Whisky Review: Royal Lochnagar 175th Anniversary Aged 17 Years

Style: Fruity and Grassy


Begins with a clean and intriguing blend of green eucalyptus, boiled fruits and subtle lily fragrance. Big and round sun-dried apricots being laid on a firm but bubbly layer of vanilla cream. Barley husk, honeycomb and then pine leaves as the spice peaks at the final quarter. Tiny dash of salt sprinkled on some freshly-shaved oak. The progression, and the balance between sweetness and dryness is like a labyrinth.

Boiled fruits are now clinging onto surging green spice which appears to be more forceful on palate. Almost-equal portions of papaya, apricots, naval oranges, jack fruits and manuka honey are surrounded by fresh basil, camphor and spearmint. The sweetness extends to the malt section, and slowly progress to musk sticks, dry spices and almonds. Saw dust piling up slowly. Maybe a little bit of white pepper, plenty of barley and cinnamon wood to finish.

Yellow fruits and quince plated on assorted green herbs. Figs and fruit cake, chillies and finish with a malty kiss.

The name Royal Lochnagar probably flies under the radar even for many single malt drinkers, in fact, it is a key component for Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Now, personally I quite like this dram because the interplay, or to be more precise, the tug-of-war between the fruits and grass/dry spices is highly entertaining. It is the back and forth action that makes you contemplate who is going to win the battle as it goes. This is probably getting too technical and might not sit well on everybody’s palate, but I guess this is also what makes this enigmatic distillery a rather unique existence.

☆ [Recommended]


[56.3%| Original Bottling| 3000 Bottles| Vatting | Natural Cask Strength| *]