There have been plans for many years to develop a new distillery on the tiny Hebridean island of Raasay and it appears plans are finally coming to fruition. A planning application was put in place by Edinburgh’s R&B Distillers in September and they’re currently awaiting the OK for the go ahead so they can begin producing exclusive and original Raasay single malt whiskies.
If plans go ahead then there is hope that the isle’s distillery will produce 150,000 bottles annually of its own brand of whisky and be opened in 2017. The distillery would provide employment for 11 of the island’s 120 residents and will see a multimillion pound investment on the island.
Derelict to Distillery
The plans show that R&B Distillers want to turn the island’s derelict Borodale House, a former Victorian Hotel, into the centre piece for their new distillery and visitor experience, including luxury accommodation. They want to put Raasay on the map for the world’s whisky lovers and hopefully, in their own words to produce ‘handcrafted whiskies of uncommon provenance’.
R&D Distillers have projected their first batch of Raasay whisky would be available by 2020 and the plan to produce the 150,000 bottles a year from then on.
Plans for the experience include the design of a whisky destination that truly stands out. They want it to feature a private teaching room, a public café and bar with views over the picturesque Cuillin mountain range and five luxury en-suite rooms available in the fully resorted Borodale House. It’s a luxury experience which is designed to invite whisky connoisseurs from around the world and they project 12,000 people to visit in the first year of opening.
The first batch of Raasay is planned to be a three-year-old single malt with a lightly peated character and in the interim R&B are whetting our appetites with the production and release of Raasay While We Wait, a whisky blended from two Highland whiskies from a single distillery which is hoped to be representative of the single malt being produced in Raasay.
There is real excitement and hope around Raasay so all that remains is to wait from the feedback from the planning application and to start work.
You might have to wait a while to taste Raasay’s whisky. As for right now, you can taste all the Scotch whisky that The Drinks Cabinet has to offer.