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Glenlivet 21 vs Royal Salute 21: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 21 vs Royal Salute 21 in this head to head comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Glenlivet 21

NoseSherry, honey, oak
PalateHoney, caramel, coffee, oak
FinishMedium, honey, oak, smoke
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenlivet 18

The Glenlivet 21 aka “The Archive” blends whiskies aged for at least 21 years although there are some 40 year old whiskies in the blend.

It was aged using a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks providing an interesting combination of tasting notes to this whisky.

The nose is full of sherry and honey, followed by a pleasant touch of oak.

On the palate, the 21 YO feels viscous providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor brings honey and caramel sweetness up-front, with a note of espresso coffee and oak coming behind giving balance to the whisky.

The finish has a medium length, with more honey which is the main note from start to finish, along oak and a very light note of smoke making this is a very satisfying dram.

Royal Salute 21

NoseApple, almond, vanilla
PalateOak, caramel, raisin, baking spice
FinishLong, tobacco, oak spice, smoke
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toJohnnie Walker Blue Label

The nose has the same apple juice aroma of every Chivas Regal Whisky, along hints of almond and vanilla.

On the palate, the Royal Salute hits with oak are first, followed by caramel sweetness, along raisins and just a touch of baking spice.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, with a bitter note coming from the oak spice, but nothing too severe, a note of tobacco and just a tiny hit of smoke coming late to the party.

The Royal Salute is quite smooth, although flavors are a bit muted with nothing standing-out neither for bad nor for good. Everything is well balanced, with no off-putting notes, yet nothing particularly interesting to make this whisky unique.

This whisky would be immensely better at 92 proof (46% ABV) as it would add more body to it, along making it more flavorful but Chivas Regal likes to keep its releases at low proof.

Royal Salute is a blend of whiskies made from grain and malt aged for at least 21 years in oak casks before bottling in handcrafted porcelain flagons.

Royal Salute was released on 2nd June 1953 as a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day.

The name comes from the 21 Gun Royal Salute, which is fired as a mark of respect for powerful dignitaries.

At her coronation, the crown of Queen Elizabeth II was set in rubies, sapphires and emeralds. These precious stones remain the basis for the colors of Royal Salute’s handcrafted vessels.

What’s the difference between Glenlivet 21 and Royal Salute 21?

Glenlivet 21 is a Single Malt and Royal Salute a blend

  • The Glenlivet 21 is Single Malt Scotch made exclusively using malted barley and crafted at a single distillery.
  • The Royal Salute is a blend of several whiskies made from malt and grains crafted at various distilleries across Scotland.

What do Glenlivet and Royal Salute have in common?

Both are owned by Pernod Ricard

  • Chivas Regal and Glenlivet are owned by Paris-based Pernod Ricard along other big names like Jameson.
  • Some of the whiskies in the blend of the Royal Salute come from the Glenlivet distillery, although the percentages are unknown.

Glenlivet 21 vs Royal Salute 21: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 21$290
Royal Salute 21$185

Glenlivet 21 vs Royal Salute 21: Which is better?

Glenlivet 21 is a more satisfying whisky

WhiskeyGlenlivet 21Royal Salute 21
  • The value of the Royal Salute lies in the flagon which makes a nice decoration piece but the juice is not that good as it lacks distinctive flavors as it feels somewhat muted.
  • If you want a “trophy whisky” the Blue Label is a better choice as it’s way more flavorful and just as smooth.
  • The Glenlivet 21 is a much better whisky, as it is quite smooth and still quite flavorful.
  • Despite the long aging oak does not overwhelm other flavors providing a good experience from nose to finish.

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