Ashwin Rajagopalan

“It’s the perfect time to do something bold and new, give our loyal fan base something new to explore”. Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll and the global brand ambassador for Royal Salute sums up the brand’s bold new packaging on the side lines of the India launch event. The choice of Jodhpur for the brand’s grand restaging is no coincidence. For a brand that isn’t shy to play up its moniker – ‘The king of whiskies’, the Umaid Bhavan Palace was a fitting venue.

The Royal Connection was the catalyst for Royal Salute’s tryst with Polo, a brand association that began in 2007. The launch events also coincided with the British Polo day celebrations in Jodhpur, one of the highlights was a polo match that was orchestrated for the Duke of Argyll and the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Some of us also got a taste of the King of Sports courtesy a hands-on Polo workshop with British Polo player Malcolm Borwick, at the Jodhpur Polo and Equestrian Institute.
Polo Workshop
The Duke defines this as a significant moment in the brand’s journey that began with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. And its two significant updates. The first is a whole new look for the brand. For years the showstopper Royal Salute bottle was hidden beneath a blue bag. Not anymore. The Duke calls it Royal Salute’s new throne, a contemporary box with lively illustrations by globally renowned fine artist Kristjana S Williams. The new packaging features a colourful and whimsical depiction of the British Menagerie – a home for exotic animals that was once part of the Tower of London, a landmark strongly associated with the British monarch.

How do you enhance a classic that has already achieved perfection? That was as much a question for Royal Salute and Umaid Bhawan Palace. A stunning array of lights elevated the palace, as it was decked up for the launch and the brand didn’t just showcase the new identity but also two new whiskies, each with its own fascinating story to tell. It’s the Lost Blend that captured the attention of whisky aficionados at the launch.
Umaid Bhawan decked up for the launch
Housed in a black flagon (the Signature blend is presented in a dark blue flagon) this peated whisky features rare whiskies from two iconic distilleries – Imperial and Caperdonich that have actually shut down. All of the whiskies in the Lost Blend are at least 21 years old while the oldest blend is 27 years old.

An evening at the Mehrangarh Fort was a fitting finale to a clutch of events that marked the new identity and the addition of two new 21-year-old whiskies including the new Malt Blend. The Lost Blend and the Signature Blend are now available at duty free stores across the world and all three whiskies will soon be available at premium retailers in India.
Launch event at Mehrangarh fort

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