Distillery Opened Capacity Malting Floor Washback Type Number of Washbacks Number of Wash Stills Number of Spirit Stills
1825 / Dismissed in 1968 / / 2 2

The founder of Glenury Royal Distillery was the eccentric Captain Robert Barclay, the first to walk 1000 miles in 1000 hours in 1809 and also an excellent middle-distance runner and boxer. He chose a location near Stonehaven, South of Aberdeen, to build his malt whisky distillery.

After being founded, in 1825, the first year of operation at Glenury Royal Distillery were thwarted with a series of disasters. A few weeks after production had started, a fire destroyed the whole kiln, the greater part of the grain lofts and the malting barn, as well as the stock of barley and malt. Only a couple of weeks after the fire, a distillery worker James Clark, felt into the boiler and died.

Captain Robert Barclay was a member of Parliament. Perhaps that's  why he was one of the only three distillers that managed to get permission by King William IV, in 1835, to put the word "Royal" in front of the name Glenury.

In 1854 Captain Barclay passed away, and in 1858, Glenury Royal Distillery was put up for auction, and was bought by William Ritchie of Glasgow. Ritchie's family continued to manage the Glenury Royal Distillery until almost a century later, in 1938.

At this point, Joseph Hobbs bought Glenury Royal distillery  for Train & MacIntyre, the UK arm of National Distillers of America. It was then run as part of T&Ms Associated Scottish Distilleries (ASD) portfolio  which used Glenury Royal Distillery as its head office.

During the First World War, production came to a complete halt at the Glenury Royal Distillery, due to the restrictions placed on the use of barley.

In 1953 Distillers Company Limited (DCL) bought ASD and transferred the company to Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD).

In the mid 1960s, Glenury Royal Distillery was expanded and doubled in capacity.

After a brief peak in production, the Glenury Royal Distillery was closed in 1985 and part of the buildings was demolished a decade later with the rest converted into flats.

  • 1825 Glenury Royal Distillery is founded by Captain Robert Barclay
  • 1835 Capt. Barclay obtained permission from King William IV to use "Royal" in Glenury's title
  • 1858 Captain Barclays sells the operation to William Richie
  • 1938 Glenury Royal distillery is bought by Joseph Hobbs for Associated Scottish Distilleries / Train & MacIntyre, the Scottish arm of National Distillers of America
  • 1953 Glenury Royal Distillery is bought by DCL
  • 1965 The site undergo a major refurbishment, and the number of stills doubled from two to four
  • 1985 Glenury Royal distillery is closed and the site sold to developers
  • 2003 Diageo releases a 50-year-old expression

The water used in the production of the Glenury Royal Distillery was drawn from the Cowie Water, a river rising in the Grampian Mountains in Aberdeenshire. There is no information about the production capacity of the site.

The distillery operated with two wash stills and two spirit stills. Its own floor maltings were decommissioned in 1968. After that, the maltings were sourced from a local industrial site.

Glenury Royal used a combination of oak and sherry casks, with the sherry casks in particular contributing to the distinctive taste of Glenury.

The Glenury Royal Distillery core products consists of:

  • 29yo
  • 36yo 2005
  • 36yo 2007
  • 50yo 2003
  • 40yo
  • 38yo 2012 by Gordon & McPhail

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