Raasay’s first legal distillery

In June 2016, award-winning Scotch whisky brand, R&B Distillers, commenced their momentous endeavour – to build the first legal distillery on the Isle of Raasay.

R&B plan to open, and begin production, in April 2017. R&B stands for Raasay and Borders, two unique landscapes brought together through one unique whisky company. Co-founder Alasdair Day embodies this coupling. His great grandfather, Allan MacDonald, hailed from the Hebrides while his other great grandfather, Richard Day was a master-blender in the Borders in the early 19th Century.

Borodale House

It is this history that has prompted R&B’s ongoing project to build distilleries at these twin roots. The former, on Raasay, is steadily becoming a reality. In February 2016, R&B Distillers received permission from the Highland Council to bring the first legal distillery to the remote Isle of Raasay, an island where illicit distilling was once rife. The island’s striking Victorian villa an ex-hotel, Borodale House, has stood empty since 2006, and will now be converted into a visitor’s centre and luxury members’ accommodation with adjacent distillery. R&B Distillers predict that they will produce 150,000 bottles of Scotch whisky a year.

Borodale House will be transformed into the Isle of Raasay Distillery visitor centre which is projected to bring in 12,000 visitors to the island in the first year. Nestled below the magnificent Dùn Caan and with some of the best views of the Isle of Skye; uninterrupted sight of the Cuillin mountain range, Borodale House will offer an atmospheric escape for R&B Distillers’ Na Tùsairean Club members. Na Tusairean is Scot Gaelic for ‘The Pioneers’.

Paul McLean is a member, both he and Liz Gillespie are happy to take their whisky tours over to Raasay tied in with a trip to Skye to also visit Talisker Distillery. Once there, you can enjoy the scenery of this, the largest Inner Hebridean Island and why not include the Gaelic Whiskies by Armadale too?

A trio of Scottish whisky visits as a part of any tour by MCLEANSCOTLAND or Whisky Tours Scotland, either way ask us for more information at: info@mcleanscotland.com