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Royal Lochnagar Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ballater Aberdeenshire
AB35 5TB Scotland
Tel: +44 (0) 1339 742700 / Fax: +44 (0) 1339 742702
Viewer's Comments about Royal Lochnagar

Royal Lochnagar was awarded its royal prefix in 1848 - following a visit and tasting by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The event came about after the distillery manager John Begg (somewhat cheekily) dropped a note to their Royal Highnesses directly inviting them to pay a visit and sample the delights of the distillery and rather impudently, he mentioned that if they didn’t arrive by 6pm they would miss the distillery in operation. To him, there was no question that he would extend the routine to accommodate his royal guests. What happened next was quite extraordinary – without fanfare, Victoria and Albert paid an impromptu call and were suitably impressed. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

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 established in 1826, on the north side of the river by a former illicit distiller. Soon after fellow smugglers burnt it down - apparently nonplussed that one of their own was ‘going legit’. It was later rebuilt in 1845 by Begg on the south bank of the river; 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.

The distillery is now owned by Diageo Scotland Ltd, one of the largest spirit producing companies in the world. Royal Lochnagar is
Royal Lochnager Distillery Courtesy of Classic Malts Selection
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.

Royal Lochnagar Tasting Notes - Food suggestion: Enjoy with parma ham, calves liver or goats cheese. Taste style: Smooth. Smooth malts are likely to hold more sweetness than saltiness and tend to be more creamy than dry.

Courtesy of Royal Lochnager Distillery


Royal Lochnagar Select Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Highly exclusive, limited edition malt – drawn from a couple of carefully chosen casks at the peak of their development. A very sherryish interpretation of this rich, cake-like whisky.

Strength: 43% ABV

Appearance: Amber red.

Palate: Well rounded with lots of fruit, malty sweetness, more than a hint of smokiness.

Finish: Quite short, with a pleasant smokiness.



Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
This fragrant Highland has a delightful balance of fruit and spices.

Strength: 40% ABV

Appearance: Pale amber.

Nose: A relatively closed nose. Planed wood, light toffee, boat varnish. Linseed oil behind, even putty, and later a lychee-like acidity. With water the acidity comes up (acid drops), and the nose sweetens. Still a pleasant fresh woodiness or leatheriness, the varnish now supported by artists turpentine. Warm sand. After a while, coffee dregs with brown sugar. Not an obvious nose, however.

Body: Medium.

Palate: Pleasantly acidic; such initial sweetness as there is quickly subsumed by acidity.

Finish: Dry to bitter; medium-length, with an attractive lingering sandalwood aftertaste.

Tasting Notes Courtesy of Classic Malts Selection

Royal Lochnager Whisky Distillery
Royal Lochnagar Distillery Courtesy of Classic Malts Selection

Situated right next to Balmoral Castle it is the perfect place to visit. We offer a guided tour of the distillery for £5 per person, which includes a discount voucher redeemable against any 70cl bottle of whisky. Once you have visited the distillery to see how we make our whisky, you will be given a dram of the fine Royal Lochnagar Single Malt to round it off nicely!

Operations Manager: Donald Renwick

Distillery Tours 2010

January and February
We operate tours Monday to Friday as follows:
11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm

We operate tours Monday to Saturday as follows:
11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm

April to October
We operate tours 7 days a week. Tours are available throughout the day with one always leaving on the hour, the last tour leaves at 4pm.

November and December
We operate tours Monday to Saturday as follows:
11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm

Booking for groups of over 8 is advisable

Children under 8 are not permitted to the production area.

Distillery Shop
Our well stocked shop sells a wide variety of single and rare malt whiskies. We can also provide a MAIL ORDER service within the UK, please contact the distillery visitor centre on 013397 42700.

New for 2010 - The Royal Tour
For 2010, we are introducing The Royal Tour. You will receive coffee and shortbread on arrival followed by an in-depth tour of the distillery. After the tour there will be a very special tasting of Royal Lochnagar through the ages. The Royal Tour will be available from Monday to Saturday at 11am. Minimum number of 2 people, maximum of 6. Booking is essential. The cost will be £25 each.

Contact Us
Royal Lochnagar Distillery
Ballater Aberdeenshire
AB35 5TB Scotland
Telephone: +44 (0) 1339 742700
Fax: +44 (0) 1339 742702

The History of Royal Lochnagar Distillery

1845 John Begg is granted a long lease of the Lochnagar site by Abergeldie Estate and starts distilling on the south bank of the Dee.

1848 Queen Victoria acquires Balmoral, half a mile from the distillery. John Begg invites Prince Albert to visit. Prince Albert accepts his invitation and arrives the next day with Queen Victoria and their three eldest Children. Mr Begg receives a Royal Warrant of Appointment as a supplier to the Queen.

1850-1879 The fine Royal Lochnagar, as the brand became known, commands a high price and demand continues to grow. The distillery increased in size and warehouse and offices are acquired in Aberdeen. Begg also becomes a pioneer in the blended Scotch Whisky industry.

1880 Begg dies, leaving his only son, Henry Farquharson Begg, with a large trade in blended and bottled whisky home and abroad. Henry, lacks his father's enthusiasm and appoints a manager to look after his interests.

1896 Henry Farquharson Begg dies, having created a trust of the business in which each of his children benefits equally.

1902 The distillery is converted into a privated limited company, John Begg Ltd, after it becomes apparent that this business is too complex to be operated as a trust.

1916 Distillery acquired by John Dewar and Sons Ltd.

1925 John Dewar & Sons Ltd joint Distillers Company Ltd.

1949-1987 During this time a great deal of alterations took place to the distillery building and the machinery tradtionally powered by water and steam are replace by electrical equipment. The farm steading is converted to Visitor Centre.

Today The distillery is now owned by Diageo Scotland Ltd, one of the largest spirit producing companies in the world. The visitor centre incorporates a shop with a wide range of rare and unusual whiskies to be found. The distillery still retains traditional techniques handed down through generations.

Courtesy of Royal Lochnager Distillery