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Royal Salute debuts 53YO for $90,000

Pernod Ricard-owned Royal Salute has released a 53-year-old whisky as the first expression in a new collection, called The Art of Wonder.

Royal Salute Forces of Nature
Royal Salute has teamed up with British sculptor Kate MccGwire

The new Royal Salute Forces of Nature by Kate MccGwire is the first bottling to be released from the brand’s new Art of Wonder range.

The collection will be created in collaboration with artists, with British sculptor Kate MccGwire becoming the first to partner on the new line.

MccGwire, who specialises in the use of feathers, created a ‘one-of-a-kind’ piece to accompany the new 53-year-old whisky from the brand.

The 53-year-old whisky is one of the highest age statements to be released by the brand. It alludes to the year 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned and Royal Salute was established.

The liquid offers a ‘rich and fruity’ nose, with notes of berries, candied walnuts, and sweet toasted oak, followed by a ‘long, rich and slightly dry’ finish.

‘Outstanding expression’

Royal Salute master blender Sandy Hyslop said: “For the first volume from the Art of Wonder collection, I wanted to create an outstanding expression that reflected Royal Salute’s desire to push individual craft beyond expectation.

“To do that, together with my expert team, we crafted an opulent 53-year-old blend, one of the highest ages we have ever released.

“This is a thrilling moment, and it’s been a privilege to blend such rare and precious whiskies at the pinnacle of what is achievable with delicate high-aged stock laid down by my predecessors.”

There are 21 decanters of the whisky available, created by Dartington Crystal.

Each decanter is engraved with intricate feathers and gilded in 24-carat gold leaf, with curves inspired by MccGwire’s sculptures.

Furthermore, each decanter is accompanied by one of 21 pieces of art, called Paragon, created by MccGwire using sustainably sourced pheasant feathers.

The whisky and artwork are presented in a hand-crafted wooden cabinet, accompanied by an art book detailing the collaboration between Royal Salute and the British sculptor.

Five out of the 21 decanters will be available to travellers from October 2022 onwards in the following airports: Hainan, Sydney, London Heathrow, Dubai International and Singapore’s Changi. It will be priced at RRP US$90,000.

Liya Zhang, vice-president of marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail, said: “With collectability and investment important in this segment, we have noticed a thirst for truly luxury items, so I’m confident this unique expression will excite travellers around the world.”

The product will make its debut at the inaugural World of Wines and Spirits (WOWS) event at Changi Airport. Royal Salute, The Art Edition will also be involved in a silent auction to be held on the WOWS portal.

The exclusive set will be displayed from mid-November at the Royal Salute pop-up boutique in Changi Airport’s Terminal 3.

The Scotch whisky arm of Pernod Ricard, Chivas Brothers, saw net sales soar by 25% during the company’s 2022 fiscal year.

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