We arrive at our 50th review, so let's celebrate with the very first whisky I reviewed as such (had had many drams before, but never really took the time to properly taste and review.) You know I write here both new and old reviews, always trying to specifiy the tasting date if different from the posting one.
So I reviewed this Feb 7, 2014. The bottling, as etched on the exquisite porcelain flagon (got the Sapphire edition) took place Nov 17, 2009. I keep the flagon, of course: the neck looks like one of those cannons firing 21 times to honor the Queen, there's this The Bruce coat of arms, and then you'd get one out of three colors (ruby, emerald, sapphire) in lieu of the Crown Jewels. I've reviewed elsewhere Royal Salute 38, whose flagon had a granite color reminiscent of the Stone of Scone. Oh, you learn so much when sipping scotch...
Let's get into the review itself. What have we here? A clean, golden to amber pour with a greenish cast to it. Aroma starts with a very clear and distinctive hint of pineapple that I loved and led me to pair this with the very fresh raw fruit a few day later to great heights of joy. There's also a trace of umeboshi plum and citrus rind. Add a little water and the charred oak will be displayed: caramel, charcoal, undergrowth, etc. I must say this one goes well with a drop of some subtly sparkling water, but that's just an aside.
Mouth starts pungent and oily; midpalate develops salty and bitterish notes. Finish is very long, with soft metallic flavors coming hand in hand with a sweet and oily feeling. Boy, do I like it.
It's a real treat (should I say "royal treat"?) and, to round things up, it isn't super-pricey (not cheap, though.) As mentioned before, I've also had the chance to drink and review the way more expensive elder brother (38 y.o.) but this is the one I'd root for.