A brand-new distillery will open on Raasay next month, and it’s expected to employ 10% of the Hebridean island’s population!
Isle of Raasay Distillery will be the first whisky distillery on the 14-mile-long island just east of Skye, or, at least, the first one established legally.
R&B Distillers, co-founded by Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie, are behind the project, having been granted permission by the Highland Council last February and subsequently received grants from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Food Processing Marketing and Co-Operation Grants Scheme.
The distillery will be kitted out with two copper pot stills sourced in Tuscany and will have a visitors’ centre next door, not to mention accommodation open to members of R&B’s Na Tùsairean Club, which will open later.
12,000 people are predicted to visit in the distillery’s first year of operation, 100 times the island’s population of 120! Raasay local Norman Gillies will be the Distillery Manager; Iain Robertson (pictured above), a recent Honours graduate of Heriot-Watt University’s Brewing and Distilling course, will be the Distiller; while Master Distiller Chris Anderson will function as an overseer for the first five months.
Sadly though, the first Raasay Scotch will not be available to drink until 2020…