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Location sought for first Borders distillery in 180 years

Scotch whisky firm R&B Distillers is asking members of the public to vote for a new location to build the first distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837.

Borders-Distillery
Alasdair Day, founder of R&B Distillers, is asking members of the public to vote for a new location in which to build a new Scottish Borders distillers

Participants are invited to vote for their favourite location in an online poll that includes popular Borders destinations such as the Tweed Valley, Peebles, Kelso, Melrose, Galashiels and Eyemouth.

Alasdair Day, founder of R&B Distillers, first revealed plans to build a new distillery in the Scottish Borders in February last year, adding that he was seeking £5m of funding from potential investors.

While the group initially identified an old water mill in Walkerburn, near Tweedale, as the desired location for the new distillery, it is now seeking suggestions from the public.

“It’s really quite remarkable that somewhere as iconic as the Scottish Borders has remained untouched by whisky distilling for such a long time,” Day said.

“Just like whiskies from the Highlands, Speyside or Islay, a small batch whisky distilled in the Borders will have its own unique flavour, informed by the provenance and terroir of the region.

“We’re incredibly excited to be asking whisky lovers from around the world ‘the big question’ and crowd sourcing opinion on where a Borders distillery would be best placed.

Work on the distillery will not start until R&B Distillers’ new Raasay Distillery, which is currently under construction, is open. The firm applied to convert the historic Borodale House on the Hebridean island of Raasay into a distillery in January this year.

Expected to open in January 2017, the Raasay Distillery will become the island’s first legal distillery and is expected to generate employment for 11 of the island’s 120 residents.

Day claims to have a historic connection with the Borders since his great-grandfather – Richard Day – was a whisky blender based in Coldstream in the early 1900s. Day revived his great-grandfather’s Tweedale blended Scotch whisky brand in 2009.

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