The area in the North of the River Dee was one of the most popular places for illicit "moonshine" distilleries. In 1826, after the introduction of the Excise Act, one operator by the name of James Robertson applied for a licence to produce legally. Other "moonshine" distillers considered him a traitor and set fire to his business. Determined, Robertson constructed another distillery, naming it Lochnagar after a nearby mountain. The very next day, both Prince Albert and his wife, Queen Victoria paid an impromptu call and were impressed enough to allow Begg to rename the distillery 'Royal Lochnagar', making him official supplier to the court. The Royal connection had an immediate effect on the sales and the price of the whisky. It has also seen the distillery play 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.
Fermentation times are long, ensuring that every last morsel of character is extracted from the mash, and the distillery's short, stubby stills maximise the broad flavour spectrum. The distillery uses a mix of third-fill Sherry butts and third-fill American Oak hogsheads. The result is one of the fruitiest, richest Single Malts on the market. Traditionally nearly all the malt production from Lochnager was used in the famous VAT 69 blend. Today the majority is bottled as single malt.
Tasting Note: Cakey, sherryish, sultanas with a malty, grassy, sweetness.