It’s an occasion that most of us have never before witnessed and for some, it will be a once in a lifetime spectacle. So, what better way to celebrate the pageantry and splendour of the crowning of our new monarch, than by raising a dram of whisky.
A right royal selection
We’ll give you the low down on five, very special whiskies, which have been released specifically in honour of this moment. However, some might have sold out already, such is their popularity and/or limited availability.
Let’s kick off proceedings and sound a fanfare for our pick of the bunch (okay, we may be ever so slightly biased here) with an ultra-limited edition from…
Limited to just 249 bottles on a pre-sale basis, this 30-year-old single malt is a must for any collector.
On 5th March 1993, cask number 252 was filled at the Tobermory (Ledaig) Distillery on the Isle of Mull. This lightly peated Ledaig (Ledaig meaning ‘safe haven’) malt whisky is non chill filtered and naturally coloured, deriving its pale gold champagne hues from the oak hogshead cask in which it was matured. The whisky was eventually bottled at a cask strength of 42.3% ABV on 3rd May 2023.
A cream, regally decorated presentation box houses the bottle, which is nestled in white satin. The inside cover of the box presents a brief timeline of King Charles from birth, to this momentous coronation occasion.
Nose: Mellow nose feel with a dry and very light prickle. The top notes are fresh and gently maritime – salt crystals, warm sand and crispy, edible seaweed. Beneath this, are some light, fruity notes of white grapes, green apples and unripe melon. With just a hint of smoke at the base, becoming more mineralic (flinty, chalky) in the development and very slightly oily with a drop of water.
Palate: Sweet and lightly salty; crisp and fresh with a medium length finish, a trace of white pepper and a faint aftertaste of green apple.
Finish: Subtle but sustainable mouthfeel with a spice note. The fading of the fruit is abundant, leaving the connoisseur wanting more. Eminently drinkable!
Available now. Click here to purchase. Priced at £495 per bottle.
The English Distillery
A 600 years family history of farming grain led to the conception of a whisky distillery by James Nelstroppe in January 2006, the first distillery in England for over 120 years. Based in Norfolk, where it is considered that the best barley grows, the distillery boasts tours, tasting tours and a number of experiences and masterclasses. Situated in beautiful countryside, the distillery sources its barley locally and water from the Brecklands aquifer, which runs directly beneath the site.
The English Coronation Whisky is part of a series of whiskies released to celebrate milestone royal occasions. This particular release is presented in a simple, clear engraved decanter, which is turn is housed in a presentation cylinder, also printed with commemoration details.
The whisky itself is a single malt, matured in both ex-bourbon and PX sherry casks. With a limited edition of just 5,000 bottles, this non-chill filtered, naturally coloured whisky was bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: Creamy toffee, cherries and baked apples.
Palate: Chocolate, nuts and a sweetness of figs.
Finish: Smooth and fruity.
Price 70cl bottle: £85
Royal Salute – the jewel in the crown
Originally inspired by the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Royal Salute is a careful blend of over 53 rare malt and grain whiskies and has continued to release limited edition blends in celebration of significant royal events. Uniquely, the masters behind these exceptional blends use only whiskies in excess of 21 years of age, giving rise to a generic name of the ‘King of whisky.’
With a vast quantity of casks kept behind locked doors in storehouses across Scotland, current master blender Sandy Hyslop (only the fifth master blender at Royal Salute) had the hugely responsible job of creating a magical dram literally fit for a King!
The outside of the vessel itself is a visually stunning deep purple and gold bottle, stoppered with a ‘golden crown’ and housed in a beautiful presentation box depicting the architectural textures of Westminster Abbey. However, as a side note for British purchasers, whilst there is a lovely commemoration plaque inside the box, it is with American spelling, due to the fact that Royal Salute is owned by Chivas Brothers – you have been warned!
Nose: Fresh redcurrants, homemade strawberry jam, banoffee pie, dark chocolate praline, freshly-roasted chestnuts, clove spice and a hint of charred pineapple.
Palate: A balanced mixed of poached pears, sticky sweet figs, rich toffee, lavish hazelnut chocolate and lively festive spice of fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Finish: Long and rich with enduring, playful spice on the palate.
Bottled at 52.3%
The renowned Glenfarclas distillery, now being run by the fifth generation of the Grant family have bottled a limited number of their 12 year old single malt scotch whisky from Speyside into engraved commemoration bottles just for the King’s coronation. The emblem on the bottle can only be used until the day of the coronation.
Available from online retailers.
Highgrove Coronation Whisky
A bit of a special one this! – and although it’s already sold out, we feel it needs to be in this article as there’s no saying it won’t become available in the private collector’s market.
In collaboration with the Cotswolds Distillery, Highgrove Gardens have released this very special limited edition whisky specially for the King’s coronation.
Distilled from Plumage Archer barley grown on the Highgrove estate, the ultra-limited expression of just 340 bottles was then matured in the Cotswolds in unique ex red wine casks, which were specially shaved, toasted and then re-charred, imparting a rich, deep colour and fruitiness to the liquid.
Taken from a cask filled in May 2017, the whisky was eventually bottled at 50.2% abv in March 2023 and housed in a uniquely labelled commemorative bottle and bespoke box.
Nose: baked pears, nutmeg, treacle
Palette: toasted oak, cacao, candied orange
Finish: sweet, rich, touch of clove spice
Missed all the coronation whiskies? Rather just stick to your favourite but want some kind of whisky commemoration? Never fear, there’s a whole host of engraved whisky glasses and decanters to choose from, but if you want something particularly special, there is a Royal Scot crystal decanter and glasses set available from the Highgrove Gardens online shop.