A map of Cawdor Estate from 1773 show’s a ‘malt brewhouse’ on the site where Brackla Distillery was built in 1812. The founder was Captain William Fraser of Brackla, an irascible gentleman, who inveighed against smuggling in the district before the Parliamentary Commission of 1821. In 1835, it was the first Scotch to be granted a Royal Warrant and the rights to call itself Royal Brackla. This seal of approval from King William IV led to Brackla being known as ‘The King’s Own Whisky’.
In 1852, the distillery was taken over by Robert Fraser & Company. They operated the distillery until 1898, at which point the original buildings were demolished and the entire site rebuilt, and the Royal Brackla Distillery Company was founded. In 1919, the distillery changed hands again when John Mitchell and James Leict from Aberdeen acquired the site.