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Royal Brackla Distillery Picture: Royal Brackla Distillery
Location: Nairn, Morayshire

Picture: A wall of windows shows off the stills at Royal Brackla – even when they are being cleaned!
A wall of windows shows off the stills at Royal Brackla – even when they are being cleaned!
Picture: A wall of windows shows off the stills at Royal Brackla – even when they are being cleaned!
A wall of windows shows off the stills at Royal Brackla – even when they are being cleaned!

The distillery was founded by a Captain Fraser in 1812 at the height of the illicit whisky monopoly. He complained that he was surrounded by people who drank nothing but whisky yet he could not sell 100 gallons in a year. The distillery is one of only three ever entitled to the ‘Royal’ epithet. In Brackla’s case, it was bestowed as a result of King William IV’s particular liking for the whisky and it was called ‘The King’s Own Whisky’. Brackla was used in the making of the very first blended whiskies assembled from malts and grains, a procedure developed by Edinburgh merchant, Andrew Usher. The distillery remained in the hands of the Fraser family until the end of the century.

Picture: Cawdor Castle near Royal Brackla
Cawdor Castle has become a well-known name because it is featured in Chakespeare's Macbeth. The castle we can see today dates back nearly 600 years, but there is no evidence of earlier building on the same site

In 1966 the floor maltings were closed and the single pair of stills became two. In the course of that reconstruction programme, most of the older buildings were demolished, although the modern plant is attractively situated looking on to the distillery pond.


The Whisky

This is a big, intense malt with a fair degree of smoke and sweetness. It is bottled by United Distillers at 10 years and 43% vol. and an unaged single malt at 40% vol. but 1976 and 1972 are available elsewhere.

Source of water
Cawdor Burn
 
Of interest

Picture: Cawdor Castle near Royal Brackla
Cawdor Castle has become a well-known name because it is featured in Chakespeare's Macbeth. The castle we can see today dates back nearly 600 years, but there is no evidence of earlier building on the same site
Cawdor Castle, supposedly where Macbeth murdered King Duncan. The present castle’s foundations only date from the 1400s but there was an earlier keep on the same site.

Fishertown Museum on King Street tells the story of the town’s fishing industry.

Fort George, constructed to keep the clans in check after Culloden, was highly successful in the sense that it never fired a shot in anger. The rampart is a mile long and encloses an area of 42 acres.