God Save The Quinn: Sandy Hyslop of Royal Salute

Sandy Hylsop | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

Royal Salute is known as one of the best blended whiskies in the world, created using 31 malts and grain whiskies. With their current collaboration with Richard Quinn creating two bespoke designs for the celebration, we speak to Sandy Hylsop, Director of Blending at Royal Salute.

21YO Richard Quinn Edition ROYAL SALUTE Behind the Scene 23 JPEG | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

Royal Salute: Richard Quinn Edition

The Royal Salute Couture Collection sees the two limited edition designs with celebrated British designer Richard Quinn which was revealed at London Fashion Week in September 2021. The floral printed patterns with an edgy twist is exactly what brings it into the future, available in white with blue petals and black with the same florets, elegant and strong.

Petals _ Thorns_Royal Salute 21YO Richard Quinn Edition Signature | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

Can you tell us a bit about the Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition?

The Royal Salute Couture Collection is a bold new series of contemporary whiskies, celebrating cutting-edge creativity in fashion design. A highly collectable series, each limited edition blend released will hold all the signature benchmarks of Royal Salute’s quality, fused with the craft and creativity of fashion. 

For the inaugural release, we’re thrilled to have collaborated with a true rising star of British fashion, Richard Quinn, whose critically acclaimed bold and playful style has inspired the very first expressions of this Collection, titled the 21 Year Old Richard Quinn Edition – a bespoke 21 Year Old blend using more than 31 malt and grain whiskies. Reflecting its elegance, the blend is housed in Royal Salute’s signature flagon, which has been adorned with a print designed by Richard Quinn himself.

21YO Richard Quinn Edition ROYAL SALUTE Behind the Scene 4 | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

How did this collaboration come about?

Royal Salute is a champion of innovation in craft and creativity, and the collaboration with Richard Quinn is rooted in a shared desire to push individual craft beyond expectation. Richard Quinn’s bold and playful style of design has the power to captivate and enchant, just like Royal Salute does with exceptional Scotch whisky. Cementing the collaboration, Richard Quinn has been honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the inaugural Award for British Design in 2018, which fittingly links to Royal Salute’s heritage of being first created in 1953 as a gift for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Which existing special casks used for this blend?

To make the new blend, we used more than 31 precious and hand-selected malt and grain whiskies including rare single malts from now ‘lost’ distilleries across Scotland, including Caperdonich, Imperial and Dumbarton, and aged predominantly in American Oak casks.

21YO Richard Quinn Edition ROYAL SALUTE Behind the Scene 16 JPEG | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

What is the inspiration behind the two designs? Why white and black?

Richard Quinn spent time learning about Royal Salute and immersing himself fully in the extraordinary world of the brand, to take inspiration and fuse it with his own bold and playful style, to design a bespoke print. The creative duality of the print captures the harmony between Royal Salute and Richard Quinn; the beauty and elegance of the rose petals is balanced by a contemporary and innovative edge, represented by the thorns.

The bespoke print has been designed in two bold colour palettes – white and black, enhanced with blue and purple elements – and the limited edition 21 Year Old can be found dressed in both. The colours reflect Richard Quinn’s bold style, and of his collection showcased in London last September.

21YO Richard Quinn Edition ROYAL SALUTE Behind the Scene 11 JPEG | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

What foods are best paired with this expression?

For me, either Grilled lemon sole or Coq au Vin is a perfect match for this expression.

Tell us something people might not be aware of about the Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition?

The number of whiskies blended, 31+, was meaningfully chosen to honour the young age of our collaborator, Richard Quinn, at the time of the release.

Fashion Royalty_Royal Salute 21YO Richard Quinn Edition Signature | Royal Salute Richard Quinn Edition | Royal Salute | Food For Thought

There are two (Petals & Thorns, Fashion Royalty) global cocktails curated specially for this blend. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Both cocktails are total showstoppers. The recipe for Petals & Thorns is elegant, bold and made to stand out, reflecting Richard Quinn’s remarkable couture creations. The Fashion Royalty is the ultimate welcome cocktail. It is light and refreshing with a spicy kick and garnished with a bay leaf.

Porcelain Cane by Shawn Chong using Royal Salute 21YO The Signature Blend

Can you share with us a cocktail recipe that will be perfect for this blend?

THE QUINN-TESSENTIAL
A wonderfully refreshing long drink with a balance of citrus, sweet and floral notes.

Ingredients:

  • Royal Salute 21 Year Old Richard Quinn Edition
  • Lavender Lillet
  • Rose water infused honey syrup
  • Lemon juice/ Peach bitters and Soda water

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic and drinks writer and is the editor of independent publication Food For Thought. He has been a freelance journalist for the 15 years and has previously worked as a lawyer and in digital marketing. He currently is the Principal Consultant of A Thought Full Consultancy, a food and beverage marketing consultancy.

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