Glenury Royal

Glenury Royal was founded in the year 1825 in the eastern Highlands by Robert Barclay. Unfortunately it is closed since 1985.

Information about the Distillery
15 Bottles
Scotland, Highlands
-2.214639 56.972407
Robert Barclay
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Official bottlings of the East Highland Single Malt Glenury Royal are few and far between, making them a valuable addition to any collection. The distillery released a handful of official bottlings over the years, which included a 29 year old, 36 year old, and a 40 year old. In 2003, Diageo, who now own the rights to the brand, released a 50-year-old official bottling, of which only 498 bottles were ever made. In addition to the small range of official bottlings, there have also been a limited number of independent bottlings from the site. The majority of these have been performed by Gordon & MacPhail, and have also focused on older bottlings.

The Production

Glenury Royal drew its water supply from the Cowie Water, a river rising in the Grampian Mountains in Aberdeenshire, among which the distillery laid. Unfortunately, the production capacity of the site is unknown.

The still house of the Glenury Royal.
The old Glenury Royal distillery buildings now reconstructed to flats

The Pot Stills

The distillery operated with two wash stills and two spirit stills. While we cannot know the specific dimensions of the pot stills, experts agree that they were likely to have a "traditional" Speyside shape, with wide spherical lids and tall conical necks.

The Maltings

The maltings used in Glenury Royal were lightly peated, and different bottlings used different amounts of peat in the distillation process. The distillery used it's own floor maltings until 1968, at which point they were decommissioned. After the decommissioning, the maltings were sourced from a local industrial site.

The Warehouse

Glenury had a series of on-site warehouses, both racked and dunnage, in which the malt sat to age. The distillery used a combination of oak and Sherry casks, with the Sherry casks in particular contributing to the distinctive, sherried taste of Glenury.

The History

The working life of Glenury got off to a rather tragic start.  After being founded in 1824, the first year of operation were thwarted with a series of disasters.  A few weeks after production had started, a fire swept through the facility, destroying the kiln, the malting floors, and considerable stocks of barley. Only a couple weeks after the fire, a distillery worker fell into the boiler and died. In 1835, Captain Robert Barclay, the distillery's founder, obtained permission from King William IV to use "Royal" in Glenury's title.  Barclay was a Member of Parliament in Westminster at the time, which is most probably how he managed to obtain permission for the elevated title. After it's difficult opening period, Glenury continued to flourish. In 1854 Captain Barclay passed away, and in 1857, the site was put up for auction, and was bought by William Ritchie of Glasgow. Ritchie's family continued to manage the distillery until almost a century later, in 1936. During the First World War production came to a complete halt at the distillery due to the restrictions placed on the use of barley. In 1936, the distillery was sold to the Glenury Distillery Company, who took control of operations immediately. Only two years later in 1938, the distillery changed hands again, with Associated Scottish Distillers acquiring control of the site. In 1965, the site underwent a major refurbishment, and the number of stills doubled from two to four.  After a brief peak in production, the distillery was mothballed in 1983 during the big British recession. After laying silent for a few years, United Distillers (who had gained control of the distillery through a corporate merger) made the decision not to re-open.  The site was sold to an estate company, who demolished much of the original buildings.

Visitor's Centre

None. The distillery site is now a housing complex.

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