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Work begins on Raasay whisky distillery


Construction work has begun on the first legal Scotch whisky distillery on the Isle of Raasay, with production set to start in April next year.

Ground-breaking at Raasay distillery
Ground-breaking (l to r): Olli Blair of ABIR Architects, Alasdair Day, Chris Hoban and James Archibald of contractor Colorado Group

The distillery, which is expected to create up to 12 jobs, is located adjacent to former hotel Borodale House, which will become a visitor centre and accommodation for members of the distillery’s Na Tùsairean Club.

R&B Distillers, which is also planning to build a distillery in the Borders – with Peebles the preferred location according to a public vote – expects up to 12,000 visitors to come to Raasay once the distillery and visitor centre are open.

The distillery will be equipped with two copper pot stills from Frilli in Tuscany, with production predicted to reach 150,000 bottles of whisky a year, the first of it bottled in 2020.

‘It has taken an enormous amount of effort and endeavour to get to this point and we are all aware of what we still have to achieve; however, we are delighted that work has commenced on site,’ said R&B co-founder Alasdair Day.

‘We are all full of excitement and anticipation for the future as we aim to be Scotland’s leading craft distiller.’

Borodale House sits beneath the hill of Dùn Caan, Raasay’s highest point, with uninterrupted views across to Skye and the Cuillin mountains.

The beginning of construction work at the site this week follows the granting of planning permission for the project by Highland Council in February this year.

The distillery construction will be partly funded by a grant from the FPMC (Food Processing Marketing and Co-operation Grants Scheme), while the visitor centre has received grant funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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