Philip Silvestri, Casa de Campo

This post is also available in: Spanish

Philip Silvestri, Casa de Campo

Living in Casa de Campo is truly a unique privilege and always an adventure. Last weekend we had the pleasure of receiving Mr. Ken Lindsay, who some may know as the Global Brand Ambassador of Chivas Brothers, whose main role is to travel across the globe and represent the brand values of some incredible scotches, educate amateurs and aficionados on the finer points of a good scotch, and meet some incredibly interesting people…. which most recently meant us.

So this is not our first meeting with brand representatives, as that is just par for the course of our humble existence. Oh the rough life we lead. Generally speaking these brand ambassadors are wonderful people, they have to be. But Ken, aside from his unique accent when speaking in Spanish, which is a interesting mix of refined Castellano and rougher Gaelic tones of a proper Scot, raised his trade to new heights. What really set Ken aside was his jovial, boisterous and enthusiastic manner in which he interacted with everyone. Clearly a fine example of the values he represents as the Global Brand Ambassador of Chivas Brothers- which include Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.

Ken Lindsay, Chivas, Casa de Campo

So what does one do after a couple of fine Chivas 18 cocktails, while with a great group of individuals on a warm night in paradise? Well given that we were already at the Casa de Campo Hotel (celebrating the launch of Chivas 18 by Pininfarina), La Caña by Il Circo was a natural choice…  But the story doesn’t end there. So what does one REALLY do after a couple of fine Chivas 18 cocktails in paradise? On this occasion, the correct answer was to indulge in a little repertoire of some classic ballads that spoke to us on a deep emotional level, pretty standard stuff- “American Pie” by Don McLean, as well as “Help”, “Hey Jude”, and “A Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles, and (horrifyingly) many more.

It’s difficult to know if we were simply the last ones in the restaurant, or if our singing had perhaps contributed to the mass exodus of guests looking to avoid the assault of off key music… But alas Casa de Campo being what it is, it was not long before a friend, and VP of an international hotel chain, decided he had had enough of our poor singing abilities- and so came over to contribute his superior vocal talents to our little group.

Clearly the combination of a great spirit while in good spirits is good for the soul.

Knowing that I had the joy of an interview with Ken early the next morning we eventually wrapped up, closed the restaurant and headed home to prepare for the morning interview… (Which you can enjoy here soon). And yes, for those who know my better half, this was all after bed time… Though no protest was uttered – she was too busy singing along.

Obviously not one to be one accused of prancing in, working for an evening and leaving, Ken, on behalf of the fine folks of Pernod Ricard and by invitation of Calixto Garcia (our one and only sports guru) had another special evening planned for a few exclusive scotch enthusiasts, this time bringing out the “iron fist in the velvet glove”, as described by Colin Scott – the man whose name it literally on each bottle. So what is this iron fist malarky you ask? None other than the legendary Royal Salute, a scotch of the highest quality whose beautiful porcelain bottles are home to a blend of the rarest and most special scotches, starting at a mature 21 years of age.

To quote the ever wise Barney Stintson, “I like a scotch old enough to order its own scotch”. And this is it.

Royal Salute, Ken Lindsay, Casa de Campo

So fresh off a 18 hole game of golf (on the Teeth of the Dog of course) accompanied by a bottle of Chivas 18 and the ever-charming Daniel Hernandez (general manager of the Casa de Campo Hotel), Ken Lindsay was (somehow) ready to take the selected few on a little tour of Royal Salute. Happily we were invited to take part at the last minute, (after all the occasion targeted the Casa de Campo polo community, and polo player I am not), and so I was very happy to enjoy a fine introduction to a very impressive scotch.

This second evening started at the Beach Club by Le Cirque in a private gazebo. After a few words of introduction from Rafael Torres (President Casa de Campo), the tasting began with the ‘youngest’ member of the Royal Salute, whose prestigious line starts where most others end.

This, my friends is no ordinary scotch. Iron fist indeed. This scotch is bursting with character and flavor. The velvet glove, on the other hand (pun happily intended), was its incredible smoothness. I like me a good scotch, but the smoothness of this was a little disorienting, practically syrupy in its mouthfeel. In my humble opinion, this is a scotch best enjoyed after a good meal, when there’s plenty of time to relax and thoroughly enjoy its rich, smooth flavor.

Ken Lindsay, Philip Silvestri, Rebecca Hughes, Casa de Campo

Next up, the Royal Salut 100 Cast, which takes fine, rare, smooth and complex to another level still. I won’t butcher the experience by trying to describe it other than to say that this is among the better scotches I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying, especially when lead by and shared with an exceptional Ambassador like Ken Lindsay.

As for the off the record items… You didn’t really think we would let those out of the bag did you?

CHEERS! And until next time!
Philip Silvestri, Casa de Campo