Highland whisky distillery Glenury Royal has a rather ill-fated history. Severe fire, a distillery worker death in a boiler-incident and ultimate closure in 1985 have all befallen the distillery which once stood near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Despite all this, the Glenury Royal name has survived, and very aged bottlings are increasingly scarce and collectable.
Founded in 1825 by Member of Parliament Captain Robert Barclay, the distillery was granted permission to use the “Royal” suffix from King William IV in 1835. Following his death in 1857, the Highland distillery was sold to William Ritchie at auction, staying in the family until 1936. The Glenury Distillery Company took over briefly, before the distillery was purchased by Associated Scottish Distillers in 1938.
After a spell of good fortunes and an increase in production, the distillery ultimately closed in 1983. The decision was made not to reopen the distillery during amalgamation talks by then owners United Distillers and the buildings were largely demolished and converted into housing.
Diageo has released some remarkable aged Glenury Royal bottlings (including a 50-year-old) as part of its highly sought-after Cask of Distinction series. Gordon & MacPhail has also bottled some rare Glenury Royal single malts.