The Brackla distillery was built in 1812 by Captain William Fraser of Brackla House on the estate of Cawdor Castle.
In 1833 Brackla Distillery became the first whisky distillery to be granted a Royal Warrant by order of King William IV of the United Kingdom. This made Royal Brackla one of only three distilleries ever honoured to bear the name ‘Royal’, the others being active distillery Royal Lochnagar and demolished distillery Glenury Royal. Queen Victoria renewed the Royal Warrant in 1838.
In 1839 William Fraser & Co took over the Royal Brackla Distillery and it was passed from William Fraser to his son Robert Fraser in 1852. It was in 1878 that Robert Fraser disposed of the distillery to the firm Robert Fraser & Co and in 1879 the company was reconstructed as the Brackla Distillery Co Ltd.
In 1919 John Mitchel and James Leith of Aberdeen acquired the company but they sold itagain in 1926 to John Bisset & Co Ltd of Leith which were taken over by the Distillers Company Ltd in 1943.
Due to restrictions on the use of barley for distilling during the Second World War a majority of Scotch Whisky distilleries closed, including the Royal Brackla Distillery, from 1943 until 1945. An airfield was built beside the distillery in 1940, to provide a landing ground for operational training and air gunnery.
In 1964 Royal Brackla close its doors again, due to major reconstruction and re-planning. The traditional method of coal-firing the stills by hand was changed to internal heating by steam generated from a coal-fired boiler. In 1965 an underground supply of water, created during the Second World War for an airfield, was acquired and used for cooling spirit vapour. In 1966 production was resumed.
In 1970 the distillery was again expanded by adding a second pair of stills and converting the coal-fired boiler to oil-fired. New racked warehouses were built in 1975 to replace the older traditional warehouses that were still in use at the time.
The Royal Brackla Distillery closed again in 1985. The casks of whisky remained on site in the warehouses where they continued to mature and be used for blending, as required by the owners. The distillery reopened in 1991.