Raasay distillery to release own whisky in 2020

2nd August, 2017 by Amy Hopkins

R&B Distillers has confirmed that its Isle of Raasay Distillery – the first legal distillery to be built in the Hebridean island – will start production in September, and hopes to release its first Scotch whisky in 2020.

Isle of Raasay Distillery will release its first Scotch whisky in 2020

The distillery is based on the site of the disused gothic hotel Borodale House, and also features an adjacent visitors’ centre that is forecast to bring 12,000 visitors to the island in the first year. Na Tùsairean Club members’ accommodation will open at a later date.

Isle of Raasay Distillery will have two copper pot stills that will produce about 150,000 bottles of Scotch whisky a year, while all maturation will take place on-site. The distillery is expected to generate employment for up to 10% of the island’s residents.

Raasay hopes to use “all-local” barley, peat and water in the future and recently commenced barley growing trials on the island.

“It is the location – an island off an island with complex geology, water and island climate with probably the best views form any distillery in Scotland – that makes Raasay ideal for our innovative Scotch whisky distillery,” said co-founder Alasdair Day.

Last month, R&B Distillers announced that Heriot-Watt graduate Iain Robertson had been appointed Isle of Raasay Distillery’s first distiller. Raasay local Norman Gillies, who has been involved with the project from the beginning, has been named distillery manager.

Chris Anderson, formerly master distiller for Dewar’s, will join the team for the first five months of production to oversee the initial distillation.

R&B Distillers, which is also planning to build a distillery in the Scottish Borders, released two whiskies said to reflect the styles of the Isle of Raasay Distillery and future Borders distillery in 2015.

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