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Royal Lochnagar

Distillery Logo

Image Credit: The Single Malt Shop



Sean Phillips
*Distillery Manager



Barrel Head


Barrel Head

head whisky maker(s)

Barrel Head


Barrel Head

Year Founded

Barrel Head


Nestled in the picturesque Upper Deeside, the Royal Lochnagar distillery carries a rich history intertwined with the challenges of the 19th-century whisky-making landscape. In an era when illicit moonshining thrived in the region, John Begg dared to establish legal whisky production in 1845, just across the river from Crathie. His strategic location and the newfound royal patronage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who had recently acquired the nearby Balmoral Estate, played pivotal roles in his success.

In a groundbreaking move in 1848, the Queen, Prince Albert, and their children visited the distillery, marking one of the first-ever distillery tours. This royal visit not only secured the distillery's reputation but also led to the prestigious Royal Warrant, renaming it Royal Lochnagar.

Over the years, Royal Lochnagar's whisky became highly regarded, eventually merging into John Dewar's firm in 1916 and later becoming part of DCL, now Diageo, in 1925. Despite its small size, the distillery played a significant role in various blends and single malt expressions, with a distinct focus on creating a lighter style of whisky.

While Royal Lochnagar's traditional equipment, including small stills and worm tubs, suggests a classic "heavy" 19th-century distillery, its distillation process leans towards producing a "light" spirit. Meticulous attention to detail, slow distillation, and copper rejuvenation post-distillation result in a unique new make with a grassy aroma, fruity undertones, and mid-palate depth. This versatile spirit is predominantly aged in ex-Sherry casks, contributing to its distinctive character.

-Written (Mostly) by Robots-

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