Based on Richard Quinn’s outstanding talent alone, it is easy to see why Royal Salute chose to collaborate with him — even though it seems almost natural when you consider both parties’ connection to Queen Elizabeth II. While Royal Salute was launched by Chivas Brothers in tribute to the queen on the day of her coronation, Quinn was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, which came with a surprise appearance of the monarch herself at his Autumn/Winter 2018 runway show.
The inaugural expression of a new collection created in collaboration with fashion icons, the 21-Year-Old Richard Quinn Edition is inspired by the designer’s unique style of reinterpreting classic flower patterns with a modern and edgy twist. The resulting bespoke and vivid print adorns a limited-edition flagon, available in two colourways, perfectly capturing the creative harmony between Royal Salute and Quinn — balancing the beauty and elegance of rose petals with a contemporary edge represented by thorns.
The nectar inside the eye-catching flagons is an equally stand-out new 21-Year-Old blend, which has been crafted by Royal Salute’s renowned Master Blender Sandy Hyslop, who hand-selected more than 31 rare single malts and grain whiskies, and matured them for a minimum of 21 years. The resulting scotch has a stunning floral and fragrant character, mirroring the design of the flagons, with profound depth and a pleasing structure of oak and spice. There is also a deeply perfumed finish to the whisky that sets it apart from other Royal Salute blends, which was a deliberate move to pair it with Quinn’s signature print style.
“Being able to spark creatively with Royal Salute has been an amazing experience. Witnessing craftsmanship and innovation within different expertise has always fascinated me, so exploring the world of expertly blended and high-aged whisky for the first time was such a powerful source of inspiration. The collaboration has been a real creative process and I’m thrilled the expression that resulted from this great partnership encapsulates both of our passions in a truly modern way. I love the thought that my designs for Royal Salute will be collected and treasured for years to come by whisky and fashion lovers around the world,” says Quinn.
Royal Salute’s 21-Year-Old Richard Quinn Edition will also be available to enjoy at The Library — The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur’s fine dining room — where this delightful liquid was unveiled for the first time. In conjunction with its launch, chef Wai Look Chow has put together a delightful pairing dinner, where a selection of Royal Salute blends is matched with the hotel’s new Spring Sensations menu. Specially curated to reflect ingredients typical of the season, this four-course menu is an exploration of fresh seasonal flavours that aim to complement the flavour profiles of each Royal Salute expression.
Guided by Rowan Sands, Pernod Ricard’s scotch whisky ambassador for Malaysia, an opening course of Traighenna Bay Oysters served with ginger mirin and ikura is paired with the Royal Salute 21-Year-Old, whose signature flavours include pears and autumn flowers on the nose, and the welcome warmth of orange marmalade on the palate, followed by a brave explosion of spices and hazelnut with a smoky, spicy finish.
A momotaro purée comes next, served with Hokkaido scallop and Brillat-Savarin cheese, followed by a choice of mains — poached hirame in fish bouillon served with sea urchin sauce or braised wagyu cheek served with fries batonnet. This comes with The Malts Blend, a 21-year-old whisky that presents peaches, mandarins and blackcurrants on the nose but when sipped, melts into a blend of creamy vanilla, crème brulee and boiled sweets. The meal ends with a strawberry crumble and Madagascar vanilla bean chantilly, a rich yet refreshing dessert served with Royal Salute Polo Estancia.
Post-prandial cocktails starring Royal Salute whiskies make an appearance, but it is the 21-Year-Old Richard Quinn Edition we want to taste more of — especially that perfumed ending, which commands attention with its unique profile. This is the kind of bouquet one would expect of a gin and yet, putting it to whisky is an inspired idea. Its personality lends itself to cocktails very well for this reason, and Shawn Chong of Bar Mizukami had some going for us to try, aptly named Petals & Thorns and Fashion Royalty.
The evening ended with everyone present comparing notes on the new whisky and how we’d like to have it. The answer was fairly unanimous — the deal we had at The Library was good indeed: by itself, with good company and alongside a delightful meal.
The Royal Salute 21-Year-Old Richard Quinn Edition is priced at RM1,138. The Library’s Spring Sensations menu is available until May 4 for RM350++ or RM250++, and can be paired with Royal Salute 21-Year-Old blends for an additional RM150++.
This article first appeared on Mar 21, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.