Royal Lochnagar


Royal Lochnagar distillery is located in the Highland town of Ballater, Aberdeenshire and is currently owned by Diageo.

It was founded in 1826 by James Robertson but it was burned down in 1841 (by his competitors?)

In 1845 a new distillery was built by John Begg, but on the opposite side of the river to the previous one. This was originally named "New Lochnagar" but was renamed Royal Lochnagar after receiving a Royal Warrant following a visit by Queen Victoria in 1848.


John's son Henry Begg took over the distillery in 1882 when John died and he ran Royal Lochnagar until 1896 when he died. The distillery remained a family business with Albert Begg rebuilding it in 1906.

Following the death of Albert Begg in 1916 the distillery was sold to John Dewar & Sons. They in turn became part of DCL in 1925 and in 1930 it was transferred to SDL (now part of Diageo).

The distillery underwent a major refurbishment in 1963 and remains part of Diageo to this day.



More great distillery info here thanks to Malt Madness


Distillery photos with kind permission by Alan Jamieson




Royal Lochnagar (OB)


General whisky characteristics: Spirit & fruit


Royal Lochnagar, (OB), 12 years old, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Gold

Nose: Initially rich malt and redcurrants dipped in paint stripper, but this raw spirit soon diminishes to leave a mixture of redcurrant and blackberries.

Palate: Very smooth and just slightly oily with the tiniest amount of smoke soon opening to reveal the fruitiness of the nose.

Finish: Medium to long and very fruity, mainly with raspberry.

Overall Impression: I'm not sure what I expected from this one, but the wonderful fruitiness goes well beyond my expectations once that initial spirit on the nose diminishes. I like this dram.



Royal Lochnagar, Managers Choice, 1994-2009, 59.3% ABV

Cask 837, one of 528 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Photo shows typical Managers Choice presentation


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Deep yellow gold

Nose: Initially very aromatic with lots of wax polish but this rather quickly changes to become much more floral with hints of candy floss. After some 5-6 minutes it changes again to include an aromatic malty woodiness and a fruity toffeeness.

Palate: Fiery fruity wood, this seems to need some water.

With 4 drops of water: A much lighter nose. The palate now has malty vanilla, light fruit, white pepper and lots of mouth tingle.

With a further 4 drops: The nose is now very faded, as is the palate which exhibits only very faint woodiness and vanilla.

Finish: Long and peppery with water.

Overall Impression: Aromatic and it needss water, but not so much!











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