Established in 1845 by John Begg near the Scarnock springs, Lochnager Distillery sits in the shadow of Balmoral castle, the Queen’s summer home. The distillery takes its name from the mountain, Lochnagar, which is a Munro, a mountain over 3000ft high. Queen Victoria visited the distillery 3 years later, in 1848. So impressed was she by the 3 year old spirit, that Lochnagar was given the Royal seal and has been Royal Lochnager ever since. This month, we’ll taste the Royal Lochnager 12yo.
Royal Lochnagar is one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries run by only 6 employees, yet is ironically a part of the Diageo conglomerate contributing to Vat 69, and Johnnie Walker Blue label leaving all too little to bottle as a single malt. Sad but true.
This distillery prides itself on its wee, stumpy stills, which deliver a broadly flavoured whisky. Compare that to distilleries with very tall stills, which insist that the tall stills delivery very pure, clean spirit. Broadly flavoured whiskies tend to represent whiskies that have a more oily or creamy mouthfeel.
Royal Lochnager 12yo – Our Thoughts
Royal Lochnager 12yo has a distinctly vivid malty nose. Caramel and yeasty, vegemite characters with savoury overtones. The palate displays the breadth of mouthfeel that is common amongst the shorter stills with caramel and pepper with hints of liquorice. The finish is distinctly dry and peppery.
Bottler's Tasting Notes
Neighbouring Balmoral Castle this is definitely a single malt worthy of the Royal seal of approval. Our fresh spring water, premium selected barley and of course the skill and craftsmanship of our distillery staff is reflected in the taste of the Royal Lochnager 12yo.
The nose has sweet toffee, malt and vanilla. The palate is smooth and sweet with flavours of fudge, honeycomb, and green apples.