What would you pay for a bottle of highly collectable Scottish single-malt whisky with cast-iron royal provenance? If £1,470 sounds fair, you may want to take part in a ballot opening on the last day of the year to own one of 184 bottles of Royal Lochnagar from the personal cask of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.
The American-oak hogshead cask was given to the prince in 1988 to mark the 140th anniversary of the first royal visit to the tiny Lochnagar distillery near Balmoral – subsequently known as Royal Lochnagar – by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
After maturing for 30 years, the whisky was bottled on November 14 2018 (the Prince’s 70th birthday) and individual bottles will now be sold with the entire proceeds going to the Prince’s Foundation that was established earlier this year with the aim of improving the built environment, saving heritage, promoting culture and running a broad range of community education projects.
The only way to buy one of the 184 bottles is to register for the ballot, which is being conducted through the website of drinks specialist The Whisky Exchange (thewhiskyexchange.com) and will be live from December 31 until January 27 – so just a little late for Burns Night.
Each bottle is supplied in a special presentation box and will feature etched lettering with gold infill, together with the arms of the Duke of Rothesay (the Prince’s Scottish title). Labels attached to both bottle and packaging carry an individual edition number and the legend “Bottled for the Prince’s Foundation”.
Following the ballot, a further bottle will be auctioned, another will be stored in the archives of Diageo, owner of Royal Lochnagar, and the remaining 20 will be retained by the Prince’s Foundation for use in future fundraising activities.
Whisky Exchange co-founder Sukhinder Singh, one of a select few to have tasted the spirit, describes it as “lingering beautifully” with “subtle flavours on the palate”.