Work to create a whisky distillery on Raasay took a step forward this week with the arrival of two copper stills on the island.
On Tuesday (6th December) the 5,000 litre wash still and 3,500 litre spirit still arrived on Raasay after being custom made in Italy by Tuscany-based Frilli for R&B Distillers. Tuscan wine casks are also being sourced for the whisky and the Raasay distillery is due to launch in late spring 2017.
The stills six day journey saw them travel by sea and road but, because of their huge size, only by night. Now safely on the island, the stills will be housed in the distillery’s production hall.
R&B Distillers co-founder Alasdair Day (pictured) said: “It’s all very exciting and ever-real now. Seeing the stills wrapped up and leaving Italy it definitely looks like Christmas is coming early to our Raasay distillery.”
Borodale House on the island, which has stood empty since 2006, will now be converted into a visitors centre and luxury members’ accommodation with the distillery adjacent. Designed by Olli Blair from ABIR Architects and Allen Associates, the distillery will be independently owned and operated and is expected to generate employment for up to 10 per cent of the island’s 120 residents.
While the distillery is being built, R&B Distillers have released the aptly named Raasay While We Wait whisky which has now been awarded three prestigious international awards – a bronze medal in the International Spirits Challenge, a silver medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and a bronze from the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition.