Royal Brackla, Highlands

History of Royal Brackla whisky distillery

Royal Brackla whisky distillery is in the Highlands region of Scotland, on the Cawdor Estate, near Nairn. Whisky making has taken place there since 1817, when one Captain William Fraser took out a licence for his Brackla distillery.  We say since 1817, but in fact its likely illicit moonshiners had been operating in the region for many years behind; Captain Fraser was, in part, setting up Brackla to get his own (legal) slice of the booming trade. 

And, Captain Fraser's did well with his whisky being well received. In 1835, it was the first Scotch to be granted a Royal Warrant and the rights to call itself Royal Brackla. This seal of approval from King William IV led to Brackla being known as ‘The King’s Own Whisky’.

But in 1879 the winds of change beckoned, and whisky produced by Royal Brackla was increasingly used in blending. Andrew Usher, who is recognised as having made the first commercialised blend, was an agent for Royal Brackla and became a director in 1887.

It passed into the hands of Mitchell & Leict of Aberdeen, who sold it in 1926 to fellow Aberdonians John Bisset & Co (a subsidiary of Booth’s the gin distiller) and, when that firm was purchased in 1943, it became part of DCL. While production was initially increased in 1964, the distillery was eventually forced to close it down between 1985 and 1991 due to the downturn in the scotch whisky trade. Four years later, it was sold to Bacardi-Martini when Diageo had to offload Dewar’s and associated distilleries.

Royal Brackla continued producing whisky for blending until 2014, when Dewar’s announced five single malts: The Last Great Malts. Since then, there have been a few official Royal Brackla bottlings, along with indecent bottler releases.

Whisky from Royal Brackla

Royal Brackla is set up to creating and then capturing esters – the fermentation is long, the lyne arms of the stills are angled upwards, the copper conversation a long one, the reflux plentiful.

Royal Brackla's distillery character is fresh, floral and fruity, with a clean acidic edge that means it matures well in the ex-sherry casks often used by owner Dewar's for its single malt releases.

Buy a cask of Royal Brackla whisky

The Single Cask has some great Royal Brackla casks in our warehouses.  If you're interested in buying a cask of Royal Brackla, please contact us today for a free, no obligation quote.  We can also offer a range of bottling services, making the whole process of creating your very own whisky easy.

Sell a cask of Royal Brackla whisky

The Single Cask has a great history of buying and bottling single cask Royal Brackla whisky.  Often we buy our casks direct from the distillery, but we are also pleased to buy Royal Brackla casks from private individuals.  If you have a Royal Brackla cask that you're looking to sell, please contact us today for a free, no obligation, quote on how much we could pay you for your cask.

Royal Brackla distillery details

Address: Royal Brackla Distillery, Cawdor, Nairnshire, IV12 5QY

Website: https://www.dewars.com/products/#products-royal-brackla-slider

Telephone number: +44 1667 402002

Tours: no