7.6 (71)
Year opened:
Ballater, Aberdeenshire AB35 5TB
Royal Lochnagar Distillery website

The story of Royal Lochnagar Distillery

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Though the origins of the Lochnagar distillery go back to 1826, it was some 22 years later that its received its royal approval. In 1848, Queen Victoria selected Balmoral Castle as her holiday residence. Only three days after she had arrived, the distillery manager John Begg made an invitation to Prince Albert to visit his distillery, knowing he was interested in all things mechanical. To his surprise, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their three eldest children visited the next day. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. So impressed were they with the whisky, John Begg immediately received a Royal Warrant of Appointment as supplier to the Queen.The Royal connection has meant that the distillery has played host to a string of famous visitors, many of them British prime ministers taking an hour or so off between meetings with the monarch of the day at Balmoral.The history of the distillery nearly ran a very different course. The first licensed Lochnagar distillery was set up on the north side of the river in 1826 by a former illicit distiller – but it was soon burned down by fellow smugglers who were not impressed by a rival deciding to abide by the law! It was then rebuilt by Begg in 1845 on the south bank of the river – and he renamed it New Lochnagar. The north-bank distillery closed by 1860 and Lochnagar continued to prosper - although the Abergeldie Estates refused to sell the distillery the grounds it occupied, seeing the value increase as the distillery flourished and expanded.Royal Lochnagar is one of the smallest distilleries in The Classic Malts Selection™, and has been rebuilt three times. However, it still retains the traditional distillery appearance - with its two pagoda kiln heads – and techniques (including an open mash tun) and also has a visitor centre and a 'learning centre' for the appreciation of malt whisky.If you’re fortunate enough to bump into Distillery Manager, Donald Renwick on a visit, he’ll happily share with you the recipe for success that he believes makes Royal Lochnagar Distillery unique:- 25,000 litres of fresh Scottish spring water- 5½ tonnes of specially selected premium barley- 60kg of distiller’s yeast- 6 highly skilled operatorsIt’s this combination that delivers this magnificent single malt enjoyed by thousands across the world.

Source: Diageo