Raasay’s first whisky distillery to open this weekend


Raasay’s first whisky distillery will be officially opened this Saturday (16th September).

Whisky expert Dave Broom will officially open the site and visitors will be able to witness production of the first batch of whisky with production having commenced this week under the watch of head distiller Iain Robertson and master distiller Chris Anderson. In addition, those attending will learn about the unusual geology that influences the flavour of Raasay whisky, have a chance to spot the resident bat population in the ‘Bat Hotel’ and visit the Celtic Well that provides water to the distillery. A ceilidh in Raasay House will bring the celebrations to a close.

The distillery is expected to produce 150,000 bottles of single malt, Raasay While We Wait, and the team also has the long-term ambition of using all-local ingredients — water, peat and barley — with a barley growing trail beginning on the island this summer.

Photo: Philip Thornton

Alasdair Day of R&B Distillers said: “It is the location; an island off an island with complex geology, water and island climate with probably the best views from any distillery in Scotland, that makes Raasay ideal for our innovative Scotch whisky distillery.”

Among the R&B team on Raasay is distillery manager Norman Gillies, who was born and raised on the island, and has been involved in the distillery project from the early days, working as site engineer and then ground foreman on the construction process.

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland regional partnership director, added“The opening of the new Isle of Raasay Distillery is an exciting addition to the tourism offering in the Highlands, particularly with the development of a visitor centre and the promise of such fabulous views from the distillery itself.”

The distillery will open to the public in October.