GET INTO THE SPIRIT
The three-day shindig kicked off with a toast—an exclusive tasting of Royal Salute whiskies.
As we sniffed, swirled and took a sip from the four taster glasses in front of us, Peter Prentice, Royal Salute VIP Relationships Director, walked us through the history of Scotch from the 1800s, “the key time of Scotch with the cognac industry suffering a sudden demise”, to the first Royal Salute whiskey launched by Chivas Brothers.
FOLLOW THE TRAIL
The next day, the tasting trail moved to the desert for perfumer Barnabé Fillion’s Olfactory Studio which took us through the five key single-malts in Royal Salute 21 Year Old: Strathclyde, Longmorn, Glen Keith, The Glenlivet Nadurra and Strathisla. “What we are doing is what I call an ‘anatomy of a blend’”, explained Fillion, as he let us compare the aromas of the whiskies with floral and herbal perfumes—“because 95 per cent of everything you taste is happening in your nose”—and tangibles such as fossils, ceramics and artist Marcin Rusak’s Perishable Vase.
TOAST IN THE DESERT
A food pairing and a toast of Royal Salute whiskey cocktail by polo champion and Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador Malcolm Borwick in the beautiful courtyard of Bab Al Shams Desert Resort sealed the deal for the afternoon.
IN THE LINE OF THE BALL
First on the ground and then on a haystack for height, and while one is quite pleased with the progress, having managed to make some contact with the ball, you get on the horse. Between securing oneself on the saddle, bending down just enough to have a go at the ball, keep your balance and not hurt the horse in the process, that contact percentage falls to a near zero—and all this while the horse is just walking.