Simon Wittenberg looks at the fifth Polo Edition to be released by Royal Salute, which this time pays homage to Jodhpur in India – the birthplace of modern polo.
Royal Salute’s celebration of polo, the “Sport of Kings”, launched in 2017 with the 21 Year Old Polo Edition, followed by Beach Polo, Snow Polo, and Polo Estancia. After a two-year hiatus, Royal Salute has added its fifth blended whisky to the line-up in the form of the 21 Year Old Jodhpur Polo Edition, which is available worldwide in limited quantities priced at an RRP of $160 (around £130).
For a bit of background, Jodhpur, which is situated on the edge of the Thar Desert (the Great Indian Desert), is the second largest city in the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan. Nicknamed the “Blue City” and “Sun City”, it is considered to be the location where the story of modern polo began.
The association between Jodhpur and this sport dates back to the late nineteenth century when Maharaja Pratap Singh invited Colonel Stuart Beatson of the Bengal Lancers to help increase the profile of the local polo team named the Jodhpur Lancers. In 1897, Pratap Singh travelled with the team to England, where their performance against domestic teams gained some high-profile attention.
More recently, a grass polo field was created near the Umaid Bhavan Palace in the year 2000, and for another piece of trivia, the Maharaja of Jodhpur’s Golden Jubilee Cup is considered to be the most prestigious contest in the sphere of Indian polo, which Royal Salute, the master of exceptional aged Scotch whisky, has also sponsored.
Back to the new Royal Salute 21 Year Old Jodhpur Polo Edition, and the flagon, which sports a stunning mustard yellow shade – even more eye-catching and vibrant than the last release, is the first to sit in glass rather than porcelain. This follows the shift by Royal Salute to the use of more sustainable materials, but it has, of course, retained the same iconic look.
Expertly crafted by Royal Salute Master Blender Sandy Hyslop and endorsed by Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador and renowned polo player Malcolm Borwick, the latest expression takes its inspiration from the rich spices and flavours of India and is a unique blend of carefully curated malt whiskies, which have been fully finished in virgin oak casks.
The result is a sumptuous whisky synonymous with the sweetness of a mango chutney with a surprisingly spicy finish. On the nose are tropical fruity aromas of juicy mango, pomegranate and coconut, complemented by butterscotch, vanilla custard, and homemade apricot and ginger jam.
The palate is treated to notes of dark chocolate, rich caramel and thick set honey overlaid with warming cinnamon, cloves and ginger spice, whilst the finish is long, rich and spicy.
Shining a light on the Blue City, the 21 Year Old Jodhpur Polo Edition is housed in a stunning box with blue shades reminiscent of a beautiful sunset and a magical night in Jodhpur. In the design, the majestic dome-topped Indian palace, which takes centre stage in the imagery, is joined by a large golden moon, stars, and the twinkling lights of the Indian city.
Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador, Malcolm Borwick (above), said that having played polo in Jodhpur numerous times, the Indian city holds a dear place in his heart. He added that it also has a strong association with polo and is often referred to as one of the oldest homes of the modern game.
Royal Salute 21 Year Old Jodhpur Polo Edition – Where and How?
The Royal Salute 21 Year Old Jodhpur Polo Edition is available in limited quantities at selected specialist retailers around the globe for RRP $160 USD (around £130).
For more information, visit www.royalsalute.com/en/whisky/polo-jodhpur.
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