Royal Lochnagar Distillery
The original Lochnagar Distillery was established in 1826 but burned to the ground in 1841. This was probably carried out by local people involved in illicit whisky production. The distillery was rebuilt nearby but this time on the south of the River Dee in 1845.
The distillery lies a short distance from Balmoral Castle which has been the Royal Family Residence in Scotland for many years. This close connection has stood it in good stead. Queen Victoria visited it in 1848 which led to it being given a Royal Warrant, hence it’s allowed to use Royal in its name. In recent years, Prince Charles has also visited Royal Lochnagar Distillery over the years including a visit in 1998 to mark the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s visit with Prince Albert. The distillery has recently released a 17 year old limited edition single malt to celebrate its 175th anniversary.
Royal Lochnagar Distillery Tour
The Royal Lochnagar Distillery Tour (£13) involves a guided tour of the traditional distillery ending with a tasting of Royal Lochnagar 12 year old malt and a Distillery Exclusive. Other options include The Royal Lochnagar Tasting Tour (£18) which includes a wider range of whiskies to taste.
Lochnagar is the mountain which overlooks the area and is popular with hillwalkers. Lord Byron, one of Britain’s great romantic poets spent some of his childhood in Aberdeenshire and wrote about the area in his poem Dark Lochnagar.
Royal Lochnagar is about 1 mile away from Balmoral Castle which is open to visitors for much of the year. The distillery is in a fairly isolated position and there are no distilleries open to visitors nearby. Glenlivet distillery in Speyside lies about 33 miles away. The Aberdeenshire area is very well known for being Castle Country with many open to visitors including Braemar Castle and Corgarff Castle. One of the main events in the area is the Braemar Gathering. The Gathering is one of the top Highland Games events in the country. Events include hammer throwing, tossing the caber, tug o’ war, pipe bands, hill races, Highland dancing and athletics.