Royal Lochnagar Distillery
Royal Lochnagar Distillery
5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Neighbouring Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar is the perfect place to discover how Scotch Whisky is made. Watch as our team of operators tend to our traditional mashtun, gleaming copper stills and fill casks at our traditional distillery, which retains much of its original charm. The tour ends with a dram of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Highland Malt. Please note we are closed 25th, 26th, 31st December and 1st-2nd January inclusive.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Annie437_13
    Rochester, New York6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational and fun!
    We've gone on several other distillery tours but learned more on this one than any of the others about how whisky is produced and what the entire industry is like. Our tour guide, Eric, was fabulous...giving us insights and education and a good dose of humour. And of course we got to taste some of the whisky at the end of the tour and it is excellent. I highly recommend a stop at Royal Lochnagar Distillery!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Sam_Dexter
    York, United Kingdom48 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Royal Lochnagar Tour
    I've been on plenty of distillery tours but this Diageo owned one was superb. Led by Eric, who was knowledgeable, friendly and an excellent host, the distillery is small and intimate. The tour therefore felt like a private tasting and tour. My wife relaxed on the lawns with our dog and they're also allowed in the shop.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 2, 2023
  • Sheena M
    Paisley, United Kingdom1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the best whisky tours we’ve done!
    What a fabulous tour. Annie was extremely knowledgable and engaging. We had a big group and she made everyone feel involved. We also had a snack in the Bothy Bar. Lovely setting and great cheese. Lochnagar is definitely worth a visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 15, 2023
  • GLiguori10
    Canton, Michigan2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Eric the Great
    We’re on Day 5 of a 21 Day holiday season though out Scotland. Already purchased way more whisky than planned so I had no intention of buying anything significant at Royal Lochnagar. Eric struck up a conversation, and within 3 minutes I purchased a unique bottle I’d not seen anywhere else. Talking with Eric is the sort of experience all travelers hope for! Now, just how old is Eric, really?!?!🤔🤨🧐 If I need something specific while I’m the Ballater area, I’m going back
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 23, 2023
  • Jen G
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Tour for families
    Superior experience with guide Annie! Our family of 4 is visiting from California and we were all extremely pleased with the tour and especially the depth of education and spirited storytelling by Annie. Our 17 year old was welcomed, and received a glass or orange juice at the tasting (nice!). Highly recommend.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 25, 2023
  • Karen D
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    excellent and joyful
    walked in just as they were closing up. Yet, all the staff welcomed us with smiles and kindness. Eric set us up with a tasting and shared stories and jokes with us, ensuring we had a wonderful experience. It was my birthday and not only were they attentive, but joined in our birthday balloon fun! as you can see from the photo, Eric is the real deal! We have since made an official reservation for an official tour and tasting! Thanks all for making this birthday so memorable!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
  • Christina R
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Distillery Tour
    We loved learning about the artisan and slow distilling process at Royal Lochnagar. Annie was a great tour guide. She was not only knowledgeable about Royal Lochnagar but also other distilleries across Scotland. Her passion for Scotch Whisky was infectious. We had a wonderful time discussing whisky with her and seeing all the steps in their distillation process. And the whisky tasting at the end was delicious! If you’re visiting Scotland, this distillery is a must visit!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 7, 2023
  • KGN Aberdeen
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Wee Tour
    A very warm welcome from Lorraine the tour guide who explained clearly the workings of the distillery both past and present.Great to actually get the opportunity to smell inside the barrels and put your olfactory skills to the test. Lorraine injected some humour during the tasting and everyone was relaxed and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience - highly recommend. The staff in the shop were also very friendly,helpful and knowledgeable.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 16, 2023
  • Melissa R
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A royal neighbor
    One of the best distillery tours we’ve done! Lorraine was great - knowledgeable and full of interesting tidbits. And the tour included several items we were not able to experience at other distilleries. Just up the road from Balmoral, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 25, 2023
  • L-P D
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Royal Lochnagar - great little tour for the whole family, with tasting; right next to Balmoral castle.
    Great place, friendly staff, easy to book. The tour includes a tasting session and under aged guests get a juice. Right next to Balmoral castle. Parking could be better indicated, you can park at the distillery instead of the pay parking for Balmoral; just drive across the narrow bridge and go up the hill.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 7, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,514 reviews
Excellent
1,282
Very good
180
Average
31
Poor
11
Terrible
10

