Royal Brackla Whisky Distillery
So why is Brackla Royal, well King William IV was particularly fond of Brackla whisky so gave it the Royal Warrant in 1835 which Queen Victoria extended in 1838. There are only 3 Scotch whisky distilleries which carry the Royal warrant. The distillery was founded in 1812 in Cawdor when illicit whisky distillation was at its height however Brackla wasn’t particularly successful and the founder Captain William Fraser complained he couldn’t sell 100 gallons a year despite being surrounded by people who drank nothing but whisky. By 1852 the ownership had been taken on by Robert Fraser when the Captain had given up and remained in Fraser family control until 1898 when the Brackla Distillery Co Ltd was formed and the Earl of Cawdor approved the expansion of the distillery. The distillery then went through a number of owners including John Mitchell and James Leith of Aberdeen in 1919 then John Bisset & Co Ltd of Leith in 1926 before it became part of the DCL group in 1943.
DCL refurbished and expanded the distillery in 1966 doubling the stills to 4 in the process, most of this to meet demand for Dewar’s White Label Blended Whisky. John Dewars & Sons currently own the distillery, however are in turn owned by the Bacardi group. Most whisky produced at Royal Brackla today goes into Dewar’s and Johnnie Walker Gold Label however it has one other claim to fame. Andrew Usher, the Edinburgh merchant credited with being the creator of blended whisky mixing malts and grains reportedly used Royal Brackla in these first experiments.
Royal Brackla single malt scotch whisky today is little known despite its great history and the owners prefer to market their Aberfeldy brand instead. The 10 year old released by Diageo as part of their Flora & Fauna range is now extremely rare and valuable. Some independent bottlings are also in circulation.
Taste: The traditional Royal Brackla is fruity and cleansing on the palate with a spicy and dry finish.