It has been a pretty busy few days for the Holy Father with visits from the President of the United States and the Queen of England. I do have a few observations about the gifts to the Holy Father. You give seeds when you’re a hippy elementary school teacher trying to help kindergartners understand that great things can come from small people. You give whisky to a man you respect. Do world leaders see the Pope as a rich man’s Dalai Lama or something more?
There frankly is not much out there from sources I trust on Balmoral Whisky, other than the fact that it is supposedly pretty good. Balmoral is produced by the Lochnagar Distillery, which resides on the royal lands of Balmoral. Most of the whisky produced by the distillery is sold to Johnny Walker black and blue labels. Some of the remaining whisky is then bottled and marketed under the umbrella name “Royal Lochnagar” (in addition to several special releases, Royal Lochnagar issues bottles ranging from 12 to 17 years in age), which generally receives excellent reviews.
Balmoral Whisky, from the limited information I could find, seems to be something of a special release for the Balmoral gift shop, which offers a sampling of the goods produced on royal lands in the area. The gift shop not only serves as a spot for souveniers, but also as the exclusive way to get many of the goods produced for the royal family, including “postcards, china, crystal, kitchenware, pewter products, [and] clothing.” Whereas most of the goods sold may only be purchased through the gift shop, Royal Lochnagar has a wider market, which is conveniently solved through the Balmoral special release. Specifically, Balmoral Whisky is pitched as:
A perfectly balanced medium bodied single malt with a fresh bouquet of fruit and oak. Distilled uniquely for Balmoral Estates at Royal Lochnagar Distillery.
What I suspect happened is that someone in the Queen’s household came up with the idea of offering the Pope a sampling of the goods produced on royal lands, got approval for the idea, and called the various gift shops serving royal lands to order a sampling of products. No matter how it happened I’d rather have whiskey and eggs laid by royal hens over some stupid seeds.