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Spies, royalty, sex, love and whisky

Tom Morton renews his search for Royal Household…

WHEN I wrote two years ago about Royal Household for iScot, I wasn’t penning some anti-monarchist diatribe. I was talking about whisky. And because things have changed, I think it’s a tale worth telling again.

The official line (and we’re dealing with crowned officialdom here, bureaucracy with jewel-encrusted knobs on) used to be that you could only get Royal Household whisky in a single British location. And just to make things about as difficult as they could possibly be, this was a hotel on the Hebridean island of Harris that is currently, and sadly, closed, and where, when it was open, the hosts probably wouldn’t sell you a dram of the stuff anyway, should you battle your way by aeroplane, ferry, packhorse or rubber dinghy to the tiny hamlet of Rodel. Because…well. Because you weren’t royalty.

Which was a shame as, Royal Household is very good indeed, and not only does it have genuine royal roots, its fascinating story is intimately bound up with this beautiful and rugged spot. And involves a degree of sex, violence and treachery, not to mention Queen Victoria, the Emperor of Japan, and a happy ending in Australia.

One part of the Royal Household story concerns allconsuming love. And how determined, passionate love can conquer every piece of opposition, break every barrier down. Curiously, those involved weren’t in the least bit royal…

If you have deep pockets, there are other methods of obtaining some RH, without necessarily approaching HRH. A bottle did pop up on an auction site several years ago for £2250, but it was £350 at auction for one of 333 bottles supplied in 1982 ‘solely for consumption in Buckingham Palace’ and £105 for a more modern iteration. It is still officially available in Japan, courtesy of Diageo, who now own original bottlers Buchanans, for 25,920 yen (£164).

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About iScot Magazine

iScot Magazine March 2017 116 quality pages from THE ONLY TRULY INDEPENDENT PRO SCOTTISH MAGAZINE PUBLISHER HQ'd IN SCOTLAND. "The one with the Up Helly Aa front cover" Featuring the best writers in Scotland today Robbie Dinwoodie, Tom Morton, Derek Bateman, Wee Ginger Dug, Jennifer Harper, Grousebeater, Major Bloodnok, Zoe Weir, Vivien Martin, Dave Bowman, Mary Edward, David McVey, Alyn Smith MEP, Peter A Bell, Dr Steve McCabe, Dr Jamie Reid Baxter, Delia Forrest, Ann MacKinnon, Indy Lawyer, Fiona Nicholson and Jason Michael McCann