Brand Snapshot | Royal Salute toasts Indian luxury in Jodhpur
The ‘King of Whisky’, Royal Salute brought together guests from around the world to India in celebration of the Sport of Kings, polo. Also known as the ‘Blue City’, Jodhpur’s elaborate royal heritage and vibrant cultural buzz provided the perfect backdrop for a series of unique experiences hosted by Royal Salute to coincide with its six-year partnership with British Polo Day, India.
The guests resided in the spectacular Umaid Bhawan Palace – home to the current Maharajah of Marwar Jodhpur – where proceedings opened with an intimate tasting of Royal Salute’s exceptional Scotch whisky portfolio, all aged for a minimum of 21 years. Guests had the privilege of nosing and tasting some of the most precious expressions in the collection, including the Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute, The Royal Salute Diamond Tribute, the Royal Salute 28 Year Old Flask Kew Palace Edition, and the Royal Salute 21 Year Old Beach Polo Edition, which is the latest in Royal Salute’s annual Polo Collection.
Dating back more than a decade, Royal Salute’s involvement in polo today features a truly global programme of events spanning four continents. On their second day in Jodhpur, guests were able to try first-hand the skills and rules of the noble game as former England Polo Team Champion and Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador Malcolm Borwick led his reputed Royal Salute Polo Clinic. Malcolm Borwick commented:
“There are so many similarities between polo and an exceptional Scotch whisky like Royal Salute, not least the shared values of the sport and the brand; honour, skill, integrity and respect to name a few. I’m so proud to continue bringing the Royal Salute Polo Clinics to people around the world, bringing to life these synergies and revelling in two of my greatest passions: whisky and polo. India was no exception and it was great to enjoy a dram of Royal Salute with friends new and old against a backdrop of world-class polo.”
Following the polo clinic, Royal Salute Creative Advisor and star ‘nose’ Barnabé Fillion, in collaboration with perfumer and writer Jahnvi Lakhota Nandan, guided guests through a unique sensory exploration of the whisky in a truly memorable setting at the Pagoda in the Palace. Barnabé’s Olfactory Studio for Royal Salute takes participants on a journey of the senses, exploration and the complexity of time. Pairing different scents and objects with Royal Salute expressions to challenge the perceptions of whisky, it unlocks the depth of flavour, ignites different senses and creates a truly unique and unforgettable whisky tasting. The experience was enhanced with Jahnvi’s expertise in performance and poetry, adding layers of emotions to the experience.
As part of the three-day program, guests were taken on an immersive excursion to Ghanta Ghar, Jodhpur’s central market, where Barnabé and Jahnvi led an exploration into the sights, scents and sounds of Jodhpur that had been a source of inspiration for the Olfactory Studio, diving further into the secrets of the Indian flavours that were enjoyed at The Palace just moments before. The second day finished with a celebration of Jodhpur’s rich and colourful history with a procession of traditional entertainment through the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India that overlooks the beautiful city.
Drawing on his time in the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur, Head of Royal Salute, Mathieu Deslandes, said:
“We’re thrilled to share and celebrate the extraordinary world of Royal Salute against such a fitting backdrop and in celebration with our long-time friends at British Polo Day. We’re proud supporters of this event, and are thrilled to be a collaborative partner with the British Polo Day team for the sixth year running here in Jodhpur. This week has proven to be another great staple in our global polo programme, that also has allowed us to showcase the latest release from our annual Polo Collection. The added magic of having both Barnabe and Malcolm – both absolute oracles in their field of expertise – here by our side has once again highlighted just how unique the world of Royal Salute is and how exclusively precious our aged whiskies are.”
The events in Jodhpur culminated with an afternoon of polo, attending as VIP guests of Royal Salute at British Polo Day, India. Malcolm Borwick took to the field in his signature red helmet during one of the most closely fought matches. With a thrilling long-range strike, Malcolm claimed the first goal of the game and chased an initial lead for his team, however the scoreboard was level as the clock ran down at the end of the fourth chukka.
The trip closed with a charity Gala dinner, hosted by His Highness the Maharajah of Marwar-Jodhpur in the grounds of Umaid Bhawan Palace. Guests were joined by Malcolm Borwick, Mathieu Deslandes and Barnabé Fillion for an exclusive evening of lively auction, fireworks and Royal Salute cocktails.
The locations visited for this trip were carefully selected to showcase India’s rich and colourful culture. Unlocking and celebrating culture, particularly royal traditions and values, has been at the heart of Royal Salute since it was first created as a gift for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Closer to home in the UK, Royal Salute is a longstanding supporter of Historic Royal Palaces, a charity dedicated to keeping Britain’s iconic royal landmarks preserved for generations to come.