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I was a bit hesitant to try the Royal Salute 21, being wary of gimmicks and marketing led premium prices that dominate the upper end of the blends market.
What I discovered was an excellent surprise!
A fragrant and uncomplicated nose of pleasing aromas. The first thing you get is lemon and honey followed by a toffee sweetness. There is a faint touch of freshly cut grass and sugarcane accompanied by the tiniest wisp of smoke.
The palate is what the brilliant Strathisla Distillery is known for: toffee, vanilla and butterscotch. Some times it's nice to go back to the tastes that lured me into malt drinking in the first place. As you savor this basket of sweetness a deft touch of smoke at the end reminds you that there's an Islay in there some where.
This is an excellent blend which I feel is quite malt heavy; maybe that's why it's so smooth. At $150 I think it's on the higher side but I think they compensate that with a pretty porcelain bottle and velvet packaging.