Royal Lochnagar. Diageo's tiny distillery.
Royal Lochnagar was another stop in my Diageo “Classic Malts” booklet. This is a unique place for Diageo to own. It is kind of by itself in the middle of Scotland, in the highlands. A very beautiful area and a castle is on the same road. Eric was my tour guide and he was very enthusiastic to share Royal Lochnagar’s story, which I would too, because it is quite the cute little distillery. They did have a gas checker as we walked around as well. I guess this makes the “no photos” rule for all Diageo tours seem slightly more legitimate. I did make fun of them in an earlier post, but the checker looked cool. They currently produce a lot of spirit for blends, but have their own single malt as well.
There is one mash tun where they use their three water cycles at 65/75/88 degrees Celsius. They currently have three Oregon pine washbacks and run a 110 hour fermentation (around 4 days and 6 hours). They had one wash and one spirit still. The stills were quite small. Probably the shortest ones I have seen yet. I drew them in my notebook, but only have this photo of a photo for you unfortunately. You can probably Google it. They currently only fill about 28 casks per week and about 400,000 liters of new make spirit per year. Typically Diageo comes with large trucks to all of their 28 distilleries and takes the new make spirit to one central location for cask filling. Royal Lochnagar is such a small operation, I am assuming the smallest in Diageo’s portfolio, but don’t quote me on that and they still fill their own casks on site. Although, they do not bottle it themselves anymore. There is a dunnage warehouse on site, but they are also warehousing their casks throughout Scotland. This brand is currently sold around the world as the Royal Lochnagar Single Malt.
I tried the Royal Lochnagar 12 Year.
Royal Lochnagar 12 Year
Holly’s Tasting Note..
Nose: Ripe cherries, plums, green apples, vanilla, soft wood smell.
Palate: Cider apples, some grass, straw and a finish of a pizza spice? I don’t know what spice I was getting, but I likened it to something that could be on a pizza.
I didn’t get apples on the nose at first, but when I came back to it after tasting it there it was. Very visible. They are known for that apple flavor.
Up next is Glen Garioch ..