Emmseychic
Newcastle, UK58 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Friends
We booked a cocktail and whiskey tasting - Lisa was amazing and we spent about 1.5 hours having an amazing time learning about the whiskey and talking about whiskey. Before we went in we had looked around the shop as they were running slightly late - there was a reduced rail of items of clothing. I selected 2 garments with sale hangers on them. One being 19,99 pink inner hoodie and the other being a zipped jacket with £29.99 hanging on the hanger. The blond haired lady said she would keep them behind the counter and we went in for our tasting session.

After coming out I went to purchase them and was charged over £60 I said can I just check the prices and said the items now without the hanger on them as the First Lady had taken them off said the zipped one was 29.99. She looked at the rail a said she would have to get a supervisor to alter the price as gone through at £50. The long blond hair supervisor came and said it was a male zipped jacket and I could not have it at the reduced price and pointed the label on the zipped jacket. I stated the £29.99 has been on the hanger and I had not just picked it up with no sales label on. She said I couldn’t have it and I pointed out this was not my fault and we had spent a lot of money that day on the tasting, the party with me has already spent over £100 on items in the shop. So she started refunding me saying she couldn’t change the price. I said it was really bad customer service after such a lovely experience and said I would review this. She said that it would be good for me to review how they could improve. I said it would have been easier to just listen to your customer and resolve it now. I’m on holiday I really didn’t want to be upset for what was a around £20 reduction she needed to make given the level of money we had spent, I just really don’t understand why someone in a position of authority would be so dismissive to a mistake by the shop. I felt that I was not valued enough and being made to feel like I had purposely put a sales ticket on the hanger. It was humiliating in the shop and left me upset and told my husband to put back the £150 fill your own bottle. I can’t praise the lady who did the tasting enough and I actually said to her at the counter she had been amazing and the poor service was coming from the shop and supervisor.

This has really upset me. I wouldn’t like anyone to be treated this way. I’ve never ever been talked to like this before from a distillery that we have been going to for years on holiday.

I will be withdrawing our investment in any further whiskeys going forward.
Written April 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

