Showing posts with label Royal Lochnagar 2018 Selected Reserve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Lochnagar 2018 Selected Reserve. Show all posts

Royal Lochnagar 2018 Selected Reserve

”In Memory of Queen Elizabeth II”

Whisky Review # 966

Country: Scotland

Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve - Limited Edition
Bottled: 2018 - Bottle # 1256 of a total of 3000
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS (Said to be between 18-20 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Re-Fill Bourbon barrels and Re-Fill Bodega Ex-Sherry casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 170-190 (October 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Can
't be cheap but too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: 😀 A well-made Sherried Highlander for special occasions


Deep Amber (Artificially Coloured)


Clear Re-Fill Sherry cask influence. A little Sulfur but nothing serious. It's Medium-Sweet and the Nose reminds me of X-Mas cake with lots of Dried Fruit, Brown Sugar and Spices. The Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, X-Mas Cake with Sherry-soaked Dried Fruit such as Sultanas, Raisins, Apricots, Plums and Figs, Dark Red Fruit like Berries and Cherries, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Forest Floor, Dusty Oak and Caffe Latte.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Treacle, Honey, Resin, Sweet Apple, Ripe Banana, Ginger, Leather, Tobacco, Aniseed and Mint. Hints of PVC Pipes and Cranberry Juice.


We remain in the Sherried X-Mas atmosphere although I find some additional Floral and (artificial) Fruity notes. It's a little on the Thin side for such an expensive Malt.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Malt, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Toffee, Orange Marmalade, X-mas Cake with Sherry-soaked Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Plums and Figs, Dark Berries, Tutti-Frutti Gum, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Dusty Oak and Strong Espresso.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Sweet Red Apple, Hazelnut-Chocolate, Dusty Earth, Floral Soap, Dark Cherries, Caffe Latte, Ginger, Leather and Tobacco.


Middle-Long, a little Sharp, Bitter-Sweet and Dry towards the end. A few Sour notes as well. It's slightly Thin and an ABV of 46% would have been more adequate. I find Toasted Malt, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Figs, Plums and Raisins, Sweet Red Apple, Dark Berries, Hazelnut-Chocolate, Strong Black Tea, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Menthol, Dusty Earth, Metal Coins, Floral Perfume, Orange Marmalade, Cloves and Dunnage Warehouse.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that takes care of the light Alcohol Heat. It also adds an unexpected Paint Thinner note. You can add a few drops but don't overdo it.

Rating: 85.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 8 (********)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


The Royal Lochnagar distillery is located one mile from Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the British Royal Family. Queen Victoria and Albert Prince Consort visited the Lochnagar distillery on the 17th of September, 1848. They were duly impressed and issued the Royal Warrant to the distillery. To celebrate this very special moment the Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve was developed in 1988. Selected casks are used for this limited edition. Usually, the whiskies used for this Reserve are 18-20 Years old. It is only released if and when sufficient good casks are available.

The original Royal Lochnagar Distillery was built in 1823. It was destroyed by fire twice, respectively in 1824 and 1841. In 1845 it was rebuilt by John Begg. It was Queen Victoria's favourite distillery and received its Royal Warrant in 1848. It is located in Lochnagar, Royal Deeside near Balmoral Castle. The current owners are Diageo. Most of the production goes into Blends like Johnnie Walker Blue and Black and Windsor, the most popular Blend in South Korea that was launched in 1996. The core range consists of the 12 Years & the Selected Reserve. The annual production amounts to around 450.000 litres of Alcohol. We enjoyed our visit to the distillery in 2019.

I review this Malt today to honour the late Queen Elizabeth II who passed away at Balmoral castle close to Royal Lochnagar on the 8th of September of this year.

This Royal Lochnagar is not your to-go-to daily dram and not only because of the hefty price card. It's more of an after-dinner malt to enjoy with Dark Chocolate, Espresso Coffee and perhaps a light Cigar on a special occasion. It's well-made but suffers from the usual Diageo flaws that include a low ABV, Chill-Filtration and lots of added Caramel. I bought a full bottle during our visit to the distillery in 2019 and I will enjoy a dram once in a while after a nice dinner or when assisting the Netflix series "The Crown" that gives us an interesting insight in the Life and Times of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                       October 13, 2022