April 12 2024  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Royal Salute global polo ambassador Malcolm Borwick on blending sport and spirit

By Laura Shirk in West Palm Beach, Florida

Royal Salute global polo ambassador and world-renowned polo player Malcolm Borwick and Laura Shirk, Deputy Editor at Global Travel Retail Magazine

In an exclusive sit-down with Royal Salute global polo ambassador and world-renowned polo player Malcolm Borwick, Global Travel Retail Magazine’s learns about his passion for the sport, the whisky and the city of Miami.

The chat follows yesterday's official launch of 21-Year-Old Royal Salute Miami Polo Edition, which is presented in its signature "Florida Pink" flagon and offers a delicious blend of sweet and spicy. To mark the occasion, Pernod Ricard hosted a sunset cocktail and beachside dinner at the Four Seasons in sunny West Palm Beach, Florida (pictured below).

A long-time ambassador of the brand, Borwick says, “The heritage of our whisky – this beautiful royal whisky – and the heritage of our sport polo, which is the sport of kings, is a perfect match. You have to look at the tribe and the people who love polo and use them as advocates.”

With this in mind, the team started supporting polo events around the world, specifically 18 events across four continents annually, to generate this fusion between the sport of kings and whisky made for a queen. Now a series of six, Royal Salute’s Polo Collection is dedicated to the different places where it plays polo.

Looking to attract a dynamic audience, the color and shape of the 21-YO’s bottle represents women and Miami’s outdoor lifestyle.

When asked why Miami was selected as the third edition in Royal Salute’s Destination Collection (following Argentina and India), Borwick refers to the evolving culture of the city. “We looked at places that are influential inside of the polo calendar and where the sport has really flourished. The influx of different nationalities coming into Miami – a lot of them affluential – has created this incredible polo bubble here,” he explains. “There are 20 teams just outside of Palm Beach that are playing in the premiere league circuit at the moment. A lot of these players either live or work in Miami.” Plus, Borwick has a personal affiliation with the city and cherishes all things associated with it: sand, water and palm trees.

Speaking about how the choice of destination influences the production process, Borwick says, “We start with what’s significant about the place, and then we look for tasting notes or actual things that we can do that makes the whisky appropriate to that place. We look at the reference points of the environment and see how we can tailor the whisky, which makes for an innovative product.”

He adds, “We want to break people into whiskies with cool stories, then teach them how to drink it appropriately and experience the flavor notes. This will open up a whole journey for them into the product.”

Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail is promoting the release via a 360-degree marketing campaign, which features major activations at international airport hubs, including London Heathrow, Singapore Changi, Dubai International, Taipei and São Paulo. 

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