enrica
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
We did a guided tour of the distillary (August 2020) with the guide called Annie. She was incredibly passionate about whisky and made a detailed explanation on how the production is done. I really recommend visiting this distillery, it is small and cozy and the staff take good care of the visitors.
Written August 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fairchrissie
Bridge of Cally, UK24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
These guys are great! Even in the thick of strange COVID restrictions with distancing and masks you get a warm welcome and a full tour. Really well done to all the team. Alex gave us a tour with lots of insights and nuggets, then a 3-dram tasting at the end was welcome on a cold October day. Couldn't leave without the 12 yo or the special distillery edition. Both to be opened on a special occasion :)
Written October 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martine J
Genève, Suisse400 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
We have been to Royal Lochnagar distillery for the seventh time (excluding the 2 years of Covid) and I can tell you Eric is the best guide I have ever had. It's a real pleasure to meet him each time and to share his sense of humor, his knowledge and his need and desire to please others. He recognized us (after 3 years and the thousands of visitors who come each year), welcomed us like princes. Our family, for whom it was the first time, was conquered. His bosses can be proud of him because he sold us two more exceptional bottles, and all this with the kindness and charm that characterize Mauritians. Long and happy life to Eric!
Too bad the distillery was not working as it was recently flooded and is undergoing repairs. They could have told us at the time of booking ie today and not charge £20 per person when you can't see anything working!
Written September 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
We visited in February when there was about 12 inches of snow overnight on the day of our visit. We had booked in advance. We were staying on the Balmoral Estate about two miles away down the road. On the day, we travelled very carefully in our two 4x4 cars and got up the road to the distillery with no problem. The staff were not expecting us in such conditions but didn’t hesitate to open up the distillery for our tour. They even got out a tractor snow plough for out departure. The tour was conducted by Claire. She explained everything and all the distilling processes with such expertise. The samples warmed us on such a cold day. We would recommend the tour to anyone. It was a very good experience and one we’ll not forget. Nothing was too much trouble and was very enjoying. Special thanks to Claire and all the staff.
Written April 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Keith S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We visited during COVID restrictions for a tour of the distillery. We felt perfectly safe and at no time felt the distillery were not adequately prepare and doing everything required to make our visit enjoyable. Our tour guide Eric was great and full of great banter, he clearly enjoys what he does!
Written October 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Derek H
Dunfermline, UK38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
Pre-booked a tour of the phenomenal Royal Lochnagar distillery which is next door to Balmoral Castle. The distillery is on South Deeside Road in Crathie, just a few miles from Ballater. Usually distillery tours are done in a small group but the other couple didn’t turn up so we had a private tour (and couldn’t have been any happier). Our tour guide was Gordon M and he was very knowledgeable, friendly and had a few funny jokes along the way….like “Why can’t you get aspirin in the jungle?”….. because the Parrots ate ‘em all”. During the tour we found out that certain whiskys smell of coconut when we dipped litmus paper into a glass of malt. Another had an apple smell, like a good cider.
At the end of the tour we got to go to have a tasting of 4 Royal Lochnagar Malts; the 12 year old (£37 a bottle), the distillery exclusive (£85 a bottle), the selected reserve (£180 a bottle) and the 17 year old 175th anniversary (£250 a bottle). The best thing about the tasting (apart from the tasting itself!) was that what you didn’t drink (and my wife doesn’t drink at all) you got to pour into little sample bottles to take home with you. As I was driving I thought that was an absolutely tremendous idea!
All in all, I highly recommend the tour (£17.50) and you get 10% off any purchases in the shop after the tour. If you get Gordon as your guide you will be in for a treat!
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew
Bristol, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
My wife and i visited the distillery as part of a short trip to the highlands. The distillery itself is a great example of a more traditional distillery, with some very impressive surroundings. The tour was very good and the tour guide (Lesley) knew her stuff. It was great to see where the casks get filled (still by hand) and to smell a number of very old whisky's straight from the cask. I believe you can do a special tour to try these, something for the next visit! We then had a great little tasting, which i follow up with a few more reasonably priced singles at the bar. With a £5 discount resulting from the tour, and the price of any singles tried knocked off the particular bottle, i couldn't resist buying a bottle from the impressive Flora and Fauna range. Would recommend this distillery to all interested in whisky.
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chloearianna
Aberdeen, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Friends
Finally got round to visiting the distillery with a couple friends after moving back to Aberdeen last year and family raving about it. It didn’t disappoint.

Before we got to the door the staff had opened the door and greeted us. We had already booked beforehand but our guide Annie went through all the new safety measures and took our temperatures. We went for the tour with 3 tastings which were put in little bottles to take away due to the current restrictions. This worked out well as two of us were driving.

After a short video and reading some of the history of the distillery Annie got us going with the tour. It was a bonus that nobody else had booked on so it was a private tour for the 3 of us! Throughout the tour Annie was brilliant at explaining the full process in an understandable way with some humour added in. She was fantastic at answering our queries and her passion for whisky was clear.

Once we’d come to the end of the tour Annie explained each of the samples we were given and what to expect from each. We had a look round the gift shop and my friends bought a bottle to take away.

I’ll definitely be back again and recommending anybody visiting the area or living in the area. I’ll make sure to buy a bottle next time! It’s fantastic value for the tasting tour, they even have it at a reduced rate to usual which is always a bonus. Annie is a credit to the company and made us feel relaxed. The other staff were also lovely. The drive out was also spectacular with all the autumnal colours so if you have time you should go for a little walk after.
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sibs62
Berkhamsted, UK30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
So glad we found this gem!
Annie was our guide and she was so welcoming, interesting and knowledgeable as she shared her passion for the Royal Lochnagar distillery as well as giving us an overview of the industry generally.
This is a smaller distillery which still follows some of the more traditional practices and houses some wonderful old machinery and equipment, much of it still in use.

The buildings are beautifully rustic and atmospheric, the history of the place is in the walls and in the poetic language Annie uses to describe the whiskey making process.

Thanks to Covid we weren’t able to take part in a traditional tasting but we were given samples of three of the whiskeys to take away and enjoy at home, which we certainly did.

The shop is well stocked and we were able to do a little Christmas shopping while there

A good tip would be to book a tour of Balmoral at the same time, if you’re interested in visiting, they’re close together
Written December 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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