute style, this small change has reduced our packaging carbon footprint by over 70% per bottle.Our Transition to Glass
You will find Royal Salute’s exceptional whiskies at parties and polo matches around the world, as a new breed of admirers raise a glass to tradition.
The Art of Blending
Only the fifth Master Blender in the history of Royal Salute, Sandy Hyslop has perhaps the most enviable, and the most pressurised, job in Speyside.
At his disposal is one of the most valuable collections of whiskies in the world. Created by Royal Salute master blenders over the years, Sandy uses this unique selection of rare, aged liquids to weave their individual qualities together to create nothing short of magic.
It’s often said that Royal Salute begins where others end. But what does that mean?
In fact, although it may sound profound, it’s really quite simple: the youngest whisky in any Royal Salute blend is at least 21 years old. So at an age where some distilleries bottle their finest drop, this distillery considers it only just about ready.
The blend of aged whiskies, of old and new, of tradition and innovation is what elevates Royal Salute to a higher echelon. It’s why it’s often called the ‘King of Whisky’.