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First legal distillery on Raasay

First Legal Distillery on Raasay

The excise Acts of 1788 outlawed stills under a hundred gallons and was amended in 1823 to allow only taxed distillation. As a result, people across the region began to hide their distillation from the taxman.

Illicit distilling is said to have taken place as recently as 1850 on Raasay. According to local resident and historian Rebecca Mackay, there is even “archaeological evidence of a still in a collapsed rock shelter” on the island. More than 150 years later, whisky has finally returned – this time legally – to Raasay.

Our Distilling Philosophy & Process

The rugged windswept Hebridean Isle of Raasay is the perfect location for distilling a lightly peated single malt. Our site, previously The Isle of Raasay Hotel, was perfectly suited to allow us to create our state of the art modern distillery, with arguably the best view of any in Scotland.

Working with local crofters, we are growing barley in a nearby field, the first time in over 40 years. We intend to expand such collaboration across Raasay, while using local peat to dry the barley, enabling us to eventually craft a special release of 100% Isle of Raasay single malt.

Raasay Water

Although some argue that water lends only a little to the flavour of a whisky, Raasay whisky is very different.

At Raasay Distillery our water flows across volcanic rock and down through sedimentary rock to our Celtic well on site.

Unlike most distillers we use our own water at every stage of distillation, including our long fermentations producing a fruitier spirit, for cask reduction and reduction to bottling strength to ensure the high minerality throughout.

Isle of Raasay Distillery Facts

Isle of Raasay Distillery will produce Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

  • Capacity: 94,000 LPA
  • Mash Tun: 1 Tonne
  • Washback Size: 6 x 5,000 L
  • Fermentation Time: 115 hours

  • Wash Still: 5,000 L
  • Spirit Still: 3,600 L
  • Maturation: All maturation on site

Looking to find out more about Isle of Raasay Distillery?
Please email info@raasaydistillery.com with any questions or visit us for a distillery tour.

Raasay Whisky Recipes

Driven by our passion, expertise and curiosity, Isle of Raasay Distillery is designed to be experimental allowing us to respectfully push the boundaries of Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Our core Raasay expression will be a lightly peated single malt, matured in three different varieties of oak casks.

Visit us on Raasay to taste the future and discover more on one of our informative distillery tours.

Our Distillery Team

Bill Dobbie, Co-founder
Bill Dobbie

Co-founder

An experienced entrepreneur, Bill has led a number of highly successful private equity funded businesses. He also sits on the boards of several companies. Bill’s taste for business is perhaps matched only by his taste for fine whisky.

Alasdair Day, Co-founder
Alasdair Day

Co-founder

Alasdair’s family heritage lies in whisky; his great-grandfather was an early 19th century blender. His other great grand-father hailed from the Hebrides. In 2014 Alasdair teamed up with Bill to begin the journey to build their own distillery.

Norman Gillies

Distillery Manager

Born and raised on Raasay, Norman has been involved in the distillery from the early days, working as site engineer and construction foreman. With unparalleled local knowledge, Norman is the ideal ambassador for Raasay and the distillery.

Iain Robertson, Distiller
Iain Robertson

Distiller

Iain is an Honours graduate of the Heriot Watt Brewing and Distilling school in Edinburgh. With experience at North British grain distillery and the Scotch Whisky Experience, Iain is passionate about respectfully pushing the boundaries of whisky.

Joseph McGowan
Joseph McGowan

Distillery Operative

Born and raised on Raasay, 20-year – old Joseph literally knows the Isle of Raasay Distillery inside out
having worked on the construction and now as a distillery operator learning the craft of single malt
whisky production.

Iain Hector Ross, Visitor Experience Manager
Iain Hector Ross

Visitor Experience Manager

Iain Hector has been visiting Raasay every year since the 1990s. As Visitor Experience Manager he’s developed our tours to tell the story of Raasay and its whisky. An accomplished writer, he has just published The Whisky Dictionary.

Barbara Martin
Barbara Martin

Hospitality and Housekeeping Supervisor

Barbara leads the team in providing a five-star experience for Na Tùsairean members staying at the
distillery. She is passionate about maintaining the highest standards in accommodation and service
and looks forward to welcoming our Members to their home from home at Borodale House.